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Author Topic: Ballet - helpful for ballroom/latin or not?  (Read 2513 times)
bookworm
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« on: October 07, 2009, 06:31:58 AM »

As requested by ee.  Cheesy

I've been dancing ballet for the past 3 months. Had previously done some when I was younger as well.
I originally started doing it for the exercise and because I thought it would help in my ballroom/latin. Recently though, since I've started taking my dancing seriously and getting coaching, my coaches have been pointing out faults in my dancing that I believe are due to the ballet training. Unfortunately for me, for where I am in my ballroom/latin training, I think the negatives of ballet out-way the positives at this point.

The positive aspects of ballet training that I've noticed, with regards to ballroom/latin: good posture, strong core, strong legs and ankles, good flexibility.

At present in my latin I'm focusing on the absolute basics of technique. I'm finding that my feet are too turned out and my coaches have also noticed that while my feet move ok even though too turned out, I have almost no body movement. My middle is too stiff.
So I've stopped ballet for now, at least until I have my basics under control.

Please tell me what you think.
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SwingWaltz
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2009, 06:38:34 AM »

Good for flexibility!
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cornutt
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2009, 12:59:32 PM »

I know nothing about ballet myself, so I'm just repeating what I've been told.  Ballet dancers tell me that the partnership aspect in ballroom is far different.  And heel leads in standard/smooth go very much against their training, so they have difficulty with that. 

I can imagine that it would be good for flexibility.  But you can get that same benefit from yoga or just stretching exercises.
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bookworm
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2009, 02:55:06 AM »

I can imagine that it would be good for flexibility.  But you can get that same benefit from yoga or just stretching exercises.

Hmmm, that's a good idea, I've been thinking about doing either yoga or pilates. I might actually look into it now.
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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2009, 05:50:23 AM »

I did yoga for a while - I hired a teacher for 5 hour lessons and told her exactly what I wanted to achieve - body flexibility.  After those 5 sessions I learned a lot of very useful stretching techniques that worked specifically for ballroom actions... (and my particular flaws of course)
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ZPomeroy
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2009, 07:14:15 AM »

Ballet creates a fantastic posture for ballroom and from what i've seen generally makes the person move through the body so i was suprised to hear that it hasn't done this for you. To stop the turnout try very lightly brushing your knees as the leg moves through, as when you do this your feet cannot be turned out, personally i think ballet is a great thing to incorperate into ballroom as the 'cons' arnt so hard to fix compared to the years you save from whaat you gain Wink

Just my thoughts Wink

Zac
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Some guy
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2009, 08:18:19 AM »

Well, I think it all depends on who's teaching the ballet dancer.  For example, ballet dancers can walk quite nicely (!).  So if the teacher can break it down into just walking, you'll have someone that can make walking look pretty good.  I've seen both extremes: ballet dancers made to look REALLY good and some ballet dancers made to look really bad (almost as if it's a handicap to learn ballet).  It all depends on who's teaching in my opinion.
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SwingWaltz
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2009, 10:12:10 AM »

Another thing....HOT LEGS!  Shocked Shocked Shocked

Have you seen some of those ballerina's legs? Hubba hubba!  Shocked
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Some guy
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2009, 10:42:13 AM »

Speaking from personal experience, my wife did ballet for quite a while but I think ballroom dancing made her look "better" in my opinion.  I don't know what it is about ballroom dancing that does that. 
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emeralddancer
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Nottingham, MD (by way of NJ)


« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2009, 11:04:56 AM »

with regards to ballet and latin dancing they both utilize the standing leg. whereas standard is not so much. does this make sense?
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It is more important who they are as people and only then is it important who they are as dancers.~Marcia Haydee
Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2009, 11:34:14 AM »

This is just my 2 cents worth.

I am not a big fan of students doing classical ballet. There are only a few things that are useful in my opinion.

Classical Ballet
1) The learning and discipline of doing drills.
2) Posture
3) Awareness of center and core

Modern Ballet (Martha Graham technique) on the other hand is much better. They do more of the activities used in the Body School of dancing.

1) The learning and discipline of doing drills.
2) Posture
3) Awareness of center and core
4) Flexibility of joints.
5) Activity of center/core.
6) Use of dynamics and weight with a partner.
7) Use of gravity for a falling sensation

In classical ballet they are taught to work against gravity. This gives them the very ridged “look” often seen by ballet dancers doing ballroom. In the Body School we are trained to very much work with gravity and use gravity to create movement. In classical ballet they are also taught (at least for toe work) to get on every foot with 100% of their weight. In the Body School it is only the man that dances from foot to foot. The lady should always stay between her feet. Sort of like the person receiving the ball in a tennis match. The lady should always be ready to go wherever the man goes; if she is 100% on one foot then she can’t respond quickly enough to the man’s action.

I have taught my dancers that have done both classical and modern ballet prior to doing ballroom. The classical trained often find this aspect if staying between feet to be the biggest challenge for them.

I always tell my students that if they want to do cross training then do any of the following and in that order.

Tai Chi
Other martial arts
Yoga
Pilartes
Modern Ballet
Fencing

I think one thing that ballroom dancer should really adopt from ballet is the idea of doing drills. In the Body School we do tons of drills and part of the training.

Remember this I just my opinion. If you are doing ballet and your ballroom teacher/coach is happy with that then by all means do continue.

DSV
« Last Edit: October 09, 2009, 11:52:11 AM by Dora-Satya Veda » Logged

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Edward Teller
Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2009, 11:36:53 AM »

with regards to ballet and latin dancing they both utilize the standing leg. whereas standard is not so much. does this make sense?

We both use the standing leg. The standing leg is just used different. I would agree that classical ballet and latin are much closer related then classical ballet and standard is.

DSV
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Edward Teller
emeralddancer
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Nottingham, MD (by way of NJ)


« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2009, 11:10:34 AM »

Well I like your description DSV

I remember saying to you how easy it was to be able to understand what your sister showed me as far as the rumba walks and how similar it was to what i learned in classical ballet. Kind of like "oh I see" if I use this action it can produce this result (well at least initially). Though yes as I practiced more I realized that your sister and your words are correct in being between feet and not on. LOL.

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It is more important who they are as people and only then is it important who they are as dancers.~Marcia Haydee
emeralddancer
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Nottingham, MD (by way of NJ)


« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2009, 11:11:06 AM »

I hear fencing is good to to learn for ballroom. Any truth to this DSV?
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It is more important who they are as people and only then is it important who they are as dancers.~Marcia Haydee
Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2009, 11:51:41 AM »

Fencing is very good. Especially for the lady as she will learn to stay between feet. She will thereby learn to be ready to go anywhere at any time.......like when she is responding to the man's choices of directions, timing, steps and power.

DSV
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"As we understand more things, everthing is becoming simpler"

Edward Teller
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