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Ballet lesson

To become an impressive and technically developed dancer, ballet lessons are crucial. A famous ballerina is told to have said: "If I skip one class, I can see it; if I skip two classes, the company can see it; and if I skip three classes, the audience can see it." A good dancer constantly practices her skills and gestures.

Before starting a lesson, a dancer must start with stretching and warming up. The lesson then starts with barre practice. The dancers hold an immobile barre with one hand and, with the music, they practice basic skills in the form. Barre practice allows a dancer to correct her poise, her posture, the position of hands, the pointing of toes, and the straightening of knees. It also aims at teaching balance and increasing strength and flexibility. To become a beautiful dancer hard work on correcting one's form is necessary.

The barre practice is followed by a center floor lesson. Dancers leave the barre and, without anything to hold onto, they dance to the music and practice more complex steps. Center exercises usually include adagio (slow, graceful movements, emphasizing balance and strength), petit allegro (quick, small jumps and movements), grande allegro (bigger jumps, moving across the floor), and turns like pirouettes. When a ballet dancer dances at the center floor, he/she must imagine dancing to an audience and practice expressing his/her emotions in the dance.

Classes can also include separate strengthening excercises and stretching, in addition to those in the combinations. The class finally ends with a reverance (a curtsey or a bow) to the teacher to show appreciation.

Professional dancers and young dancers aiming for professional career often have classes six days a week, plus rehearsals for performances.

In the recent years, recreational ballet dancing has become increasingly popular. More and more people also begin ballet studies as adults, even though they of course never have hopes of becoming professional dancers. Ballet is a good way of improving one's health and grace of movement, but also the recreational dancer requires several classes (say, a minimum of three) in a week to make any serious progress.