Guest Post: Ballet for Body and Soul

So you’re on your way to your first ballet class, either ever, or in a good few years, and you’re feeling anxious, nervous, excited, a bit self conscious, wondering if it was a good idea at all. If you think this is just you feeling like this, you are wrong. Any dancer feels this at regular intervals, no matter how long they have been dancing. What sets us apart is that decision to walk through the door, embrace those feelings and do it anyway and the achievements that spawn from that first decision are what drives us on!

Dance, Ballet in particular, is not just good for your body, but also for your mind and soul. You learn to be comfortable with your own body, to feel graceful and beautiful, to meet like minded people and more often than not make friends for life.

If you are new to or returning to ballet you may feel frustrated to begin with as you try to master all the steps, or co-ordinate your arms and legs to move at the same time as you are trying to complete a port de bras and plies at the same time. Do not despair, it takes hard work and commitment but each week you will find something is slightly easier, you will remember a bit more and before you know it your arms/legs will be travelling to the right position without even needing to think about it.

On a psychological level this concentration also means that any other noise in your mind; what to cook for dinner, whether you’ve put the washing out; what time you need to pick the kids up, will all be quietened, allowing you that bit of peace in your day to calm your mind and just be present in your body. You will begin to notice every movement of your body, listen to what your body needs, both inside and outside the dance studio.

As a dancer myself, I have found dance to be hugely therapeutic. I am not dancing for the audience, for the other people in the class, I am dancing for myself, getting lost in the music and the movement. I have no doubt that with continued practice friends, family and colleagues will comment on how you are carrying yourself, not only in your physical stance but your persona. Ballet gives you grace in both body and mind!

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PurpleClaire started dance classes at the age of 5, taking classes in ballet, modern and jazz and continued until the age of 13.  After a short break from dance she then returned to dance at 16 with tap, contemporary, jazz and ballet and continued on to study BA (hons) Dance Studies at Roehampton University, London.  Claire has always been very interested in how dance can improve your health both mentally and physically for professional dancers and people new to dance.  She is currently studying Msc Dance Science at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London. Find out more about Claire at www.clairefarmer.co.uk and http://healthierdancers.blogspot.co.uk/

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