Sunday, August 16, 2009
Well, this is the way we are supposed to see ballet dancing. We as the audience just see the pure grace and beauty that is ballet. We don’t see the years of hard work, blood, sweat and tears that a dancer has to go through to become a ballet dancer.
When a child first starts ballet dancing lessons, the focus is on musicality, interpretation, imagination and fun. Once they decide to take their ballet dancing more seriously the hard work begins. They are taught the five basic positions of the feet and arms and given exercises each lesson to strengthen the basics. The muscles are trained with repetitive exercises to strengthen them and build muscle memory. The ligaments are stretched to their fullest capacity to gain greater flexibility. Through all the exercises at the bar and the repetitive on going training through the years, the dancer get to learn to move with great speed, control, agility, grace and lightness. When the dancer has achieved this perfection of balance, precision and beauty of movement and makes it looks so easy – she can then call herself a ballerina.
This training takes about ten years, and requires a lot of hard work, discipline and dedication to the art. It is an extremely hard art to excel at, but each generation manages to bring with it a few really gifted dancers. No years of training will make a good dancer of an untalented pupil, or someone with a limited body, but we can all aspire to it. Taking ballet lessons has a lot of benefits even if the pupil never intends to branch out into ballet dancing as a career.
Physically, ballet dancing does express the perfect functioning of limbs and joints. A lot of physical improvement can be gained out of the exercises that make up a ballet class. A bad posture can be improved, muscle weaknesses can be corrected, grace and coordination are gained, and of course it demands a high level of fitness. Ballet is also good for the mind as it helps dispel negativity and install optimistic traits. Ballet music is even used as a therapeutic treatment for the mentally ill.
On the other hand, ballet is not for those with spinal curvature, knocked knees, or children with weak highly arched feet, or flat feet, although there are benefits to strengthening the flat foot. Ballet also needs to be performed on a sprung floor, to avoid damage to the knees and ligaments from landing on unyielding floors.
Whether you are a dancer, taking weekly ballet classes, or in the audience simply enjoying watching the effortless grace and beauty that unfolds before us on the stage, ballet dancing in its various forms will still be with us for centuries to come. See more on dancing Here.