The Importance of a Good Foundation
In Ballet or dance of any kind, there is nothing more important than your foundation. Just as a building's foundation supports the entire structure your dance foundation supports your lifelong dancing. If a building's foundation isn't sound and well thought out the building is likely to be sub par or not stand to the rigors of time, weather, etc. With Ballet the foundation is the most important thing you can learn as it will help prevent injuries as well set you up for success. This can be learned at any age but should be during the first levels with proper technique and repetition. Without a good foundation to support the dancer, complex movements will not be polished or properly executed. Learning complex steps before the foundation is well established is like putting on a roof before the walls are up. Everything has an order to it and establishing an unwavering foundation is the absolute first goal of a dancer.
The foundations of Ballet are placement, alignment, strength, and coordination through all the basic movements. The whole body must move and work together to safely execute movements. This would apply to both barre and center work. It used to break my heart to see a student come into my open classes in NYC who thought they were an advanced dancer because they know advanced steps; however, once they started moving it was apparent that they had absolutely no foundation training from which to pull and nothing was polished or quite right. As a young teacher I vowed never to let this happen under my watch. It is so important to me that a dancer is given all of the tools to have a foundation to excel in dance. That is why our students stand out.
At BAF we have a very defined Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced syllabi. Not all steps are appropriate for all levels. Each level builds upon the previous level. I absolutely love seeing my students of any level conquer what they are working toward. That accomplishment is such a beautiful reward for them. And being introduced to the next challenge is a great boost as well. On our website it says that we are giving students a "solid foundation for excellence in dance." And we truly mean it!
I encourage you as a student to explore what your foundation means to you. Think about where you might need a bit more work and where you feel like you are ready to challenge yourself a bit more. Your teachers at BAF are here to help you! This is what we love doing!!