What should i do to prepare myself for Ballet classes this fall?

Question by ♥ Cute T ♥: What should i do to prepare myself for Ballet classes this fall?
I’ve done Tap for a long, but they mostly worked on ankle exercises. I am pretty stretchy. I’m going to start stretching at least once a day and work on the 5 positions. I can put my weight on my fingertips on the floor while keeping my back and legs straight (inflexibility runs in the family.. except for my dad, lol) and I’ve been reading about doing the splits, but is there anything else I should know?
How do i get my positions perfect? I want my positions to be more than “decent” by the time class starts up on Sept. 18th. I kinda have a “you gotta clean your house before the maid gets here” attitude, but I want to be as good as i can and excel quickly! I know the teachers will help with with all that, but I can only take classes once a week and I REALLY want to get far in this before too long.
Also.. what do you wear to Ballet classes? What kind of pointers did you teacher give you about.. anything when you first started taking Ballet/Pointe?
I am 15 years old. and have NEVER taken Ballet or anything similar to it before, lol.
All help will be MUCH appreciated! 😀
I’m really kind of desperate here, lol. I’m hungry for all knowledge on this! 🙂

Best answer:

Answer by LaaraFaara
I’m 14 and did a bit ballet when I was 10, but I’m going to start again at September.
I feel the same way, and stretch every day.
Try this…: http://www.ballet-bible.com …
Good luck:D

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4 Responses to “What should i do to prepare myself for Ballet classes this fall?”

  • ballerina says:

    Continue stretching as much as possible (without hurting yourself). I wouldn’t worry too much about the positions – you can get them perfect within an instant, and it may be wise to have a teacher’s guidance just to make sure that it is positively correct. You could work on your turn out (go around the house with your feet turned outward), practice pointing your toes to build up a nice arch, and do some releves (go onto the balls of your feet) to prepare your calve muscles.
    Good luck!

  • janine_rs says:

    NO! DON’T WALK AROUND THE HOUSE WITH YOUR FEET TURNED OUTWARD!!! That is NOT how you achieve turn-out and a sure-fire way to cause serious knee damage.

    If you want to do something to get into physical shape, make sure your endurance is built up: swim, walk, work out to an exercise video. Also, build up arm strength by holding small weights in your hands and slowly raising your arms out from your sides and then hold them out for as long as you can past the point of feeling the burn.

    Otherwise, the best thing you can do is to study the American Ballet Theatre Ballet Dictionary to drill the dance terms into your head. Train your brain before you attempt to train your body by yourself without knowing what you’re doing. If you do things incorrectly, it will take you longer to unlearn bad habits. Do not even THINK of trying to get positions “perfect” because that will only cause you to be less open to what the teacher says and the corrections they want to give you. Don’t even aim for more than decent at this point. You’re a beginning student, so you must be totally open and willing to listen CAREFULLY as a new student. In fact, you might even be better off if you go into class willing to make mistakes.

    The best student you can be is one who is eager to try anything with enthusiasm while also knowing that you don’t know anything. Go into class with a clean blank slate for your teacher to write on, not one in which you think you already know a lot and therefore block out a lot of what the teacher is saying.

    I’m going to share one of my daughter’s best secrets for picking up technique very quickly: Never put your hands on your hips in class (unless it’s part of the choreography) – EVER. When the teacher is talking, try to hold your arms down at your sides if you’re not engaged in a step or marking your moves. Try not to cross your arms in front or in back of you. Remember that you are literally learning a BODY LANGUAGE, so you should not block out that learning with other body language that says you’re tired, impatient or uncomfortable. Marking moves is an excellent learning tool, but as a beginner, you won’t know how to do that for some time. The best you can do is to try to make slightly smaller moves that copy what the teacher is doing as s/he is demonstrating them.

    Focus on soaking in everything that the teacher says and does in class and less on what you THINK will make you a better dancer at this point and you will go far.

  • Chuy M says:

    I realize that as a man and one who started to do the spits in my late 20’s and as someone who is above averagely muscular always seems to cause a lot of surprise when I do the front splits. (I can’t do the straddle splits yet but I’m about 8” from the ground at this point.) The reason that I bring this up is that I think anyone can do the splits, even the least likely candidates like me, and this is how.

    Warm up with some cardiovascular exercise. I usually do the elliptical machine. Once warm the following stretches work really well.

    Sit with legs together and reach both hands until you have your feet in your hands. Keep your back as straight as possible. Breathe normally and deeply. Hold for 30 Seconds.

    While seated, bend one leg with foot back and away from body. Knee should be about 30 degrees away from other straight leg. Reach for foot of straight leg. Breathe normally and deeply. Hold for 30 Seconds. Repeat with other leg.

    Lay on back. With one leg straight, pull other knee to chest with both hands. Breathe normally and deeply. Hold for 30 Seconds. Then pull same knee gently to the side until upper arm is flat on ground (If it hurts stop.) Breathe normally and deeply. Hold for 30 Seconds. With hand of same side grab outside of foot palm down and pull towards body. (If it hurts stop.) Breathe normally and deeply. Hold for 30 Seconds. With both hands grab same part of foot and gently pull towards center and hold. (If it hurts stop.) Breathe normally and deeply. Hold for 30 Seconds. Repeat other side.

    Sit back up and place foot of one leg flat to the outside of the knee of the other and rotate upper body so that you can put the elbow of the straight legged side to the out side of bent knee. Look behind you as you do this. This one’s a yoga move I just don’t remember what it’s called. Breathe normally and deeply. Hold for 30 Seconds. Repeat other side.

    Now put soles of feet together and as close to the groin area as possible. Grab the outsides of your feet together while knitting fingers. Use your elbows to push down knees. Keep back straight. Go as far down as you can with out pain in the knee. If you feel any knee pain or pressure ease up or stop. Breathe normally and deeply. Hold for 30 Seconds.

    From this position extend one leg so that knee of extended leg is against sole of foot. Reach for sole of extended leg’s foot. Keep back strait and don’t bounce. Breathe normally and deeply. Hold for 30 Seconds. Repeat other side.

    Now spread legs as far as comfortable. Reach towards center with back straight. Then reach for either sole with back as straight as manageable. Breathe normally and deeply. Hold for 30 Seconds for each side and center. Spread legs a little further if you can and repeat center.

    Lie on stomach and bring bent leg under body so that knee is close to sternum and back is straight and parallel to ground. Breathe normally and deeply. Hold for 30 Seconds. From this position put palms on ground and push chest upward so that leg behind and upper body bend toward each other stretching abdomen a little. Breathe normally and deeply. Hold for 30 Seconds. Repeat other side.

    After this you can attempt the splits a little but don’t try to go all the way down. It will take several months, or more if you’re super old like me—33, but do not rush it or you may hurt yourself. Always make sure there is no undue pressure on your knees and/or back and if there is stop immediately. Don’t risk injury. I wish you luck. I apologize if the descriptions are hard to follow.

  • godsdanceg says:

    Well, as to what to wear, most studios have rules about this in their policy. So check there first, or ask at the studio you will be attending. If you can’t do that then the most widely accepted outfit is a black leotard with pink tights and pink ballet slippers for girls. It varies from studio to studio but some studios allow dancers to wear shorts or a ballet skirt in class while others prefer to have just a leotard and tights. Wear your up in a classic bun at least for the first day of class and then you can see how everyone else dresses and does their hair. Good luck in your class!

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