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Ballet Talk for Dancers

What inspires you?

Paul Parish

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Ronnie posted this question to the 'anything goes' forum...


It's a great question, and I put up some of my thoughts on it there -- but you know what it's like for boys/men, it never seems to be a surprise that a girl wants to dance but it DOES seem to be more so for guys....


I've ALWAYS liked to/wanted to dance. I loved rock and roll when I was in high school, and the other guys in my class "didn't dance," so I got lots of partners... But already back then I wanted to do ballet, but my parents wouldn't let me.... so I started late....


I'd like to hear what some of you think.... If you want to know more of my thoughts, check out the thread under "Anything Goes" in the general Forum-- I had LOTS to say, and wonder if any of that rings a bell for you.... But anyway, I'd like to know why YOU dance....






[ March 22, 2002, 03:38 AM: Message edited by: Paul Parish ]

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We seem to have a mix-up, you are referring to ronny's post, not mine (ronnie), although I am very flattered.


[ March 22, 2002, 12:22 PM: Message edited by: Ronnie ]

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well, I started dancing when I started walking :D every time my parents had music on, I danced. So when I became 4, we moved to another city, and I started dancing classical ballet. I have done this since then, without any brakes. Today, i love to dance, and feel that the only time I can be myself and be 1000% satisfied of myself, is when i dance a good dance! doesnt matter if its in class, in my room or in a ballet. But it has been hard a couple of times;

I am the only boy dancing ballet in my town, and have been that for 8 years. From I was 4 untill i was 8, another boy danced at my studio, but he got older, and now hes a pro...

When I was like 11 or something around that, the only reason I didnt quit was because of the relationship between me and my teacher. (I have many, but one of them is "mine", she has been my teacher from day one, and I have a VERY close realtionship to her, she has almost becomed a "third parent")I wanted to be "normal" like the other guys, but wasent because i danced (it sounds kinda silly now, but at the time, this was as serious as life and death:))


This got long, but anywas... today, I dance because of the pleasure I find in dancing! I will continue with that until I dont find any pleasure in it, then, I wil quit! but I dont think it will ever happend... future will show!


PS: im wondering of something: I heard rumours that my one dancer idol, the boy from my hometown who danced here when I was little, was a little bit famous among dancers in norway, and I wondered if someone of you know who he is? just funny to know... His name is Kim Amundsen (Major Mel or anyone else, if I cant post his name, please delete it)


Thanks for your time :)

Nice new "outfit" on the forum!

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I just thought I'd start a thread on what inspired you to take up ballet/restart ballet, and/or what inspires you in general with regards to ballet?


I can't answer the first question as I started when I was 5 and it was my mum who started me off. But what inspires me today to do better and to improve is a few glorious photos of ballet dancers. I have printouts around my desk at work of gorgeous arabesques and other various postions and pointe shoed feet...sigh really makes me want to work harder each time I look at them.


Oh and I should have put this in earlier, my teachers here in the US totally inspire me more than anything now. They are the most wonderful, caring people, Kathy Mata and Augusta Moore; two very talented, beautiful teachers:) I hope its okay to mention names??

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Guest fiafour

When I was little, I thought ballet was prissy. My younger sister took it when she was 5, but I was more interested in gymnastics. I didn't stick with that long, but my sister didn't stick with ballet long either. One semester in college, my sister convinced me to take a class with her. I need some exercise, so I agreed.


The first three weeks, I hated it. I know longer considered it prissy, but extremely difficult. Then suddenly, I made a minor improvement and things changed. I love ballet now. I love the challenge and the beauty.


I like to laugh at how I almost missed an opportunity by presuming that ballet was for girls who liked the color pink. Hehe. If you can't tell, I was a little bit of a tomboy when I was little.


What a great topic, Xena.

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Perfectly okay, Xena! I think it's great to recognize good teachers here :D

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When I was a little girl, I was enormously interested about what goes on in a ballet class. I was fascinated by the class, by the teaching and practicing, not by the dance itself. I never took ballet as a child, though, or any other dance form.


But now that I have started as an adult I still think that what inspires me is only partly the art form itself, how it looks. I like watching ballet, sure, but I still am more inspired to dance myself by watching more experienced dancers in class than I am by watching them perform.

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I have loved watching ballet from the first moment I saw one.


However, I always seem to have had this weird misconception that ballet was something you started at age 8 - with no room for late or adult starters because by then reaching any level of proficiency was impossible anyway. :D


The fact that I finally started ballet classes was essentially a coincidence of two things: A need of improving my early dance technique and a friend wanting to return to ballet.


