1. Be on time.
It is obvious, but sometimes not so easy to achieve due to our busy workschedules and familylife. Tip: Find out in advance how long it will take you to get from your work or home to the balletclass. Add 15 minutes for detours of trafficjams. Set your phone’s alarm and make sure you really leave when it went off. Put your balletbag in advance at your frontdoor or in your car. It will be most relaxing if you can be at your studio 15 minutes before the start of the class. That way you can ‘land’, prepare mentally and summon your focus. If you are on time, you can also have a chat with your balletbuddies.
2. Make sure you have all your stuff.
Do you remember when your mother used to say you had to prepare your gymbag for the next day? That is still a very good idea. It will give you a relaxed feeling, knowing you have everything you need in your balletbag. In case you forgot something, quickly ask around in your group if someone has extra you can borrow. Most danceschools will have extra’s too. Ask your teacher or a staffmember to assist you. If you were not able to wash your trainingoutfit, you can consider buying a second set. That way you have an extra set of clothes.
3. Go to the toilet before class.
You can imagine it will disturbe your flow and mindset if you need to leave the classroom. When you get back, you will have missed something and have to get back in the atmosphere of the class. So, again, like we learned when we were younger, a quick visit to the toilet before you go somewhere or start an activity will keep you relaxed.
4. Make sure your outfit and hair are in order.
You will want to give all your attention to dancing, enjoying the music and getting better technically. So make sure your hair is secure in place, so it does not get in your eyes or comes down. And you have to spend time fixing it. Put on your outfit at home, check how you look in your mirror and do a few dancemoves. An ill-fitting outfit can ruin your danceclass and does not make you feel relaxed.
5. Pick a nice spot in the studio.
Go into the classroom/studio and look around. Are there people inside? If yes, see where there is a spot for you where you have room to dance. Are you the first one in? Lucky you! You can stand where ever you want. Think about where you feel most comfortable. You may want to try out a few spots to determine your favourite spot. Do you want support from your fellow dancers? Go stand in the middle. Do you prefer seeing yourself in the mirror? Take a spot in front of the mirror. Where will your teacher be standing when she/he demonstrates? The teacher will be moving around the room, but will also have a favourite spot. Do you want to be able to really see the exercise? Go stand near your teacher. Then one last tip for dancing across the floor: dance with a more seasoned dancer to better yourself. Copying and just dancing along will help.
Okay and now: dance and have fun!
Written by: Annne-Marie Violetta Pos-Terlouw
(Founder of Balletstudio Violetta and member of the International Dance Council, Unesco)