Ballet has done amazing things for me, from increasing my self-confidence to making me fit and healthy. I’ve been doing it for four years and currently dance at the advanced level. Unfortunately, I’m currently off pointe thanks to an ankle injury and new pointe shoes not being a priority in my budget right now. But I’m still dancing.
As well as being a beautiful art form, ballet has a myriad of benefits that are great for anyone. I recommend that anyone capable of being able to do so should try ballet at least once. And I have my reasons.
- Patience. As well as developing discipline and a strong work ethic, ballet teaches you patience. Pirouettes in 5th position felt so impossible for me when I first began to learn them. Yet, I had to exercise patience if I wanted to master this difficult turn. Believe me when I say I hated these pirouettes. Really hated them. Now I’m fine with them. I neither love nor hate them since I far prefer pirouettes from 4th anyway. I also used to hate foutte turns, but now that I’ve recently grasped them, they’re a lot of fun to do. (The turns aren’t perfect, but I can DO them.) So you learn an intense amount of patience because you’re not going to be able to perfect a new move you’ve just learned in a single class. It’s going to take hours upon hours and classes upon classes to get it.
- Diligence. If you decide to stick with ballet like I have, you’ll learn plenty of diligence. If you want to continuously improve at this difficult art form, you need to attend class at least 2x a week. And doing so takes some serious diligence. After all, you might be dogged tired after school or work, but you’ve got to get that ballet class in if you ever want to make any progress. Plus, I’ve never regretted going to class, even if I kick and scream on the way to class.
- Self-confidence. I would say this is number one for me. Ballet has been the most difficult think I’ve ever done–even more than writing a novel! It has taught me that I am capable of so much. If I can do a double pirouette en pointe, I can definitely finish a novel. If I can do a 180 penchee, then I know it’s possible for me to achieve whatever I set my mind to. Some dancers take for granted what they’re capable of doing…until they step back and see just how much beginners struggle when they first start.
- Fitness. Ballet will definitely improve your fitness levels; however, if you want to see large gains in endurance, you’ll have to exercise that patience until you get to the higher levels. Or just do cardio on your own time. You’ll lean out, your muscles will lengthen and grow, your core will be like iron, your legs solid, and your posture will be flawless. After all, good dance teachers are going to beat good posture into your head until you straighten out that pelvis and keep those shoulders down and back!
- Mental clarity. Ballet involves a lot of memorizing and concentrating on technique. It’s a great exercise for your brain and establishes an immense level of mental clarity that makes it easier for you to memorize things. If you can memorize 2.5 hours worth of class, you can definitely remember to hit the gym on Friday. Or ace that algebra final.
- Self-fulfillment. When you can nail a move or an exercise you’ve had a difficult time with, the amount of fulfillment you feel is unbelievable. It’s a fantastic feeling of accomplishment, a realization that there are hurdles in life you can overcome. Ballet class can turn a stale day into a day where you feel like you got stuff done.
- Challenging. It’s challenging. If it’s not challenging for you, then you’re doing something horribly, horribly wrong. Even plies should make you sweat. It’s always good to have a challenge in life that you’re determined to overcome because it can only make you stronger. Ballet is one of those things that doesn’t have to hurt you to make you stronger as a person. It’s a great thing, a challenge that can make you a happier person.