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balletstar811

Returning to Ballet after a Year Off...

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balletstar811

Hi! I said not too long ago that I had taken a year off of dancing. Well, I've been getting back into it here at college. I'm in the advanced ballet class, Dance Ensemble (the "company" here -- I made it! hehe) and another dance organization. There's a lot of ballet, which I absolutely adore of course, but I feel like I'm a disaster. Barre is pretty good, though I do feel some rotation I worked so hard for is lost... but then we did tourjetes, and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I looked soo sloppy. I used to be good at them! I could feel it as I was in the air, too, just that everything was way off. Will all come back in time? Thanks!

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Mel Johnson

Yes. It will take some time, but after a year off, you should notice that you're back to where you were in a few months. Patience, just patience - plus hard work.

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balletstar811

Thank you, I'll try to be patient :wink:

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ashleyMVB

I'm sort of in the same boat.. I took 3 years off because of college :( My turnout used to be so great & effortless & now it's horrible! I hope I didn't take too much time off!

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skardell

I have decided to get back into ballet intensely again as well after a year off. My whole life was spent preparing for a professional career in ballet--and it could've happened---but my freshman year of college I decided, for various reasons, to go to a state school where there was no dance program. Since I had decided not to pursue dance as I had in the past, I tried to give it up. I think I was actually kinda burnt out after 16 intense years of just dance dance dance. But I am ready to go back now! My passion for it has been revitalized and I'm ready to commit to the intensity of it again.

 

It's really demoralizing though, now that I've started taking class again, to be not half the dancer I used to be. Although of course I still love it and enjoy taking class no matter what, it's frustrating to not be able to do things now that I had taken for granted before my haitus.

 

So I was just wondering

 

1) is it common for professional dancers to take breaks after getting kinda burnt out during their careers and

 

2) how long it might take to get back to the level I was at before (although of course I know thats hard to say depending upon what level i was at before, what kind of classes I'm taking now, how many ect. ect.). Before my break I was used to taking a ballet class six days a week, rehearsals three times a week, a few modern classes a week and then performances and stuff. And this week I've started with a floor barre on my own and then a (pretty decent) ballet class at this local studio. Next week I hope to be taking a ballet class in the morning before school and then one at the local studio in the evening.

 

I just don't know how to go about getting back into real dancing shape again since I've never taken a break like this before!

 

Any thoughts would be appreciated :dizzy:

Edited by skardell

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Clara 76

Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, skardell!!!!!!!!!!!

I will try to answer your questions as best I can!

 

1) is it common for professional dancers to take breaks after getting kinda burnt out during their careers?

No, that is not common, but dancers having to take a break because of injury is. I have personally seen professional dancers take a year off because of injury/surgery/rehab, and come back stronger because of it!

 

2) how long it might take to get back to the level I was at before (although of course I know thats hard to say depending upon what level i was at before, what kind of classes I'm taking now, how many ect. ect.). Before my break I was used to taking a ballet class six days a week, rehearsals three times a week, a few modern classes a week and then performances and stuff. And this week I've started with a floor barre on my own and then a (pretty decent) ballet class at this local studio. Next week I hope to be taking a ballet class in the morning before school and then one at the local studio in the evening.

 

I do think you will need to get back into a pre-pro training schedule- I don't think just classes will do it, but you will have to have patience, patience, patience in order to come back stronger. This means taking excellent care of your body. Some of the benefits of training while one is still growing means that the joints are extra-lubricated- something that begins to diminish with each year of age. Not something to worry about, just something to be aware of so that you can continue to dance and regain your previous strength. Adult professional dancers must do exercises specific to their weakness so that their bodies can withstand the rigors of ballet.

 

You'll need to find out what those weaknesses are so that you can begin to do the proper exercises for them! Many pre-pro programs offer things like that along with other training that we may not think as much about, like resume preparation, how to mentally withstand some of the challenges professional ballet demands, and some of the background preparation that a dancer needs to make this her career.

 

Take it slowly in the beginning, and take care of your body. Things will come back when they are good and ready, which I guarantee will not be when your brain would prefer! Look around for a good mentor, and keep the balance in your life! A dancer can't become a true artist when she is overly obsessed- *note that I said "overly" obsessed. :dizzy:

 

Good luck! There is much work ahead for you!!!

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