It is often said that regardless of the type of dance you want to learn (Zumba, African dance, Cuban salsa, Bachata, Argentine tango, Flamenco, Rumba, Bollywood …), one should start with classical dance.
This is of course not compulsory, but if you look at the benefits of classical dance for your body and mind, it can be very interesting to take some classes in the dance studio.
Grace, elegance, elasticity, rigor, discipline, harmony of the body, memory.
Classical dance makes it possible to float above the ground with feather-like ease. It is beneficial for body and mind and almost defies the laws of gravity. Nowadays it is no longer a question of torturing your muscles. The main focus is on gentle stretching to train coordination and balance .
Still wondering why you should start ballet instead of taking salsa lessons?
Superprof gives you every reason to follow your instincts!
If you want to find out whether ballet is your sport, read our article on ballet simply explained!
Classical dance for more elegance
The prima ballerina enters the stage from the courtyard side. She performs a solo that leaves no room for improvisation, lives every pas de deux, every entrechat and every battements.
The classical ballet dancer occupies the entire room and fills the hall with her appearance, her elegance and her grace. With pointe shoes or slippers, dressed in a tutu worthy of a ball gown, and hair tied in a strict bun, the prima ballerina embodies femininity and lightness.
No wonder that young girls and women would like to emulate her.
Classical dance is the best way to improve posture and gain grace in daily life as well . Even in the introductory course, you learn to be straight and to tense all your muscles in order to prevent the risk of injury. Classical ballet also means perfect body control.
It is often recommended for people suffering from back pain as it works the abs and back, and can even correct the feet that are turned inward.
The key to elegance lies above all in the position of the head : shoulders low, shoulder blades close together and a stretched neck. You can often recognize ballet dancers by the way they hold their heads.
But there is also the position of the arms : the ballet dancer has muscular arms and shoulders, unlike in Zumba classes. By regularly repeating the dynamic openings, the various postures and positions, you adopt a completely different posture.
Did you know that ballet is the basis for various types of dance such as modern dance, contemporary dance, jazz dance. Learn more about the history of ballet dance here !
Gain flexibility and lightness thanks to classical dance
From the first dance class (or floor barre), your dance teacher will work with you on the flexibility. In the beginning it is of course scary to see that the others are much more flexible than you are, but you can work on that! And yes, it is possible at any age.
Flexibility is mostly a characteristic of classical ballet , but it will come in handy if you want to practice other dances such as contemporary dance, modern dance, sports dance, or even hip-hop, oriental dance, and waltz.
Remember to choose an outfit that does not affect your mobility: tricots, leggings or tights, a wrap jacket and slippers.
In a ballet class , it takes a long time to warm up in order to achieve the necessary flexibility and to minimize the risk of injury. The extensibility comes step by step with the repetition of battements and arabesques. Your foot posture will get better, the en-dehors bigger and your leg will come higher and higher.
Even if elasticity takes a lot of time, you should never force your body to take up certain positions. I’m not claiming that you can work on its elasticity without any effort, but it should definitely be bearable.
Plus, your body will feel a little different every day. One day you can easily reach your feet with your legs straight, the next day you may not even get to your ankles. Listen to your body and don’t go beyond your limits, otherwise you risk pulling a muscle or overstretching the ligaments.
Classical dance can look very beautiful even if the dancers cannot put their feet behind their heads. On the other hand, elasticity can also prevent discomfort such as osteoarthritis or rheumatism at any age .
Did you know that ballet is a dance style that can be practiced at any age. Superprof tells you how you can learn classical ballet as an adult!
Classical ballet to achieve rigor and discipline
Classical ballet is usually taught in rigorous lessons.
No matter what level you dance at, when you come into a dance hall, even if it’s just a trial lesson, you have to adhere to certain rules of behaviour:
- There will be no speaking during the course,
- you listen to the dance teacher,
- no class is missed (unless there is a valid reason), otherwise the entire group will be penalized, you are not late
- you don’t leave the course early,
- you are polite and wear a suitable outfit.
These are all sensible rules for a good togetherness. Don’t worry, the days when the choreographer used to teach with a baton is over!
The dance lesson is a perfect place to develop and improve, but also to relax, to exert yourself (classical dance is a sport in its own right, as you will quickly notice with the first sore muscles) and to make friends.
But the practice of dance requires rigor and discipline. You will be expected to be focused and 100% focused. You will find that this is very useful in order to forget all your worries and to focus on the course . You are exhausted after the course, but still full of energy.
Train your brain by memorizing dance choreographies
In most cases, the dancers learn a choreographic sequence during a dance workshop, a private dance class or a group lesson.
If you are new to dancing, you will first have to learn this new approach and new spiritual sport in order to memorize the appropriate steps to music . If, on the other hand, you have already learned standard dance, Latin American dances or tap dance, then you are already familiar with this approach and can learn it more easily.
Therefore, you have to be consistent and disciplined during a course and stay 100% focused: otherwise your brain will not internalize what you are dancing.
The difficulty is remembering the steps leading up to the next course. A tip: repeat the steps regularly to remind yourself and don’t wait until the evening before the class, as this increases the likelihood that you have forgotten them in the meantime.
In ballet it is important to be musical. But don’t panic if you think you aren’t. One can learn that. You will learn to move in tune with the music, count the beat and live the music.
Don’t forget to factor in your teacher’s corrections with each class. In short, do not believe that classical dance is just a physical sport, it is also an intellectual and artistic sport . Train your grey matter!
Lose weight with classical ballet
Even if things change slowly, the slimming craze is a fact in classical ballet. While it’s not about reaching the extremes demanded by the Paris Opera, it’s undeniable that dance makes you lose weight.
But don’t necessarily lose weight: classical dance develops muscles, tightens the skin and burns calories.
You can see this particularly clearly in the legs. After a few courses with Grands Pliés, Ronds de jambe or Dégagés, you will find that your muscles tighten and your legs become more defined. Because yes, classical dance stretches the muscles and doesn’t let them swell, as is the case with other sports.
This way you get beautiful thin, toned and muscular legs, well-defined thighs and calves, strong ankles and a strong kick.
The waist is also more defined by the abdominal exercises, the buttocks and arm muscles are shaped. In short, classical dance is the ideal sport for those who want to regain their fitness and maintain a feminine and shapely body.
All in all:
- Classical ballet inspires above all with grace, elegance and femininity. Three advantages that are also noticeable in everyday life.
- Flexibility is one of the characteristics of classical ballet, but today it is gradually trained without violence and taking into account the limits of one’s own body. It is not absolutely necessary to be able to do the balancing act in order to start classical dance. However, staying flexible at any age reduces the risk of injury.
- Rigor and discipline are other important factors in the world of classical dance. As a child, it can help you come down and focus.
- Classical dance is also an intellectual discipline. It is necessary to memorize the various steps and sequences that the teacher gives you.
- Ultimately, classical dance is one of the best sports to sculpt your body by stretching muscles and making skin firmer.
Now that you are convinced that ballet is the right dance style for you, it is time to find a dance instructor. Superprof tells you what to look for when looking for a suitable dance teacher ! Superprof also explains why you should still start ballet as an adult .