Why Do I Have to Take Ballet?
By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa
Becoming a professional dancer is like building a house from the ground up. You can’t start by adding the roof and interior decorations; rather, you must start by creating a solid foundation to support the structure and make it last. Similarly, a dancer must establish that foundation in technique before adding all the “tricks” and performance quality. And that foundation, according to many dance teachers and professionals in the field, is ballet.
“Because ballet has been constantly evolving for over 400 years, it has arrived at a very solid method of developing human movement potential for the stage,” says Stephen Pier, director of the Dance Division at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford, located in Connecticut.
“It’s still the most relevant technical training all around and can serve as a very effective way of organizing and developing the facility of the dancer. Most other techniques or styles have not been around that long. They are too limited to be the sole basis of training, and they haven’t worked out the science and art of dancing to the depth that ballet has.”
All of Pier’s students are required to take daily ballet class during their four years at Hartt. Ballet has proven to inform their dancing, and students have gone on to work in a vast range of professional companies – from Paul Taylor and Joffrey Ballet, to downtown contemporary and Las Vegas.
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