It was during the 15th century when ballet originated in the courts of Italian Renaissance. During that time, people considered ballet as a type of performance dance. Later on, the French and Russians developed it into a concert dance form. Unlike other forms of dance, ballet seems to have a vocabulary of its own. Many consider it a highly technical form of dance, with its own brand of music accompanying each dancer’s movements. When considering just how to ballet dance, one has to understand that there’s more to it than just mastering side leaps, pirouettes, pique turns, and many more. Choreographers use their own cultures and incorporate these into ballets (the movements). Afterward, the choreographers set the moves to music, making sure that each beat and pulse of the music corresponds to each leap, turn, and aplomb.
You would be surprised to know that most other dance forms actually got their inspiration from ballet. Unbelievably, this poised style of dance set the foundational techniques for other forms of dance. Nevertheless, even dance teachers and choreographers are one in saying that this particular type of dance is very hard to master. Being a very good ballet dancer requires thorough and meticulous practice sessions. Ballet is further divided into various styles, which are romantic ballet, expressionist ballet, neoclassical ballet, and contemporary ballet where elements of modern dance were integrated. If you’re very much interested in learning how to ballet dance, there are several things you need to know.
For one, you need to understand that unless you’re truly passionate about ballet, it would be hard for you to put yourself into every exercise, move, and routine. Ballet is all about restraint. One thing unites ballet dancers all over the world. These are love of the beauty, grace, and discipline of ballet. In ballet, there are basic positions and techniques that you need to follow. Of course, these have undergone revisions over the years in keeping with the ever-changing time. Nevertheless, the basic positions have remained the same. If you watch a ballerina dance, you would get the impression that she’s gliding effortlessly across the stage. That’s because ballet dancers are taught to exemplify grace and elegance on-stage. They need to look tall, even taller with their pointe shoes. In addition, they have to appear light on their feet, as if the wind is carrying them around.
In order to learn how to ballet dance, you need to master its five basic positions for the feet and arms. This is very important since every basic move in ballet would begin and end in one of these five positions. For the feet, the first position would require you to turn out the balls of your feet completely. Your heels need to touch each other, with your feet facing outward so that you’re forming a straight line. The second position is similar to the first one, albeit you need to spread your feet apart. For the third position, you need to place one foot in front of the other, with the toe of the front foot touching the back foot’s middle part. The fourth position is the same as the third one, except the feet are a step apart. The fifth position is a variation of the third; both feet are touching, with the toes of each foot reaching the heel of the other.
You begin a ballet move in the premiere en bas or preparatory position. It’s a beginning pose used to start and end a floor combination, which is very crucial when learning how to ballet dance. Here, you need to hold your back straight and hold your head high. It’s important to let your arms relax in front of you as well as your hands and shoulders. Both of your arms should be rounded, with your fingers barely touching. It’s noteworthy you may execute the arm positions with your feet in any of the five positions mentioned above. This would prepare you for the first arm position.
In the first position, you need to hold both arms low in front of the body, with the arms slightly bent in the elbows. Then, you need to raise your arms and bring your fingers close enough to touch your navel.
For the second position, you have to raise your arms to the side while keeping these slightly rounded. Lower your elbows a little below your shoulders, making sure your wrists are lower than your elbows.
The third position would require you work your arms opposite the position of your legs; thus, when your right foot is in front, you should be raising your left arm over your head, in a slightly forward position. At this point, your right arm must be rounded to the side at belly button height.
The same goes for the fourth position where arms work opposite the legs. Bring your left arm forward and slightly rounded at chest-level while raising your slightly rounded arm above your head.
For the fifth and final position, you need to bring your arms back to the first position, with your arms raised over your head. Round your arms, making sure that your elbows are slightly bent and that they are at least six inches apart. You need to remember that the fifth position is sub-divided into three, which are the low, middle, and high fifth positions.
Once you’ve mastered the five feet and arm positions, then you may start learning the basic moves that would make you a very good ballet dancer. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that in ballet, you always need to keep your shoulders down, your neck long, and your chin up. It’s all about poise, so show them just how dignified you are on-stage.