Fermenting for Dancers (or the Awesomeness of Ballet Fermentation)

My Awesome Ballet Teacher says a lot of great stuff. I swear it’s a good thing I have a great memory otherwise I’d be standing at the barre with post-its stuck all over the mirror because I have to remember what he says, it’s just that good. Actually, hmmm… that post-it’s thing might be a good idea.

Anyway, Awesome Ballet Teacher addressed something very important in class the other night, beyond all the great instruction and corrections for actual dancing, he stopped to address when people put too much emphasis on learning the steps and then get discouraged when they don’t get every step and every combination right each and every time. This is why my teacher gets gold stars. As an adult with no real background in dance, being in a dance class is like being in a foreign country complete with a foreign language and different customs and an unusual culture. It’s important for adult dancers to be given good information about how to space yourself at the barre and that you should tuck your laces into your shoes (please, please tuck your laces in, that drives me nuts) and all that but also how to work with ballet class mentally and emotionally. It isn’t like the gym where a trainer shows you how to use a weight machine and there you are counting reps. There is a lot of room for failure that doesn’t exist with number of other pursuits. It’s so very easy to get discouraged, especially in the early stage when each little simple thing is just so confusing and there are so many opportunities to make mistakes. So I really appreciate it when my teacher takes the time to talk to us about how to deal with the challenges of dance class.

Therefore I pass on to you the wise words that my Awesome Ballet Teacher had to say about getting discouraged. Don’t. Just don’t get discouraged. Try your best, focus, give your best effort and that’s it. When we give it a good effort and focus, ballet class does not leave us – we will keep thinking about it, as we are driving, brushing our teeth, the next morning while making coffee – we will keep thinking about it. Ballet ferments in our minds.

Okay, seriously, you have to admit, that’s pretty awesome – ballet fermentation!

All that ballet information will ferment in our minds and some day, maybe the next class or maybe ten classes down the line, all that fabulous fermented ballet stuff will find its way into our arms, legs, feet, everything and we will dance. Let’s just keep going to class, giving it our best, smiling when we progress, smiling when we fail, just keep dancing because dancing isn’t for someday, it’s for today.

Photo property of Align Ballet Method

~All will be well.

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