Ballet is an old art form infused with tradition. Your teachers are passing on to you the legacy which they have learned from their teacher, and so it goes. A ballet class has many formalities. The structure of a ballet class is universal. It is always the same no matter where you attend class. Similarly, the terminology is always in French. Class ends with a “reverence” or curtsey; it is a way to thank your teacher and show respect. There are many other unspoken traditions that are intrinsic to ballet, particularly, the etiquette or behavior in class. Here are some points all students should keep in mind:
• Arrive at class on time.
• Spend a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes stretching before class to prepare your body for the demanding work.
• Arrive to class with hair that is neat and properly secured in a ballet bun.
• If you need to say something to your neighbor during class, keep it to a minimum and most importantly, find the appropriate time to do so. Interrupting your teacher’s lesson is disrespectful.
• Always mark the exercises while your teacher is demonstrating.
• Be sure you understand the exercise before the music begins. Raise your hand to ask questions if you are uncertain.
• Absolutely no hanging on the barres.
• No yawning in plain sight.
• Be attentive.
• Value the corrections given to you and apply them to your work— present and future.
• Receiving attention from the teacher means s/he believes in your ability and wants to reward your good work ethic. It is a compliment!
• Apply yourself in every class. Work with conviction and strive for your personal best.
I'm Allan Redstone, one of the co-owners of Opus. I'll use this blog to post news items about Opus, as well as dance and music related items that may be of interest to our school community