Filling Those Shoes: Incremental Increase

The rain has cleared up, and the sun has come out from behind the clouds.  Ballet was much, much better.  Perhaps this is a character flaw on my part, but I felt a little more secure in my dancing because there was a new person in class today.  It reminded that you’re never too old to try anything.

The barre was normal, nothing too difficult.  However, I surprised myself with my center work.  It was just one of those practices where I could really feel my skill increasing, albeit just by a bit.  Still, that’s what I’m aiming for, progress class-by-class.

Since there really is nothing of interest to report concerning the class itself, I thought I’d elaborate why I’m in ballet.  First and foremost, I joined ballet because I knew it would improve my ballroom dancing.  You wouldn’t think there would be too from ballet that could be applied to ballroom, but there’s certainly more than what first comes to mind:

  • Any extension of your legs has to be with your toes pointed, not flexed.  It skews the line if you flex your foot.
  • Often when I dance ballroom, I just don’t know what to do with my arms.  Ballet has a lot of arm styling, which is most evident when at the barre.  Needless to say, its helped with ballroom as well.
  • Posture, posture, posture.  Without a doubt, posture was the most difficult thing for me to get down in ballroom because a newer dancer just doesn’t notice it.  The pillar in the center of the studio and I became very good friends when I was first starting out because my teacher would frequently make me stand against it.  When you think ballet, think straight.  By this I mean, that your posture is as stiff as a board.  When you plie, you go straight down with your back stiffly straight.  If you don’t go straight down, your bum is going to end up sticking out.
  • Are you a more ambitious dancer?  Do you want strength and flexibility in your legs so you can kick really high?  Ballet is the way to go.  Period.
  • Turns and spins.  You never know when your lead will get frisky and decide to spin you multiple times, especially during social dancing.  That’s where spotting comes in handy.  I’ll cover this more in-depth in another post.

All in all, I do not regret joining an adult ballet class.  At all.  Sure, it’s terrifying, and there are times when you just want to throw in the towel.  However, ballet is foundational for almost any genre of dance, from jazz to hip-hop.  If you really want to improve your dancing, consider ballet.


The floor is yours now.

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