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5 Ballet Skills to Effectively Improve Your Dancing

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Published on: 25 Nov 2020

Let the dancer within you spread wings and soar high with ballet. This dance form, all about grace and elegance is a play of phenomenal mental and physical skills that transforms the body to look sensual and feel strong. As delicate and fluid it looks, it is tough to execute a balletic movement. But worry not! Those mega challenging tour en l'air or fouette turns come like breathing once you master these basic technical ballet skills: 

1.  Body Posture 

Ballet Skill - Body Posture

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a ballerina? Indeed their classically effortless posture would have flashed before your eyes. 
It is after all the biggest ballet dancer secret to success - a strong, mindful foundation. Body posture in ballet is all about maintaining a good spine position. Every beginner will come across this as a crucial element in their ballet dance lessons. 

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Though a good posture is generally important for all, learning ballet dance requires some extra effort- a little more work on the spine. This is because those elevés, relevés and pliés demand a good blend of muscles, movement, and finesse. 
So, the first technical skill is to work on the foundation. 

How to get a good ballet posture?

Here are a few tips for improving posture: 

●    Pull up the leg muscles and vacuum the stomach (by pulling in)
●    Develop some character in your shoulders by pushing them down, open and back
●    Lengthen the neck by lifting the chin in elegance
●    Stand with your knees straight and feet out
●    Know when you slouch and correct yourself every time
●    Relax your head to keep the spine and neck elongated. 
●    Position your arms to smooth and graceful 

2.  Flexibility

Ballet Skill - Flexible body

It seems like beautiful ballet positions combination precision, sophistication and élévation, but flexibility is the fuel that runs this show.  
Flexibility is to a ballet dancer like breathing is to life. For this reason, only flexibility skill is the essentially focussed element of all warmups, exercises and stretches
As a ballet dancer, you should definitely work on getting flexible. Without this technical skill, you cannot progress. Just like posture, flexibility is also a ballerina's holy grail. 

How to get flexible like a ballerina?

Try these out to attain maximum flexibility over time: 

  • The biggest advice is to take it slow and listen to your body.
  • Begin gradually by going deep into focussed ballet stretch. 
  • Try a mix of both dynamic (stretching while moving) and static (stretching in a sitting position for stipulated time) stretching.
  • Be consistent with your stretching routine and advance slowly.

3.  Balance

Ballet Skill - Balance

That pirouette and grand adage demand nothing else but balance and stability. They are the key to smooth transitions. You as a ballet dancer specifically need strong balancing skills. If you want to try the classical dancing, the pointe technique allows you to balance the bodyweight on the feet. 

How to balance like a ballerina?

A mix of both these mental and physical strength exercises will help you balance like a pro:

●    Work on your core muscles. Engage the abdominal muscles by doing strictly core/abs workout
●    Establish a solid foundation by building up your base. Ankle strength will come in handy.  Supination and pronation (side-to-side foot movement) help a lot.
●    Keep your body aligned and find a focus point

4.  Coordination

Ballet Skill - Coordination

Coordination and synchronisation is as important to a ballet dancer as it is to a musician. You have to synchronize your steps to your mind by:
●    Planning ahead
●    Defining direction
●    Systematically integrating with your partner

All this is a play of superb coordinating skills. They help you: 
●    Move effortlessly 
●    Increase balance 
●    Reduce chances of injury and communicate with your body

How to improve coordination for ballet dancing?

There are 3 easy ways to improve your coordination as a ballet dancer: 

Timing is key in dance. While learning a new ballet technique or move, time your move to do it slowly to understand each associated mini movement. Understand the sequence and define the speed accordingly. Take a mental note of each bend and twirl to execute it flawlessly. This is the secret of every successful dancer. 

Orientation is aimed to comprehend the ratio between your body and space. 
It allows you to maintain the perfect balance between the two so that your moves are more well-positioned. 

A ballet dancer has to manage his/her every move and execute full control over it. For this reason, only, ballet dancing training exceptionally focuses on balance, the delicacy of each step and the technique. 

5.  Alignment

Ballet Skill - Alignment moves

The most eye-catchy element of a ballerina is her lean yet firm body. Moreover, it is the clean and planned movement in ballet dancing that adds the oomph factor to it. But in the end, all these are facilitated and beautified when the body is in perfect alignment. Alignment is the aesthetic energy that 
If you aspire to become a better dancer, explicitly focus on alignment and posture.

How to get the body perfectly aligned for ballet?

These ballet workouts definitely help to maintain a good body alignment:

●    Tone your leg muscles by targeting the inner thigh, core and butt area. Suggested exercise- the bridge
●    Focus on defining the butt to tone and tighten. Suggested exercise- donkey kicks
●    Work on your core to keep your abdominal muscles engaged. Suggested workout- crunches, planks, boat pose 
●    Strike a pose or stand mindfully by sticking to your posture. Keep the legs, knees, stomach, back, shoulders and head in a straight line

Now that you know the basics of improving your ballet skills, it's time to put your learning to practice. Worry not! We have got your back. Upskill yourself with our micro learning app- KoolStories. 
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What skills do you need for ballet?

To become a ballerina you need the following skills:

1.Physical fitness and stamina
8.Judgement and decision making

What are the characteristics of ballet?

Ballet as a dance form is characterized by a sophisticated form of expression, delicate movements, dancers weaning pointe shoes, elegant posture, a storyline based on a fable or a fairytale, and ornamental costumes.

How do you start ballet for beginners?

To start with ballet, it is best to start your formal ballet training at a reputed ballet school. Buckle up and prepare for intense physical training. Build up your physical intensity through cardiovascular exercises like swimming, running or bicycling. As a beginner, be sure to take care of your diet and nutrition.

What characteristics makes ballet so unique?

Unlike other dance forms, ballet is all about maintaining the delicacy of the posture while communicating emotions through the body. It pushes the physical boundaries of a dancer to give a more elevated and fairytale-like expression.

What makes ballet so difficult?

Ballet is a rigorous dance form that involves a lot of muscle strength, movement and control. It is all about precision and smooth movements on toes. This is tedious to achieve and often leads to injury while maintaining postures.

How often do professional ballerinas change their shoes?

Depending on your level of training, most pointe shoes made from traditional materials need to be changed after every 10 to 20 hours of use. 

Why do ballerinas wear pink?

Initially, when this dance originated in Italy and Paris, the idea was to extend the lines and make their limbs look longer and more elegant, as the dancers were very pale and had pink or rosy skin. They wore what matched their face and arms.