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Ballet - Beginners
Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners) (karma: 24)
By mandarina Comments: 1278, member since Sun Jul 31, 2005
On Mon Jun 25, 2007 04:19 PM
Made sticky by pharmadancer (87219) on 2007-06-28 10:26:02

“Oh no! I am having my first ballet class. What should I expect?!”
Here is a, hopefully, complete and helpful thread to answer your question. Oh! and welcome to join the dazzling ballet world. :]

Effort & Class conduct
All dancers must be willing to push themselves to be the best dancer they can be.
At all times dancers must show respect to their instructors and classmates.
Be on time and ready to dance.

Get Ready
Dress Code
Have you checked the school dress code? (Some schools have very strict dress code. Please pay attention to that before you purchase your dream leotard.)

Image hotlink - 'http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c172/huang_kewen/geneschiavonephotographystudio.jpg'

Leotards/Tights/Flats Thread: www.dance.net . . .
Warm Up gears: www.dance.net . . .
Hair in bun (preferred) or pony tail. www.dance.net . . .


Dancers are the athletes of God. ~Albert Einstein

Dance is the hidden language of the soul. ~Martha Graham

I see dance being used as communication between body and soul, to express what it too deep to find for words. ~Ruth St. Denis


Turn yourself into a ballet/dance mode before the class start. It will always help you to get into the atmosphere quicker and get ready to dance. (Whatever you are worrying, stressing about, throw it outside the studio.)

Warm Up
- This often takes place before class.
- In some beginner classes, the teacher may lead the students to do some stretching and warming up at the beginning of the class.

Image hotlink - 'http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c172/huang_kewen/1005.jpg'

Why warming up is important
Simple answer: to be safe. The main purpose of warming up is to increase your heart rate slightly. This has two benefits: 1) it raises your core body temperature; and 2) it increases the blood (oxygen) flow to your muscles to prepare your body for more vigorous physical activity. Your muscles and tendons (which attach your muscles to your bones) will be more flexible for stretching after mild movement has raised your internal body temperature. This flexibility helps you increase the range of motion of your joints and may help you avoid injuries such as muscle tears and pulls.

How Long should I warm up?
t takes your body approximately 3 minutes to realize it needs to pump more blood to your muscles. Warm ups should last approximately 5 - 10 minutes and they should incorporate stretching of large muscle groups (such as the quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, shoulders etc...)

Stretching Board: www.dance.net . . .
Strengthening Board: www.dance.net . . .

Image hotlink - 'http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c172/huang_kewen/stretching.jpg'

Barre
The barre is a handrail, approximately waist-high, that dancersuse to steady themselves during the first part of a ballet class. The barre provides a reference point; it can be used to provide resistance,as when you press down on it to lengthen the spine; and it is your first partner. "Barre" is also a shorthand term for exercises done at the barre; dancers frequently refer to "doing a barre," for example to warm up just before performing.

Image hotlink - 'http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c172/huang_kewen/Insprt20Prjct20Barre20attitude20ach.jpg'

Examples (Know what you expect)

Plie www.youtube.com . . .

Tendu www.youtube.com . . .

Degage www.youtube.com . . .

Frappe www.youtube.com . . .

Rond De Jambe www.youtube.com . . .

Fondu www.youtube.com . . .

Grand Battement www.youtube.com . . .

Centre
Then you move to the center of the studio to
work without support. The second part of class, called adage consists of slow work in which the emphasis is on sustaining positions and on balance. The final part of class, allegro, consists of fast work, mostly combinations (sequences of steps) with the big jumps and turns that make
ballet such an impressive and dazzling sight.

Image hotlink - 'http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c172/huang_kewen/UBACD138.jpg'

Port de bras www.youtube.com . . .

Adagio www.youtube.com . . .

Pirouette www.youtube.com . . .

Grand jete www.youtube.com . . .

Jump (e-teacher) www.youtube.com . . .

Combinations www.youtube.com . . .

*note: exersizes may variey between teachers.


