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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Facial expressions


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My teachers always tell me that I have to make my eyes look more alive, and my face always looks...almost depressed (which I'm not!) Sometimes people say that it looks like I'm really not enjoying myself in ballet, when I'm really having the time of my life. I hate that I come across that way. How can I make my face look less tense, and more happy?

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Part of being able to express how you really feel lies in having confidence in what you are doing. This comes with training, technique, and performing experience. At this point in time it would help if you could just try to relax enough in class to let the fact that you love it show. :thumbsup:

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"Relax" is probably the best advice anybody can get when dancing. Some people are literally nervebound and tight when they try to move. Just let go and do it! If we think of it as a piece of physical advice for the face, isolate it from whatever busyness is happening elsewhere in your body.

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  • 9 months later...

Try smiling during class. It doesn't have to be a teethy smile, but try to relax and let the corners of your mouth rise. Doing this makes me feel happier and I stopped getting the correction of having no expression. I think that once you keep smiling, the audience will be less likely to catch your mistakes. :)

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

I know that students technically aren't supposed to offer advice on this particular forum, but we have actually been talking abou this in technique class a lot recently. The main thing is that most people aren't aware of what their "focus" face is- when you're not thinking, your face can do all kinds of funny things. I'm like you and look depressed, but there's another girl at my studio who looks snotty and another who goes totally blank and lets her jaw hang open a little. You have to constantly be aware of your face along with the rest of your muscles. What actually has helped me a lot is thinking about "telling a story" with my dancing, facial expression included. Giving yourself a part to play, as long as it doesn't distract you from your technique, can make your face a lot more lively and interesting.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have the exact same problem and it drives all of my teachers crazy! I know it can be hard to focus on your face while having to think about one hundred other things, but I found that even a small smile has helped me a lot :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just having confidence in your dancing can make it seem like you are enjoying yourself

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