What I Learned From Ballet: Lauren Kirchmyer (Guest Post)

The first time I took a full one-hour ballet class was when I was seven years old. I don’t remember much from back then, just that my ballet teachers always told me the class was the most important one I was taking because it would help me in all styles of dance. As I grew up I found this to be true.

Ballet is the core class that teaches dancers technique, flexibility, how muscles work and how to make dancing look easy when it’s not. You learn how to move your feet through the floor, what opposition is, what suspension is, how to count music and more. You become aware of what muscles are working and what muscles need to improve to execute each movement.

After taking all of that in, you apply it all to every other dance style you are training in. By learning how to roll through your feet while doing sautes in the center you will have better leaps in jazz or will land your tricks better in acrobatics. Doing plies and changing your levels will help you get into the floor in hip hop. Articulating your feet and strengthening your ankles will improve your tapping and allow to do more advanced or faster steps. Learning how to use your breath, how do use your arms through your back and making hard steps look simple will transfer over to your lyrical work.

There is so much dancers can take away from being in ballet, but it doesn’t all stay in the classroom. There is a lot students will learn that will apply to their everyday lives. While trying to hold a balance, dancers will focus on something in the room as a way to hold their centers. In life if you focus on something and are determined, you can make it happen.

While in the classroom, dancers learn respect for themselves, their classmates and their teachers. This can apply in their classroom at school, in their office at work and at home with their family. Having respect and being able to work together makes the team stronger.

These examples are just some of the things someone can take away from taking ballet. Overall, dancers learn that hard work and practice will get them to where they want to be with dance. In the real world if you continually work hard and stay focused, you will have a life full of endless possibilities.

About the Author

LaurenKirchmyer grew up taking dance classes in West Seneca, New York, a suburb of Buffalo. An avid writer, she attended Buffalo State College where she majored in communication studies and received a minor in dance.

Kirchmyer’s dance experience includes performing with the Classic Dance Company of Western New York, Infinity Dance Project, Buffalo State College Dance Theatre, Habit Dance Project and the Buffalo Bandettes Professional Dance Team. She teaches dance at Steppin’ Out Dance Academy and is the choreographer for West Seneca Youth Theatre.

When she is not dancing, Kirchmyer is writing. She currently works for Metro Group, Inc. and assists with her father’s communications company, Kirchmyer Media.

If you would like to reach out to Kirchmyer, send an email to lkirchmyer{at}verizon{dot}net.



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