The long, lazy days of summer may be a blessing compared to our normal hectic schedules but if you are anything like Team Ballet Papier you will have been eagerly anticipating a return to the studio. Berenice was impatient to get back to drawing and sharing her beautiful creations online, while Ambar and I are just like you. We started counting down the days until we could go “back to ballet” as soon as the holidays began!
Once the new school term commences, so too do dance students’ regular ballet classes (and pointe, and jazz, and contemporary – if you’re asking, we’re dancing!). We’ve got shiny new shoes, fresh choreography to learn and a revived focus to do our best, improve and enjoy dancing.
Ballet instils a discipline in young people, reinforcing the notion that hard work, concentration and dedication can culminate in achievement. Mastering those steps takes years of practice. Still, if you are bitten by the ballet bug there is really nothing you would rather be doing than taking class. And, of course, classes eventually turn into rehearsals for spine-tingling performances centre stage.
This work ethic is reflected in a dancer’s academic studies too. In order to spend those precious hours perfecting multiple pirouettes and stretching for loose limbs, the devoted ballet pupil must stay on top of homework, coursework and exam preparation. It can be a juggling act trying to fit it all in, yet those who are determined enough manage to get the balance right.
Ballet Papier dancers thrive when we are busy, challenged and dancing as much as possible. While studying at university, I was more often than not found propping up the ballet barre – dancing had far greater appeal for me than going out drinking ever could. University is about discovering who you are and exploring your interests. Accordingly, even if you study an entirely unrelated subject, you need never abandon your desire to dance.
As an advocate of dance and seeker of knowledge, I continue to embrace education now. This summer I was accepted as a student of Dance Education with the Royal Academy of Dance in London – adding another facet to my “back to ballet” enthusiasm. This term will certainly be very busy! Dance training is an education itself – participating in ballet classes from early childhood shapes us into committed, respectful and appreciative souls who understand the importance of practice. Teachers have a vital role to play in inspiring the next generation and there is so much more to vocational dance than the performance career every budding ballerina aspires to have. Dance can enrich lives and it is something that can be shared across age, ethnic and socio-economic groups.
So make the most of every moment now we are back to class. Perhaps you will get your very first pair of pointe shoes this term, or start working towards an important examination or performance. Whatever is waiting in the wings for us, let’s be sure to stay on our toes and attend as many dance classes as we can before the next holiday!