Becoming a Ballet Dancer
Ballet is a graceful and beautiful dance, some would say, the most beautiful style of dance.
Continue reading for the answers to some of your questions about becoming a ballet dancer and gaining the amazing ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.
What does it take?
It takes discipline and years of training but eventually, for the best dancers, all the hard work will pay off as they fly effortlessly across the stage to the strains of the most beautiful music.
The thing all ballet dancers have in common though, is the love of the dance with its grace and beauty of movement, whether the goal is becoming an international star or simply staying fit by learning, doing and enjoying ballet.
Ballet can be as simple as doing the moves alone in your bedroom or getting involved with the most complex steps used by the stars in the various ballet companies around the globe. It can be performed and enjoyed by the very young and the not so young.
When to Start?
One often asked question is at what age should children start their ballet training? The physical demands of ballet exercises are often too extreme for the soft bones of children under the age of eight, so age 8+ seems to be about the best time to start formal training, although starting between the ages of 10 and 12 can still enable people to have rich careers in ballet.
However, if children really want to start earlier, between the ages of 4-8 they can take pre-ballet classes. In these classes, children learn to move to the rhythm of various styles of music and may even begin learning the ballet positions and being introduced the importance of posture to the dancer. Introducing creative movement to kids can encourage them to develop their imaginations as well as their physical abilities.
The History of Ballet
Ballet has been danced for centuries. The basics of ballet – positions and techniques – were developed during the Renaissance in the Italian and French courts of the 15th century and later in Russia. Classical ballet was developed under the tutelage of the French king, Louis XIV who had been an avid dancer in his youth. In 1661 he set up the first Royal Academy of Dance. This very technical dance form developed its own vocabulary, largely derived from French terminology.
Women were not considered robust enough to dance the challenging roles, so it was men who danced the primary roles. Women finally did take to the stage in roles created for them by daring choreographers. Choreographers spend considerable time matching the precise movements and techniques with the music, and in the process create emotionally stirring ballet dances.
Folk stories, fairy tales, bible stories and even historical events form the basis for many famous ballets. In the early 1900’s, ballet was redefined, and one might even say, re-invented by the Russian ballet school and Imperial theatres. Ballet has been updated many times since with the introduction of modern music and modern techniques, but it is the classic style of the late Romantic ballet, that highlights the pointe work of the female dancers in their tutus.
Go to Tutu Etoile To learn the movements and techniques, to gain and retain proficiency, ballet dancers must practice and train for years. But thanks to all their hard work, we as the audience, can enjoy this fabulous form of dance with all of its magical stories.