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It is incredibly important to develop your “turn out” muscles also know as your external rotators. One of the best ways is to perform a bridge exercise. Many new students have deconditioned glute muscles. The bridge will help them to fire properly. For more detailed instruction watch the video below.

Bridge Starting Position
The bridge starting position.
The bridge finishing position.
The top phase of the bridge exercise. Squeeze your glutes.


#2 Keep your barre arm in front of you.
Maintaining your arms slightly in front of your torso at all times is important. If your barre are is not in front of you it will pull your torso backwards removing the body weight off the balls of your feet and onto your heels. Below are examples.

Proper ballet barre arm placement
Keep your barre arm slightly in front of your torso.
Improper ballet barre arm placement
The barre arm is placed poorly behind the body.
2nd example of a poorly placed ballet barre arm
Do not allow your arm to go behind your body.


#3. Maintain your ballet square.

The ballet square
The ballet square needs to be maintained while working. The square should project forward.
A distorted ballet square
This shows a distorted ballet square. The square is no longer projecting forward and the frame has been lost.


#4 Mark the combination as it is being demonstrated.
A dancer cannot execute material well if they do not know the material. The best way to learn material is to mark the combination physically. As the teacher demonstrates do not simply stand and stare at the instructor. Gently replicate the combo with your hands or feet. You may also want to whisper or sing the phrase to yourself. The more physically active you become in learning a ballet material the more likely you will know the combination when the music begins.

#5 Keep a ballet journal. Write down and review class corrections.
You will benefit greatly from writing down your personal corrections and other powerful ideas discussed in class. The next time you return to the studio open your ballet journal while warming up and review the previous class suggestions. We have witnesses an American Ballet Theater principal dancer utilizing this tool. If it works for her it will work for you.

Bonus Tip – #6 Warm Up For Ballet Class.  Warming up for class will allow your body to begin to develop from the first tendu. Ballet class is a ritual of improving upon your previous days work. If you go into the barre cold you will spend the time warming up and not spend the time at barre fully developing your potential. Don’t treat the barre as a warm up exercise routine. The barre is meant to help you manipulate your body but your body will not transform when cold. Here is a link to a 50 minute video of our founder Michael describing his ballet warm up process. It is detailed and may also be used as a muscle recovery process.  BALLET CLASS WARM UP VIDEO

Our founder Michael discusses 5 powerful tips for adult ballet beginners.

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