Let's take a look at that ever present elephant in the room- consistency. All of the best plans can sometimes fall apart at the last minute. We have all been there! Whether you are a youth dancer or adult dancer sometimes things come up! However, being consistent in your ballet practice, both as an adult and a youth dancer, makes a big difference in your ability to safely dance and progress at a speed that you would like.
Let's take a look at why it makes a difference. Ballet is constantly building upon itself. You are always learning new vocabulary, steps, and combos. When you miss your class you miss important information and opportunities. Ballet is an activity that is based in muscle memory, strength, and flexibility. Those take repeated movements to accomplish. Ballet is not a one and done kind of activity. Sometimes children will think that they did a tendu once so therefore they know it. A simple tendu takes take years to perfect. Ballet is much like an onion. When you grasp the understanding of a step you realize there is a whole new level under that one to polish. Honestly, that is one of the things I love about ballet. There is always something to investigate and improve. This is why we recommend at least two classes a week. You can also do things at home to practice outside of class. You can practice what you worked on in class that perhaps you didn't quite grasp or strengthening exercises. We as teachers are always happy to give you a list of things to work on at home if you ask!
There is also the artistic side of ballet. Once you feel comfortable with the actual steps that you have been asked to do you then need to start adding epualment and artistry to the movements. This usually occurs at the more advanced levels but can be done in the simpler combinations at the lower level. That is where the fun really comes in! But to be able to get to this level of comfort you must make sure that you are attending classes regularly.
Often friendships and community is built in the ballet class. By being consistent with class attendance you can make friends and a built in support system for your classes! We all need that ballet buddy who cheers us on and pushes us to be our best.
While there is never a need to berate yourself for missing a class it is in a dancers best interest to pick a schedule and stick to it when possible. Sometimes you have to fight through that urge to go home after work and just head to the studio. The endorphins that kick in during class will make you so glad that you did. As will the accomplishments!!