The ballet bar is really important for all ballet dancers, right from your beginning class until you are a professional. Wherever you are, you must learn how to practice properly at the ballet bar.
I remember my teacher saying 'No white knuckles!' to my class at the bar, to make sure we were not relying on the bar too much. It really acts as a key element to strengthen your muscles and develop your technique for your entire time as a ballet dancer.
The bar is part of your learning and understanding for the entire ballet class.
To use the bar properly, you have to engage the right muscles and find your own balance.
You always have to keep a light hand on the bar and rely on your own strength to hold you.
Even when professional ballet dancers perform away from their studios on tour, they bring portable bars to warm up on. It is essential so they can still take their usual ballet class and commit to the same routine.
For a professional level, the technique has to be already accustomed
in their body.They have spent years training as a student to get
stronger in their muscles and stable enough to dance professionally.
Therefore, they have to re-energize this technique and awakening their muscles to be ready for the rehearsals to follow.
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When you are a younger student, the bar really acts as crucial support to help master the tricky footwork and hard exercises. The bar exercises are specially designed to work on your muscles and technique.
Sometimes though, you get so carried away with the exercises and trying to work your hardest, that it is easy to grip the bar too much with your hand.
It is really important to keep a light hand on the bar, because you will get stronger this way.
I was also told to make sure my thumb was together with my other fingers on top of the bar. Your thumb shouldn't slip underneath the bar for more stability.
Ideally, your bar should be at the right level so that your hand can be placed comfortably on it. If it is too high then your shoulder may rise up, or if it's too low it could alter your posture.
It might seem like there are a lot of rules at the bar, or corrections that you keep hearing from your teacher. Yet it really will make sense as you keep learning ballet and if you do it all correctly now, then you will become an even better dancer in the long run.
Keep working hard at the ballet bar and and use the time to concentrate on your stability. Don't forget to fully engage your muscles and keep testing your balance to make sure you are not reyling on the bar too much.