Readers’ Blog

The Truth Behind Ballet

Popularity 1Viewed 1416 times 2017-3-3 00:28 |Personal category:Performance|System category:Life| ballet, experience, discipline, passion

To many people, ballet is just a type of dance. To be a ballerina, everyone knows you have to be flexible, skinny, and graceful. When ballerinas dance on stage, they don't show any effort. They can do countless turns on pointe shoes (which, from personal experience, are very painful and hurt your feet very badly) without even changing their facial expression. If a football players makes an ugly face while scoring a goal, nobody would notice. But if a ballerina would make a slightly cringing face while she is dancing, she would be on the cover of the news. So, the stereotype of ballerinas (skinny, flexible, and graceful), may be right, but so much lies behind that description. First of all, most ballerinas - whether they are soloists or just "background dancers" from the corps de ballet - have to attend a ballet school to achieve a ballet future. Of course, there have been some exceptions like Misty Copeland, principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, who never attended ballet school however almost all ballerinas had to attend a ballet school from age 13 at the latest. Many Russian ballet dancers went to ballet school at very young, about 4 years old. Students at ballet school have to train for at least 6 hours everyday and they have to make sure that they are taking care of their bodies. Not a lot of people are aware of the competition behind getting into a good ballet school. To get into the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, 90 girls compete for only 1 spot. Many people also think that to be a dancer, all you have to do is attend ballet class. However, actually, all ballerinas have to do lots of exercise like Pilates designated specially for ballerinas to keep in shape. All of their muscles - abdominals, legs, back, shoulders - have to be very strong in order to keep your balance when you are doing jumps and to maintain the correct ballet technique. Many ballerinas like Carla Fracci have to take shots before going on stage to numb the pain that they are feeling while dancing. Ballerinas truly have to exert themselves to succeed. 




(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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