You have heard it said, “ballet is the foundation of all dance forms.” Though this can be debated in many different ways, in this article I will present how ballet is the foundation for Prisma Dance, a Honolulu Classical Ballet & Dance School, and how it compliments and reinforces the other dance forms offered at our school. Growing up in a ballet school, I can see how the technical foundation of ballet has been extremely helpful over the past decade as I have branched out into other dance forms, such as jazz, modern, hip hop, hula, Tahitian, and acrobatics. As much as the ballet technique has been helpful, I would also like to point out that the character qualities of discipline, poise, and perseverance that I learned through ballet have had just as big of an impact in my growth as a person and dancer as the technique itself.
Modern dance, jazz, and ballet have many things in common. For the most part, all three dance forms utilize pointed feet, turns, and leg extensions. Though there are definite differences in angle, lines, and emphasis, there is definitely a similar DNA woven in all three. Ballet focuses on holding and maintaining turnout (which doesn’t come naturally for many people). In the process of learning how to feel, hold, and utilize turnout, a dancer becomes very aware of his or her body and how to articulate their body even in the most subtle ways. This heightened awareness of movement spills over into all other dance forms and allows a dancer to quickly adjust his or her body placement with more ease.
Acrobatics is very complimentary to ballet and vice versa because partnering is a big facet in both acrobatics and ballet. Acrobatics utilizes partnership and balance. Ballet dancers who know how to hold their bodies and trust their partners have a big advantage when beginning acrobatics. Furthermore, ballet dancers are aware of their lines and angles of the their bodies and are able to adjust them so that their lines are the most flattering to the audience. This is also a huge advantage in acrobatics because acrobats are like living sculptures that fluidly flow from one design/sculpture to the next.
At our dance school our youngest dancers, age 3 years old, start with ballet. At around ages 6 or 7 years old dancers are then introduced to jazz and acrobatics and take these classes in addition to their ballet classes. We have seen these complimentary classes shaping well rounded dancers that are able to easily transition from one style to the next.
Our society, where mixing and combing art and dance forms is now not only accepted but also encouraged, makes our world a very innovating and creative place to live. Many of the new fusions and collaborations coming forth are leaving us waiting in breathless anticipation. Dance, like our world, is in constant motion and the swirls of life are constantly changing. What a beautiful world of diversities we live in! Let’s enjoy all the colors and see what beautiful masterpieces will come forth!
If you’d like some more information you can check out their website at http://www.PrismaDance.com