Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers
danceprincess

How Long Will It Take To Develop Technique

Recommended Posts

danceprincess

I'm taking 6 hours of classes a week and I've been accepted into a Summer Intensive Program so I'm excited about seeing how much I progress as a dancer. How long does it usually take to learn ballet and really develop the proper technique? I know that most ballet dancers have been taking dance since they were as young as 3 but I'm talking about adult students who are just starting ballet from a beg. level. How long would it realistically take to get the technique down and how long should you take ballet before advancing to pointe as an adult?

Share this post


Link to post
olddude

The traditional answer is "10,000 hours". That's about 10 years at 20 hours per week, and is applicable to many endeavors - tennis, music, etc. There are some scentific studies that bear this out. It refers to achieving the highest level of technical mastery that you are capable of. Talent has some effect on what that level actually is :^)

 

As far as I know, this also assumes you have good teachers; I am not aware of any studies on how good the teacher needs to be, or on recovering from inadequate teaching. I strongly suspect (my opinion, unsupported by any data!) that motivation counts for at least half of what a good teacher can do for you - unmotivated you'll never get to that 10,000 hours!

 

I think that typically a talented student might be hired as an apprentice or even corps member with half that level of practice, in the expectation that they will continue to improve - I have certainly observed such improvement in the decades I've been in the audience, and it's quite exciting to see!

 

One can be dancer who the audience loves to watch at a much lower degree of technical expertise of course; there is much more to any performing art than just technique.

Share this post


Link to post
wembley

This is a difficult question to answer, as even professional dancers continue to work on devleoping and refining their technique throughout their career. So for most dancers there is no such thing as 'mastering ballet technique'- we will continue to work on improving technique for as long as we are dancing!

 

And for adult dancers, there are so many variables which will affect your rate of progress- age, previous experience, physical abilities, musicality, time you are able to devote to training, quality of training. This means that for every adult ballet dancer, their journey is going to be different based on these factors.

 

It sounds as though you are very keen to reach a level of ballet where you can do things like dance en pointe. The simple answer is that you'll get there when you get there. Somebody on the internet may say that it will take two or five or ten or twenty years, but that it just a guess without being able to accurately take all of the factors mentioned above into account. However, ballet is an area where you can't rush forwards without building a strong foundation first. You can't do multiple pirouettes without having the skills to do a strong single first, you can't rush into pointe shoes without having strong technique in flat shoes first.

 

You have a lot of time which you are able to devote to your ballet training (lucky you!)- enjoy your classes and the journey through the world of ballet.

Share this post


Link to post
Clara 76

When you master it, let me know! :yes:

 

It is true that attaining a physical skill takes a great deal of repetition and time. Yes, studies have shown that it is somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000 hours. But, even with that kind of time, if one does not already have a certain talent and facility for classical ballet, one cannot count on reaching the highest tiers as in "professional ballerina".

 

It is possible to have achieved a certain level of proficiency, but attaining greatness, maybe not so much.

 

If your feet and ankles have the necessary flexibility and strength to do pointework some day, then I would expect that after taking thrice weekly classes for at least 3-4 years, it could be an attainable goal.

Share this post


Link to post
Mazenderan

My first ballet teacher used to get really amused at how frustrated we adult beginners would get with ourselves. When we would get particularly cross, he used to demonstrate tendus to us and say 'and if you do this every day, many times, for about eight years, you might, might - by the end of that time - get good at it'.

Share this post


Link to post
diane

I have been told by exercise physiologists that it has been worked out to something in the area of 5,000 to 30,000 repetitions of a movement before one can do that movement really well. (the difference pertaining to the complexity of the movement and some other factors, I think)

 

I tell this to my adult students when they are sighing a bit about having to repeat exercises more often than is normally pleasant.

(so: twice ;) )

 

-d-

Share this post


Link to post
Clara 76

Haha!! That's a good one diane, and your teacher sounds funny, Mazenderan!

Share this post


Link to post
Ballet Bunnie

And what exactly does "developing technique" mean? Isn't that each class make you closer to perfection yet perfection is at the infinite end of the coordinate? Baby steps count! :D

And a teacher said this once when we got frustrated with messing up the combination: "Oh, forget about messing up the sequence. Steps are just steps. There will always be new ones tomorrow. But it's the musicality that will always stay with you!"

Share this post


Link to post
danceprincess

Thanks everyone for the feedback

Share this post


Link to post
Redbookish
It sounds as though you are very keen to reach a level of ballet where you can do things like dance en pointe. The simple answer is that you'll get there when you get there. Somebody on the internet may say that it will take two or five or ten or twenty years, but that it just a guess without being able to accurately take all of the factors mentioned above into account.

 

And you have to face the fact that you may never have the physical capacity to dance on pointe. Have a look at the "Facts about Pointe" sticky in the Pointe Shoe forum. It's harder to develop the physical & muscular capacity for the conditions where pointe work will be safe and effective.

 

But then, I'd rather do good work on flat than bad work on pointe.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×