Ballet dance is one of the most beautiful forms of dance discipline. Here at First Dance Studios our ballet dancers love to come together and dance. Ballet is an expressive dance form that tones the muscles and develops mindfulness. You could say we get balmy for ballet! Emma, Emily, Chrystele and Fran are our brilliant ballet teachers and they will have you jeté-ing around the floor. Such Plié Pleasers!
Time now for a little bit of history. If it had been about dance we would have aced our exams! Ballet is a dance form that goes back to the Fifteenth Century during the Italian Renaissance. Think fashion, music, culture, art and expressive movement. It was then given stage life in France and Russia. Many of the steps are in French giving it a certain je ne sais quoi. From there, ballet has evolved to include classical, romantic, neoclassical, contemporary and more forms. There endeth the lesson. Until you join us in the studio for more classes of course.
Ballet is the backbone of dance. On the surface, ballet is swan like in grace. But it takes a great deal of strength and concentration to hold the steps. Ballet practice starts with exercises at the Barre to warm joints and limbs up so that the body and mind are ready for the steps. Anyone who has been called to the Barre will know that the exercises can be hard but practice makes parfait! We have a collection of barres at the studio so that social dis-dancing can be adhered to.
Ballet comprises of movements that are choreographed together to make a dance. These movements and steps have names and classes are set up to work through these almost like scales so that they can be put together to form a balletic dance piece. At the end a final cool down called the reverence (a fancy curtsey to show gratitude to the teacher and ourselves). In the First Dance Studios we always bob for our Queens of Ballet Dance, as well as the wonderful Jeanne Brewer who taught locally in Woking for decades.
What we love about ballet is the elegance of the movement. But we also love how we each feel the movement individually. While we learn the steps and the count of the music, each of us experiences it uniquely so we move like a flock of birds, together but unique. That individual and collective expression of dance is one of the wonderful sights in life. At First Dance Studios our highly trained and experienced teachers bring out the joy in each step and movement. No matter your experience level we have classes on offer for you. Beginner classes focus on exercises, stretches and learning steps. We also have pointe classes for those who have experience and good ankles.
So whether you are a silver swan, a giddy Gisele, a balletic bluebird or a fille mal gardée, come along and join us ballet belles and beaux. Click here for the full timetable. And if you can’t make it into the studio then we have livestream classes available.
Ballet classes are on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in studio. For different levels and styles as well. You can also get video recordings of classes so you can practice at home. Please see below for a full list of our adult ballet classes and workshops.
Ballet Basics- We run a workshops periodically where those that have never taken a dance or ballet class or even those that dance other disciplines would benefit from. This workshop spans over 6 weeks and works on the basics of form, movement, language and position. So if you want to learn what a plié is vs a penché then this workshop for you. It really is a dance foundation course.
If you are new to ballet or have a basic knowledge then we highly suggest taking Emily’s Friday morning class. Emily is really good at breaking down the steps and developing routines that are beautiful to learn to dance to. Join her online from your own Zoom Room so you can tackle each step easily.
A new addition recently to the dance class roster, Technical Ballet is where you can work on steps, form and technique to build confidence. Fran recently joined the First Dance Studios family and will help you develop your inner dancer.
For those dancers that wish to level up and focus on a higher level of ballet, Chrystele will show you the steps. Pointework is also part of this class so you can practice on pointe!
Many of the classes at First Dance Studios are open to all levels and we would love for you to join us. We have many of these general classes both live from the studio as well as being available on line. If you are unsure which class would work for you then please get in touch with us and we can help you out.
In ballet we will be doing a lot of stretching and wide step gaits as well as raising arms to the side and above our heads. It can get warm even if the weather is inclement outside. Layers are the answer in ballet. And feel free to wear leggings, t-shirt jumper combo. And if you like you are welcome to wear a ballet skirt. Tutus aren’t necessary and usually for shows as they are ornate delicate things. Whatever you choose to wear, ensure that you can move freely.
Ballet shoes are necessary for classes. The material supports the foot and holds it in place as you work through muscles to a point. And they are designed to slide across the floor so your feet don’t get friction burns. There are several types of ballet shoes and the variations tend to be in terms of material. I prefer supple leather ballet slippers with a suede sole. Some of our ballet dancers have canvas/cotton versions. There are also pointe shoes which are for your more advanced ballet dancer. And OMG the smell of new ballet shoes is the best thing ever. A heady fragrance that sends me back to childhood.
When you come to class, please do bring a pair that fits your size. The slippers when new can be a little tight but with both materials, they will stretch but ensure you do get ones that will do so. Dancing in too tight slippers will make it harder for a good point. The shoes do come in various colours. Nudes, white, pink and black are the most common. There is no preference in colour so feel free to choose what you prefer. If you are new to ballet contact us for further information if you are unsure about what shoes to get.
Chrystele is our pointe Prefect and runs a 1/2 hour in studio class to practice pointe work. For this class you already have pointe shoes and know how to dance in them. If you would like to join the class please do get in touch or sign up on the Mindbody App.
We are very ballet biased but this discipline makes us feel amazing. So come along and join us so you can enjoy being beautifully balletic.
First Dance, For all.