Beating the Ballet Blues

This should be an entry in Urban dictionary

ballet blues

n.  A state of disappointment and mild sadness regarding one’s progress and ability at ballet. Applies particularly to students who have begun ballet as adults

So you’ve got the ballet blues. How to beat it?

1.       Look at how far you’ve come.  Recall that wee, scared beginner who couldn’t do a proper plié and did not know what a battement tendu was? Look where she/he is now. Sometimes we get so engrossed by always going forward, always being better, jumping higher, being more flexible we forget how far we’ve come. Just two years ago I couldn’t do a decent tendu to the back in the center without completely falling over. Now I can at least get the leg a couple of centimeters off the floor.

2.       Read dance blogs.  Reading dance blogs by other adult beginners is a sure way to beat the Ballet blues. There are some inspiring individuals out there.
3.       Watch a full ballet. Even if there are no companies performing in your vicinity, you have an internet connection (I know you do, how else would you be reading this?). We adult beginners of post-YouTube world are lucky. There is such a wealth of performances available on YouTube, everything from contemporary ballet choreography to classical full length ballets. Here are some examples

 Swan lake (Svetlana Zakharova, Roberto Bolle)

Sleeping Beauty (Bolshoi, 2011)

The perfection of the pro dancers can be depressing, but watching them dance gives one something to aspire .

4.       Don’t compare yourself with other dancers in your class! This is a bad habit that I cannot seem to beat. You are dancing in your body, and you have your strengths and your weaknesses. Someone has high extensions, someone else is good at petit allegro. It’s just a fact. Work on  your weak points and take pride in your strengths.
5.       Read a ballet inspired novel. OK, there aren’t exactly a lot of them out there (at least that I know of), but there are some pretty good ones. I recently read Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay. It had some beautiful scenes from the life and training of a ballerina.
6.       Watch Dance Academy. This might work only if you’re a sucker for sappy teen rom coms, but this series actually gets me inspired to dance. Pst, it’s on YouTube.
7.       Watch pros train. These videos always inspire to get back into ballet, even when I feel like I totally suck.

A Day in the Life of a Ballerina
8.       Read and reread this gem of an advice. I hope the original poster doesn’t mind me copying it here, but there is no better way (or at least I can’t come up with one) to say it.

Now I have no natural talent for either dance or music, but I do have one talent that I’ve brought to both sport and dance. I just keep showing up. I’m a natural persister or plodder. And in persisting you let time work its magic. Your expectations surrender. You accept yourself for who you really are and the talent level you have. Yes, you want to improve, but more so you want to enjoy the moments you are in class, rehearsal or on stage. I don’t know that they ever go completely away, but bouts of dancer’s depression become fewer and fewer and last for shorter periods of time.

                                                                                                                                -Username “Garyecht” from this thread on the forum Ballet Talk for Dancers.

9.       Whatever you do, don’t quit!


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