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Ballet Talk for Dancers


For Me It's a Religion

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Hello fellas,


I'm 24 and a newcomer to ballet - about to have my third class tomorrow and I love it!! Even with only two classes, when I'm in the middle of it I feel like I've come 'home'. I've tried yoga before and had a similar kind of experience but not nearl so profoud. Simply moving the body in certain ways makes me feel a sense of unity and wholeness that I've never felt before.


I can only do one class per week at my school but need my fix on a daily basis and so have just got the New York Ballet Workout book which is really helpful and quite satisfyingly gruelling. I swim a little and feel this helps build strengthen the core but would like some advice for more advanced dancers on how to practice/train, how often I should spend etc. I'm terribly worried that I don't have good turnout due to starting late and any advice on improving that would be great.


I've visited this site often before I stared class and find it wonderfully supportive and encouraging to know others out there are in a similar ship as it were.


So thanks to everyone contributing to this supportive atmosphere and I hope to find some new dancer friends :D


Over and out :thumbsup:

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That's great! :thumbsup: Welcome to the club! Since you've just started, let your classes unfold before you as you learn the rudiments of the art. Pay close attention to your teacher's demonstrations and corrections, and pay attention to those given to others in the class, too. Don't become discouraged if everything doesn't go right for you right away. It takes years, so courage, and carry on!!!

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Hello Mr. Johnson,


Thank you very much for your promt reply and for your kind and wise words. It's nice to, even so early, feel part of a community of sorts.


And I guess it's 'bon courage' to us all :D


Many Thanks :thumbsup:

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Welcome Newbie!!


You stated quite nicely how most of feel when we dance and why we can't wait for class to begin.


Mel is the best source of advice on this forum, but to add my 2 cents, I would say don't worry about turnout or anything else - use the gifts you have to be the best dancer you can, and don't compare yourself to others....


I have really bad turnout as well, and though I cannot get my leg as high in batment as others, or don't have as nice a line as some of the other guys in class, I can hold my own when it comes to balance and grace!


As you said, you are 'older' and there will always be guys out there who are better than us 'older' guys, so just continue to focus on doing the best YOU can do, and keep having fun!


Welcome again!

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Pilates taught by an instructor with ballet or modern dance background was helpful in developing my core strength. For turn out, there are exercises that help me also - doing butterfly position, having both legs spread sideways on the wall (allow the weight of the leg and gravity to stretch the hip flexor muscles), leg stretching barre work, and stretching with the use of rubber bands/belts (refer to the stretching manual that comes with it). Once you have developed strength and flexibility, it helps to have a stretching exercise partner who can apply some pressure/weight on your legs as you do the butterfly, wall splits, floor stretch a la seconde with the upper body leaning towards the floor and partner's weight applied on the lower back.


Most ballet classes include a few minutes of stretching exercises to promote leg/hip turn out.

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HOWEVER! - this isn't elementary school gym class, and it is very important that your partner knows at least as much about the stretches as you do. You also have to be able to tell when a stretch goes over the line from that stretchy feeling and starts actually to hurt; then say "STOP!" We're trying to help an absolute beginner here.

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Thank you for the advice everyone. I'm quite flexible but shall still take it easy. I've also just got the New York City Ballet Workout book - it's quite challenging to go through it all at once and I can sure feel it working long since silenced muscles in the legs :thumbsup:

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