A New Year for New and Improved Technique 

Posted by on 01.19.2016

It’s January. A new year. A time for new beginnings. A time to commit to new resolutions.

We are a few weeks into 2016.  How are your resolutions going? More importantly, how are your ballet resolutions coming along?

If you have already given up on these resolutions, here is a reminder not to. Setting ballet goals for your year is very important. Unlike a resolution to hit the gym more often, you already know that you will be in the ballet studio on a regular basis during the year, so why not give yourself a few things to focus on that will benefit your technique?

Photo by JR for New York City Ballet

Photo by JR for New York City Ballet

First, don’t bite off more than you can chew.  Creating a manageable list of items to focus on won’t seem as overwhelming if you begin small. Consider starting with three things: you can always add more.

Think about the corrections that you hear the most from your teachers.  Chances are you have a pretty good idea of at least one area that needs more work.  For instance, if your pointe work needs to be stronger, start wearing your pointe shoes for all of class.  The more you work in your shoes, the less foreign they feel.  If your posture needs help, find some exercises to strengthen your core.  You will find that a stronger core will help in many areas of your technique.  If your turnout needs work, start a strengthening regiment for your rotator muscles.

If you are having a hard time coming up with a manageable list, consider making a resolution to begin keeping a ballet journal.  This can be a place to write down choreography and teacher’s corrections.  Not only does the act of writing thoughts down commit them to your memory more effectively, but you also can refer back to your journal in the future.  I have found that my journal has been one of the most useful tools in my career.  I normally keep it in my purse so it is always with me.

Once you start feeling a difference in your dancing, and your teachers start noticing, you will find that keeping your resolutions will become easier and easier.  Noticing a change in your strength and technique will provide you with a wonderful sense of accomplishment.  So why not use 2016 as an excuse to take your dancing to the next level?

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