Today, I am going to brag about a girl name Andee's blog, Determined Dancer. Determined Dancer is a really neat blog, and Andee is a ballet teacher, and wants to be in a professional company. Here are a few of the things that she blogged about:
Determined Dancer is an awesome blog to read because it's important to see ballet through all eyes, the audience (watch ballets), the student (study hard), and the teacher (read her or his point of view ;) ).
Andee has been so kind to put together an article for you guys! Thanks So much Andee!
Dancing Knows No Age
Many say age is just a number. To a dancer age is much more. It is a constant reminder of the short precious years you have to make it as an outstanding or professional dancer. Relax, take a deep breath and know that at any age you can achieve your goals as a dancer and capture an audience.
A lot of students new to dance get intimidated when they hear dancers with more experience say things like: "I have been dancing for ten years". Hearing such things can act as instant intimidation. What a lot of inexperienced dancers don't know is that true technical training does not start at age three. Most students do not begin to learn true technique until around age eight. Students who begin dance at an older age do however have certain advantages. Maturity comes with age and many young dancers do not realize how important it is to put 110% into their dancing. Many will take their valuable years as a youthful dancer for granted and get lazy. A dancer that starts out later knows how imperative it is for them to be completely dedicated and work twice as hard. As a teacher, I appreciate the ballerina who started later than the other students. Teachers value dancers who work hard and they can see the seriousness and determination in a late start dancer. The maturity that you posses will help develop your personal style as a dancer and it will help you learn how to perform and not just dance through the motions. No teacher or audience wants to watch a robot, they want to see an artist. Your maturity will help you grasp artistry much faster because you are putting vast amounts of effort into learning every aspect of dance to keep up with the dancers who are more seasoned.
Technique is not everything but it is a priority for all ballet dancers. As a beginning dancer it is hard not to struggle with technique. It is difficult for advanced dancers let alone a new dancer that tends to over analyze every single aspect of their body. Making sure that you are doing your best to have proper placement of your body is very important but do not pay so much attention that you drive yourself crazy. Over analysis can lead to physical and mental exhaustion. A lot of dancers focus too much on things like having multiple turns and insane extension. Sometimes they focus so much that they tend to put the "small things" on the back burner. Things like strong sculpted feet and turnout are two things that I would recommend dancers pay close attention to every time they dance. Being a hard working blossoming dancer means that each class will be challenging and exhausting. Regardless, you should always take class and perform full out. You do not want to get lazy or learn bad habits. It is much easier to learn good habits than spend your precious time learning to break the bad habits that you have picked up. Another thing I would suggest to any dancer is to not compare yourself to other dancers. Correction, I should say: do not over compare yourself to other dancers. I say that because comparing others abilities to our own talents is simply something we all do as humans. It can be very destructive if you are too critical of your body and its limits. Believe in yourself and set your own goals. Short term and long term goals are wonderful tools to help keep yourself on track. Set goals that you know you will be able to reach in a short period of time and also set goals that are far out of your reach. Try writing them down in a journal or even put them in your phone. This way everyday you wake up you will have an idea of what you are working towards and then you can visualize and map out your progress.
One of the most important pieces of advice I could give any dancer is to prepare for setbacks. Every single dancer deals with their own demons and you need to learn how to tame them. One year I took a summer dance intensive at Idyllwild Arts Academy in California and learned something that I remind myself as a dancer daily..."There will always be someone younger, better, and that can do more pirouettes." Find something that keeps you down to Earth and remind yourself of that daily. There is nothing worse than a dancer who walks around like they have a tiara on their head at all times.
Find out what you want to get out of dance. Regardless if you want to be a principal dancer in a company, a ballet teacher or if you just enjoy dancing because it makes you happy, do yourself a favor and give it your all. You do not want to wake up one morning and wonder "what if?". No matter what your age or skill level may be, push your body to the limits and dance because you love it. With a lot of hard work and the passion that drives you, rest assured you will blossom into the dancer that you desire to be.
I hope you liked Monday's Blog Brag! Come back tomorrow for Tuesday's Tips on foot technique.