How to Improve Your Ballet Development in a Week

How to Improve Your Ballet Development in a Week

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Take a lesson from Boston Ballet principal dancer Misa Kuranaga. Ballet development never stops, even after you reach the professional level. And how you handle your personal ballet development in one week can affect your overall ballet technique. When Japan-native Kuranaga arrived for her first professional dance job in the U.S. at age 17, she had no experience with the George Balanchine ballet technique, according to an article in “Pointe” magazine. After she wasn't rehired the following year, Kuranaga put her professional dance career on hold to go back to ballet school to work on the technique, the magazine reports. You can gradually tackle long-term goals of perfecting your ballet technique by improving your ballet development with incremental efforts each week. Tackle weekly ballet development goals by focusing on your technique in class and learning small weekly changes to solve issues.

Focus on Technique

Step 1

Write down your goals for the week. Clearly defining your expectations means you'll be more likely to see real improvement, according to “Pointe” magazine. Do you want to arrive early to class to stretch more or strengthen your feet by wearing pointe shoes during technique class? Write it down.

Step 2

Keep a ballet journal. Every night record technical or artistic issues that came up during ballet class that day in a journal, “Pointe” magazine recommends. Next to the problems, write down the solutions and any advice teachers offered. The process will help you internalize solutions and solve them during the week.

Step 3

Observe the dancers you like and learn from them. Choose one professional or peer dancer at the top of your class to analyze for the week. Adapt what you learn to improve your own dancing.

Step 4

Focus intently in ballet class. Beyond physical development, make sure every day of the week you are always present and focused during ballet class. This helps you learn combinations and perform them correctly -- the best way to improve your technique.

Combat Common Problems

Step 1

Pay attention to your turnout. Are you forcing 180-degree turnout? Forcing turnout can cause you to roll your arches forward, called “rolling in.” Always think of turning out from the hips.

Step 2

Practice rhythmic breathing to help combat tension, “Dance Magazine” recommends. By avoiding unnecessary tension and gripping the muscles for a week, you will improve your ability to dance. Unnecessary stiffness can hamper your ballet development.

Step 3

Pay attention to your body alignment while dancing. Avoid tucking, tipping, tilting or twisting of the pelvis. Check your body in the mirror during ballet class and adjust to fix problems you see.


  • Keeping an open mind is often the best tool for ballet development. It's more than just nailing that double pirouette or stretching before every class. “Being open to new styles of dance and new ways of moving the body is vital to keeping the art relevant,” Michael Vernon, chair of the ballet department at Indiana University, told “Dance Magazine.”



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