You’re going to ballet class and working hard on your technique, but I see too many young dancers get stuck in the ballet rut. Try these different genres to keep your passion for dance hot and to give you the advantage!
Modern is a must!
Ballet companies who don’t incorporate some modern are very rare, because it is hard to survive without it! You need it too.
If you are going to jump into a modern class make sure you have the right modern shoes for your feet!
And I’m not talking about twitching on the floor, be the tree kind of modern. I mean the sweat your brain out, “I didn’t know I could move that way” kind. The kind that inspires amazing companies like Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet Co, Houston Ballet, and even American Ballet Theatre.
Mikhail Baryshnikov , arguably the best male ballet dancer of his time, added modern elements in his work all the time. Check out his work with the super talented Twila Tharp in “Push Comes to Shove.”
When preping to try modern, make sure you have clothing that you are comfortable moving in and the right footwear.
After that, just remember that you are going to be doing a lot of things your ballet teacher told you not to, but if you let go and get out of your comfort zone, you will do things you didn’t know you were capable of.
African dance is hot. It is the cool, up and coming genera to mash other genres with not to mention the grandfather of Jazz, tap and hip hop. Basically, all the awesome forms of dance have a bit of African dance at heart and it will find its way into more performances. Not to mention that audiences love it.
The fact that it is the exact opposite of Ballet is a plus. Modern tried to go ying to Ballet’s yang, but they just missed the mark.
African’s hard hitting beats and rootedness to the ground provide the perfect opposite to Ballet’s… up-ness. Perfect antidote for ballet burnout.
Latin is all about passion with flair. It is not a new friend to ballet and has been used in several famous ballets including Carmen, Paquita and the Spanish variation of the Nutcracker.
To master the spice that Latin dance adds to ballet, you must take class and practice. Looking that confident takes practice (for some) and if you work on it now, you will dazzle choreographers (and yourself) when it comes time to put it into performance.
Adding these 3 dance styles will defiantly let you expand your skills as a ballet dancer and make you much more usable to choreographers. Not to mention, you will have a lot of fun!