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
Turnout is every dancers dream but some bodies will be injured in their quest for more turnout. Read Canada's National Ballet School's physiotherapist Jennifer Denys series of tips "helping to demystify what turnout is and how you can approach the passionate pursuit of “more turnout” without getting injured along the way. "
From time to time different training aids and products hit the market designed to give dancers an advantage and improve on what nature provided. More recently a training aid called a Turn Board has been creating a buzz around the dance world and is now for sale on-line in Australia.
"What most enthusiastic young dancers don't understand is that your turnout is largely predetermined. We can continuously work on our rotation, but it must be done in a healthy, productive way. It can but should never be forced."