Remember to applause and thank the teacher at the end of the class.

Cool Down
There is a part for warming up. Why not cooling down?
It is often the best time for stretching as your body is fully warm up. Your muscles are best and easiest to be stretched at this point of time. Cooling down stretching also help to avoid the soreness and tightness you may feel after class.
Image hotlink - 'http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c172/huang_kewen/stretching1.jpg'

Why Cool Down?
After you've reached and maintained your training heart rate level in the aerobic portion of your class, it is important to recover gently. The cool down serves two purposes: 1) it reduces your pulse; and 2) it returns the blood to your heart in sufficient quantities to rid the muscles of lactic acid (a chemical result of muscular fatigue). If you stop suddenly, the blood will pool in your legs instead of returning to your heart. Dizziness, nausea and a "worn out" feeling are common symptoms of an improper cool down.

Duration of Cool Downs
It takes your body approximately 3 minutes to realize it does not need to pump all the additional blood to your muscles. A safe cool down period is at least 3 minutes, preferably 4-5 minutes. All cool downs should be followed by stretching of the muscles to avoid soreness and tightness

Image hotlink - 'http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c172/huang_kewen/untitled-3.jpg'

After all, remember the passion and enjoy it!!


Talk about dance? Dance is not something to talk about. Dance is to dance.
~Peter Saint James


:]

Sources
Warm up/ cool down: www.hws.wsu.edu . . .
Videos: youtube

139 Replies to Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)

re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By sing4joymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 374, member since Thu Jun 30, 2005
On Mon Jun 25, 2007 04:29 PM
Thank you mandarina, this is a great resource for beginners :) a potential sticky, maybe?
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By CrazyDramaGirl88member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 370, member since Wed Jan 03, 2007
On Mon Jun 25, 2007 06:41 PM
^^ I very much agree! Sticky sounds nice. There seem to be tons of "first ballet class" posts floating around!
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By AtomicBlonde Comments: 42, member since Mon Jun 25, 2007
On Mon Jun 25, 2007 09:48 PM
This is beautiful; I'm starting my first ballet class (well, since I was a little thing) in the fall, and I love reading about what to expect. Thanks for the post, mandarina =)
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By Caitlin_dance Comments: 145, member since Sat Jun 23, 2007
On Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:02 PM
hey this was a really good post i liked the videos showing how to do certain things
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By mooshrimp Comments: 1700, member since Sat Mar 31, 2007
On Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:07 PM
I love how you can always tell which ones are intended to be made stickies... :P One thing you should add is that people shouldn't be intimidated after one class. It's gonna be hard. They shouldn't be discouraged if they can't even remember the first combination. It comes very, very slowly... Very. I took me MONTHS to be able to keep up...
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By jb_dancer_chicamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1645, member since Thu Jun 19, 2003
On Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:18 PM
AWESOME post!! It should be really helpfull...
Just some things to add ( if you dont mind)
After center exercises you might do some exercises and combinations across the floor either from one side of the room to the other or on the diagonal from one corner ( upstage left = right side, upstage right= left side.) This might include traveling petite allegro, grand allegro and turns. This enables you to use the entire room ! At the very end of class some classes do a formal reverance, which basically consists of a curtsy or bow. First the teacher usually thanks her/his students then you thank your teacher and you accompianist ( if you have one) then maybe an applause ( depending on the school. )

:D
jb_dancer
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By stripedballerinamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 380, member since Wed Jul 20, 2005
On Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:58 PM
Thank you, I've already started taking classes (again) but it was still very informative, I didn't know I had to cool down after class.
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By dancin4life3737 Comments: 142, member since Thu Jul 20, 2006
On Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:50 PM
This is such a GREAT post! I certainly could have used it days before my irst ballet class!

dance your heart out,
dancin4life3737
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By LeMusiquemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4424, member since Fri Jun 23, 2006
On Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:54 PM
Edited by BlueTutu_ (161650) on 2007-06-26 12:55:42 messed up with this one certain parentheses
*chants sticky sticky sticky!!!** This is great! Although, it might not be made into one for a while.(too many stickies out of the same nature).. but... hopefully a while is.."soon"!!

