What is in ballet technique you may ask?
The Classical Ballet Technique book on the left has some great tips on how to improve your ballet technique and is written by an ex-dancer and teacher.
“An excellent, comprehensive guide to ballet pedagogy valuable to teachers and students alike. For many years, Gretchen’s has been a major voice in the dance community, and this extensive work details the study of classical ballet from her unique and expert point of view. I applaud her, and I heartily recommend Classical Ballet Technique.”–David Howard, International Ballet Master, and Master Teacher
Dance has never been as varied as it is today. Dance is a multicultural mix of tap, Latin, jazz, folk, Chinese, Indian and hip hop. Even ballet is being mixed with all these styles to create exciting and exhilarating entertainment. But nevertheless, each dance form has its own particular technique that differentiates it from another dance form, and some dance forms like ballet have a lot more technique than others.
All dance forms have their own specific exercises that have been developed to train the technique in that particular dance form.
If you are wondering how to improve your ballet technique, you need to enhance your awareness on how your body moves on its own or with others in a group. You also need to learn how to control and direct body energy and increase your sensitivity to rhythm and space.
No matter how good or bad your ballet dancing is, there are always ways to improve your ballet dancing technique. To improve your overall ballet technique, you need to work on separate components of your ballet dancing like flexibility, balance, strength, musicality and technique, depending on what your weak points are.
The more ballet dancing classes you attend every week the better. Daily is a excellent way of taking your ballet dancing to the next level. Here are some tips to help you to improve on your ballet dancing technique on a consistent and ongoing basis.
How To Improve Your Ballet Technique
In order to improve your ballet technique, you need an ongoing mastery of the mechanics and an awareness of form. You need to develop the ability to show proper alignment and placement of different parts of the body. Good technique will be easier if you have strong and flexible muscles, and the correct training to execute a given movement.
If a dancer has a good technical grounding and achieves all of the above, her ballet technique will appear to look effortless. Once you have good technique, then you can work more on your artistry.
Most good ballet dancing schools will have a good foundation for building up a dancer’s technique. A good example of this is the bar work in the ballet class, or the floor work in the modern jazz class.
Bringing in other influences will also help to build up a dancer’s strength and good technique. Horton Technique, Graham Technique and Pilates are great ways for dancers to strengthen their bodies and improve their technique.
Here are some more tips on how to improve your ballet technique.
Set goals for yourself and work on one small detail at a time. Focus on one of your weaknesses for several classes at a time. Remember it is no good having high legs if your technique and execution is faulty. If you find you are sickeling your foot in a grand battements for instance, rather lower your leg for a while and concentrate on getting your heels forward. Correct small things first, and your overall technique will be better in the long run, it just takes patience.
If you are learning a combination for the first time, don’t just watch your teacher, mark it with her. If another group is busy dancing, take some time to mark the steps out in time with the music, and this will help you to learn faster and cement the routine in your head so that you can better concentrate on your technique when performing the combination.
If you receive a correction, listen and take action. Listen to the others corrections as well. If a teacher doesn’t single you out, it doesn’t mean that the correction doesn’t apply to you as well. Keep a notebook with you, and jot down your corrections after class. Refer to them often to reinforce them in your mind.
Look at the finer details. The most gifted of ballet dancers are those that pick up the smaller bits of detail that nobody else notices. Take notes for yourself on the accents in a step, any special rhythms that are out of the ordinary and any small details that will help the combination look better on you, and always look for ways to play up your good points and hide your weaker ones. Watching out for those little extras is a great way to improve your overall ballet technique.
Use your energy efficiently and don’t exhaust all your energy at the start of your class. Not all your dance movements need the same kind of attack. Work consistently and hard, but conserve most of your energy for the end of the class, so that you are not too tired to put everything into the grande allegro at the end of the class.
Try to push yourself a bit further each lesson. Your teacher can’t make you work, you have to do it for yourself in order to improve your technique. At the end of each lesson, you should feel a sense of accomplishment. You must feel within yourself that your ballet dancing technique is better than when the lesson started. Push yourself beyond your comfort zone.
Last but not least it is important to change your mindset. If you watch a dancer who is way better than you are, rather than think “I will never be able to do that,” use her to inspire you to dance just as beautifully.
Learning how to improve your ballet technique is a ballet dancer’s building block to perfecting his or her dancing skills.
Nowadays there are loads of different classes that you can do to improve your dance technique and strengthen your body, so there really are no excuses for not having the best ballet technique that you can possibly have.