As it happened, I have gained a better posture, balance and precision, but I also learned that late starters can improve, and even become really good if they are willing to put in the hours. I found I greatly enjoyed the steady, disciplined work in ballet classes and when my friend dropped off ballet again I was already sufficiently hooked to continue and later even increase my weekly classload. :)


I'm most inspired to practice more by music - practice music, ballet scores and especially beautiful classical works that just scream to be combined with ballet - Vivaldi's Winter, for example, has these absolutely glorious sequences where you can practically see the series of flashing, impossibly fast and precise eschappes combining with fluid port de bras.

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Guest piccolo

I have always loved to dance but what inspires me to go to my ballet class three times a week is the knowledge that every day I go, I get closer to learning to use my muscles correctly. It's not a terribly graceful answer but it's true. Music inspires me to dance around my house, ballet videos teach me nuances, etc. but I pull on my tights and leotard (despite my wanting to watch bad TV on the couch after work) because by going, I might feel a perfectly pulled-up retire. There you have it.

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There's no single answer why I began ballet. Perhaps the most important reason I started taking class was simple curiousity. I wanted to understand what the people on the stage were doing, and the best way to learn an art is to do it yourself. There was a certain amount of awe and envy involved -- I, too, wanted to fly. Another reason is that I want to be literate in as many disciplines as possible: music and dance as well as literature and mathematics.


I quit for several years because of orthopedic problems. I stayed in contact with the art by photographing dancers in rehearsal, but that was ultimately frustrating. While it can be thrilling to watch talented youngsters do impossible things, it is still more satisfying to dance yourself, no matter how inept you are. A few years ago I resumed taking class and found that, with care, a long warm-up and a little padding in the left slipper, I can survive the class without pain.


One final reason why I find ballet fascinating: it's difficult. Ballet works a different set of mental muscles than most other activities do, and you can't master it by research and analysis alone.


Psavola, I'm curious about your "early dance." How early, and what dances -- basse dances, pavanes, galliards, country dances? Are you part of a performing troupe?

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Guest Anders

Here is a list of things that spontaneously come to mind, which either inspired me to start about one year ago, or keep me inspired to progress, in no particular order:


In class:


The serenity of the studio, the large room, the mirrors, the barres, the lights.


The spectrum of emotions expressed by fellow dancers in or outside the studio; dedication, ambition, pride, even conceit, self-doubt, and the somewhat reserved social interaction.


The simple beauty of the piano accompaniment, repetitive and soothing.


The mere thought that my body will some day be able to perform the subtle movements that give me so much pleasure to watch.


At the opera:


The romantic beauty, simplicity and sadness of the stories of the classical ballets. I cry every time.


The thought of the work put in by the dancers to achieve the level of skill that they have.


The contrast between everyday life - complex, unpredictable, difficult - and the ballet - simple and true.


OK, back to work :)

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Guest marvelous

My mom put my sister and I in a combination tap/ballet class at a city park when we were 6 and 7. I remember really liking it, and then just not going anymore. I only just found out (now that I'm 26) that funding ran out for the program and my mom couldn't afford lessons at a studio. The next year she took us to see the Nutcracker and I was in awe! I loved it! The costumes, the music, the dancing, everything! I even told her that I wanted to dance the part where the children come from under the woman's huge dress, but someone told her I was too old (at 8!) and that was that.


Since then I have always loved watching ballets, ice skating, broadway shows, anything that involved movement and music. I also just love to dance. Whether it's popular music or classical, I just feel the need to move.


For some reason, I didn't get inspired to pursue ballet until now. I actually tried to start my self on an aerobics program for exercise, but found it was just too monotinous. Dancing seemed the better choice and I started calling around to studios to see if they offered adult classes. I took one class and was hooked. I was also mad at myself that I didn't start this sooner, but what can you do? The artform itself is just beautiful. I like seeing the improvement that I make after a lot of hard work. After reading several books and information online I found out that I can actually be good at this! That inspires me to just keeping going as far as I can.


You often hear people say, 'I wish I did this, I wish I did that' which I found myself saying about ballet. But I wish no longer because I'm doing it!!

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Its so nice hearing all these lovely stories, I think these in themselves would inspire anyone to continue or take up ballet:D

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Its also nice to know that there are other dancers out there who didn't take up ballet as a child. I wasn't interested whe I was younger, and only when a friend 'opened my eyes', as it were, did I become hooked.

Sometimes, when I struggle with my uncooperative body, I wish my mum had made me go (even though this probably wouldn't have done any good!)

I can see what people mean when they say its like an addiction-I love the challenge of trying to get my leg higher, or turn more etc. That aim to achieve inspires me as much as going to see ballet performed! :)

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Hi guys, I don't know if I am allowed to post here, being a girl?


Anyway I just noticed this thread and thought you might want to look at the one started by Xena in the adult ballet forum, about what inspires people to dance? Just a though, I'm leaving now!

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