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Why Study Ballet?

I was watching a fictional show on Netflix about attorneys in New York City the other day, and one of the characters, who has a great love of ballet, had this conversation with his boss reminiscing about a company retreat:

“You know what I remember most about you that night, how good a dancer you were”

“Five years Long Island Ballet”

“You weren't dancing ballet that night”

“They say ballet is the foundation of everything”

“Well, sir, you have an amazing foundation” [1]

I grew up dancing with a modern/creative movement approach, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Well, maybe for a bit of that technical foundation. I didn't begin my ballet training until I went to college to major in dance, which was rough. I'm incredibly grateful for all the creativity I was imbued with throughout my childhood, but at the time I was resentful that my teacher was so anti-ballet. Over time I found a balance between technique and creativity, and had many years dancing in professional modern companies, in NYC, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. And I came to appreciate just how important that ballet foundation is to any aspiring dancer. Most dancers who study ballet will never be a prima ballerina in a major ballet company, and less than 10% will ever go on to dance professionally in any sort of company[2], but everyone can benefit from ballet training.

Just five of many reasons to study ballet:

  • Ballet improves your posture, strength, flexibility, and musicality.

  • Ballet is the foundation of many dance styles. It makes you a better dancer, whether it be jazz, modern, lyrical, contemporary, tap, ballroom, or hip hop.

  • Ballet increases a dancer's confidence, in class and on stage.

  • Ballet helps with coordination and micro-abilities, that can help kids in many other areas, of life, even alertness in school.

  • Ballet teaches life lessons, including how to deal with pressure, disappointments, challenges, and ultimately, success.

1 Suits, Season 3, Episode 14

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