MK
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By hannahhuxleymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 452, member since Mon Jun 04, 2007
On Tue Jun 26, 2007 01:14 PM
thats really helpful! thankyou :D
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By baile_a_chica Comments: 133, member since Thu Jun 21, 2007
On Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:14 AM
i hope every ballet beginner will read this because it very very VERY helpful!!!
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By cloud_dancer Comments: 42, member since Thu Jul 05, 2007
On Fri Jul 06, 2007 03:11 PM
wow! this post helped me SOOOOO much! i've only been doing ballet since June, but my teacher was impressed because i practiced everything from this post ALOT! i think ALL beginners like me should read this! thanks =D!
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By sasha1656 Comments: 70, member since Thu Jul 05, 2007
On Fri Jul 06, 2007 09:06 PM
thank you..its nice of you to make such a detailed list of things begginers would know. Im sure it will help a whole lot of people to be much more confident in their first class KUDOS! TATA for now.
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By maureensiobhan Comments: 4726, member since Wed Dec 24, 2003
On Sat Jul 07, 2007 08:44 AM
I have one thing to say, though, about stretching before class. Stretching must never be done before class. If you stretch before class, you can injure your tendons, muscles and ligaments. The tendons, muscles and ligaments are too cold then. Stretching is not a warmup. The barre portion of the class is your warmup. If you want to warm up before the barre, do some prances in place, then do some prances around the room. When you have completed the barre, usually lasting about a half hour, then you can stretch. Stretching is also a great way to cool down at the end of class.
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By cloud_dancer Comments: 42, member since Thu Jul 05, 2007
On Sat Jul 07, 2007 03:30 PM
wow! thank you SO much for posting this! i'm very new to ballet, and this helped me with just about ALL the questions i had! this is an awesome post that all ballet beginners should read =D!
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By bridgettea Comments: 30, member since Mon Jun 11, 2007
On Mon Jul 09, 2007 06:09 PM
Wow, I had my first ballet class tonight before reading this but this si exactly right. I happened pretty much like this.
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By irenie_poomember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 4196, member since Mon Oct 09, 2006
On Tue Jul 10, 2007 01:52 PM
This si great :) Good photos too :)
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By spicegalinbk Comments: 3, member since Wed Jul 18, 2007
On Wed Jul 18, 2007 09:48 AM
thank you for posting this sticky. it rocks and it makes me feel better about dance class
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By nextBWAYstar Comments: 30, member since Mon Jul 23, 2007
On Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:30 AM
thanks so much this is exactly what i needed!!!! love the video references they are perfect for beginners!!!
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By ballet_dancer34 Comments: 20, member since Mon Jul 02, 2007
On Tue Jul 24, 2007 09:54 AM
Wow! Thank you very much! This post is very helpful!
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By LakiWaki Comments: 23, member since Fri Aug 03, 2007
On Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:16 AM
omg!!!!!thanx soo much for posting this!!!i am twelve years old and danced when i was about 4 and 5!!!i am starting again at a dance school that i know no-one at and on top of that i am starting at begginers!!!i hope i excel fast,i have a gut feeling that i will!!!i am going to suck it up and pray that everything goes well!!!!
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By dancerem Comments: 30, member since Sun Oct 22, 2006
On Fri Aug 03, 2007 07:33 AM
WOW this is a really great post the videos are very helpful even for aged dancers!
= )
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By maggiemay Comments: 35, member since Wed Aug 08, 2007
On Wed Aug 08, 2007 09:36 PM
Thank you so much. this is wonderful. =]
re: Oh no! first BALLET CLASS?! (Ultimate guide for beginners)
By xixDancingDreams Comments: 25, member since Mon May 21, 2007
On Tue Aug 14, 2007 09:47 PM
thank you so much for this post. im starting my first ballet class in 4 years on tuesday.. i was a little nervous about starting up agian but this really helped.
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