TBB Homework #10: What steps to expect (at the barre) during your first ballet lesson…

A bit different to my usual ‘homework’ posts, because it will most likely suit someone who hasn’t started their ballet journey yet… but I wanted to do something different to celebrate the tenth homework post!

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So, it’s your first ballet lesson tomorrow. Not sure what to expect?

This should help.

I’ve purposefully only shown ‘barre’ work in this video, because both barre and centre work together could be a little intimidating and the centre usually varies more.

When you attend your first class there’s so many strange words being used to explain movements. For example, when you bend your knees the teacher will say ‘plié’ and when you throw your leg in the air they’ll say ‘grande battement’!

It’s a lot to take in…

This video is really useful to watch before (and after!) class to become familiar with the movement and what each is called. You will most likely perform exercises in the order that these movements are shown, however the teacher might combine some movements or add port de bras (use of arms) to form more complicated exercises.

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Believe it or not, the movements and vocabulary is the easiest part of a ballet class. Well it’s not easy, but much easier than controlling your state of mind.

Most common sentences from a beginner as they leave class…

a) “I was hopeless, everyone could see I had no idea what I was doing…”

b) “That was really challenging. I was thinking you could put on an even easier class…”

c) “WHAT CAN I DO AT HOME TO BE BETTER NEXT WEEK!? Give me all your tips…”

My answer to…

a) You weren’t hopeless. It was your very first lesson and you did amazing. Just showing up is amazing. And no one was looking at you. To be honest, no one cares what you get up to in class. They’re all too busy focussing on themselves.

b) Of course it was challenging! It’s ballet. Every now and then I do a ‘Ballet Basics’ workshop, however I don’t do this every week because after a couple of lessons you won’t be a ‘beginner’ anymore. You need to give ballet at least five consistent lessons before you feel more comfortable with the structure and movement.

c) First of all, calm down. I have a YouTube channel which has some ‘homework’. However it’s your first lesson and you can’t expect to be a professional after one lesson. If you’d like to get better at ballet it requires consistency, patience and persistence.

It’s important to remember that confidence is simply a willingness to learn. Confidence is not inherent. It can be learnt. Confidence (like ballet) requires patience and positivity.

You’ve got this!

So remember…

  • BE PATIENT – you won’t be a pro after one lesson…
  • BREATHE – inhale, exhale… repeat
  • HAVE FUN – enjoy yourself

Grace & Grit,

Georgia x

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