A dancer is like building a house from the ground up. You can’t start by adding the roof and interior decorations; rather, you must start by creating a solid foundation to support the structure and make it last. Similarly, a dancer must establish that foundation in technique before adding all the “tricks” and performance quality. And that foundation, according to many dance teachers and professionals in the field, is ballet.
“Because ballet has been constantly evolving for over 400 years, it has arrived at a very solid method of developing human movement potential for the stage,” says Stephen Pier, director of the Dance Division at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford, located in Connecticut.
“It’s still the most relevant technical training all around and can serve as a very effective way of organizing and developing the facility of the dancer. Most other techniques or styles have not been around that long. They are too limited to be the sole basis of training, and they haven’t worked out the science and art of dancing to the depth that ballet has.”
“Ballet is the ‘grandmother’ of them all in the Western world,” Pier says. “This system has evolved over centuries and has survived and absorbed every fad imaginable. It has great wisdom and logic imbedded in it, which every dancer should learn about. It’s not important whether or not you think you will become a ballet dancer. It is very important, however, that you become educated about your art and respect all of its various practices and practitioners
The other night someone asked me "Why do you pay so much money for your girls to dance?"
Well I have a confession to make, I don't pay for dance. Personally, I couldn't care less about dance. I grew up in a family of 4 boys and no girls. The "Nutcracker" was something you did on a dare off of the high dive at the pool or something you unpleasantly surprised your brother with. Up until the day I met my wife if I were asked to go to Swan Lake I would have asked if we were water skiing or fishing.