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jamesters

Newbie That Needs To Catch Up!

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jamesters

I joined ballet recently and they started me in I think it's intermediate level, definitely not beginner. I'm male (didn't it mattered to put this in the male subforum since it's pretty general), age 22, with a circus and gymnastics background. Though I'm incredibly fit, ballet uses the body very differently and there's so much specific body positions and terminology to learn.

 

So anyway, I train outside of class, because I really want to catch up and be good at it (mostly doing exercises to develop better turnout). Basically, I guess I'd like to know what I can be doing to develop myself quickly outside of class. Are there any good videos online I can watch that demonstrate technique or any sources that list the names of the skills with demonstrations that way I can learn them at home and will know what the coach is talking about when I'm in class?

 

They want me for summer intensive even though I'm so inexperienced, probably because boys are so rare and they're willing to work with me and probably because I'm fit so when I do get the technique down it will hopefully look good with me. I want to train hard now so I can be ready.

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vrsfanatic

jamester your enthusiasm to improve is fantastic however self instruction for a beginner is quite difficult to recommend. There are quite a few books you might buy or check out of the library to learn the names of steps however you do need a teacher to help you to achieve your goals. If you are able to attend the SI at your local school you might be surprised as to how quickly you progress. Daily classes are a fabulous teaching tool. You might want to watch the ABT Dictionary of Classical Ballet although the names of movements are not always the same from program of study to program of study.

 

http://www.abt.org/education/library.asp

 

All the best to you. :)

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Clara 76

And you can watch some fabulous male dancers on Youtube to get inspired!

Carlos Acosta

Mikhail Baryshnikov

Ethan Steifel

Sasha Radetsky

Rudolph Nureyev

Roberto Bolle

Ivan Vasiliev

Daniil Simkin

 

That should get you started!! Just remember that there are really no shortcuts in ballet; it simply takes years to develop. But it sounds like you are having a good start! Make sure you're not skipping over the basics- they are the foundation upon which all of the male dancers I mentioned have built up what you'll see today.

 

Patience and hard work, along with the proper schedule and quality of training are the recipe for your success!

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jamesters

Thanks so much! I've gone through the dictionary and it's helped me learn many of the things I hear the coach say. That dictionary is big so I've just made a list of terms I often hear, but are there others I should know at my level?

 

arabesque

attitude

battement; tendu, grande

chasse

developpe

en dedan

en dehor

fondu

jete

plie; demi, grande

port de bras

releve

rond de jambe

saute

Edited by jamesters

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Clara 76

Time for some reading:

1. Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet by Gail Grant. It's about $5-6 through the Amazon link at the top of our page

2. Classical Ballet Technique by Gretchen Ward Warren. Check with your local library as this is an expensive (but well worth it) volume

 

You might also check out The Video Dictionary of Classical Ballet. It is also available through the Amazon link!

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Guest Sanchara

I'm in a similar place right now. I have some ballet expereince. I'm an international level athlete (but as jamesters said ballet uses lots of different muscles) but ballet is reaaly hard. I really want to keep up and prove myself to my teacher.I have two two hour classes per week. What can I do to catch up?

Where I especially find myself lacking is in turnout/placement. I know which muscles to use and can feel them working but in order to do things I'm holding my core and turnout muscles so hard I can barely breath. I'd really like this to become natural and like it is for the more experienced dancers. I dream of having the freedom of movement that they all seem too.

 

I feel like there are so many feelings and thoughts and ideas inside of me that can only be expressed through movement but my body is holding me back from that.

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Victoria Leigh

Sanchara, if you hold muscles too hard they are "gripped", which prevents movement! You have to learn to align the bones, place the body weight properly, and USE the abs, glutes, quads, back muscles, and rotators....without OVER USING them! There is a place called "neutral" that is helpful for this. It's like the motor is on, but it's working easily, quietly, gently, which means that there is energy, but not force. Without energy the body is limp, with too much it is stiff and tight. I'm sure you can find a way to equate this same kind of thing to the work you do in Equestrian Vaulting. :(

 

Also, remember that ballet is a long, slow boil type of study. Nothing is instant when it comes to learning ballet!

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Guest Sanchara

that makes sense. I guess it just takes time.

 

Partly I feel like I'm not getting warmed up properly in class - so I'm not able to use my full range of motion if that makes any sense.

 

 

There are a lot of corrilations between ballet and vaulting. :thumbsup: thats why Ballet is such awsome cross-training. 'cause obviously you can't dance elegantly on a horse if you can't do it on the ground :P

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