Ballet is Not What it Looks Like

Ballet looks a lot different when seen from the perspective of the student of the dance craft. It is no longer the fanciful flight filled with ethereal bliss that the audience swoons over and roots for. Instead, it is a journey of hope, blood, sweat, tears, and, sometimes, broken dreams.

Ballet Accomplishes the Noblest of Goals

What drives the ballet student forward? It is the euphoric feeling of being on top of the world while dancing in perfect harmony with the music and imparting that feeling to the audience. The Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin, highlighted ballet’s emotional connection when he equated it to a dance executed by the human soul. The dancer bares his soul for all the world to see.

A Path Less Traveled

How difficult is it to be a professional ballet dancer? Some start as young as three years old and spend the next fifteen years of their life training to be prima ballerina. Broadway dancer and renowned actress, Sutton Foster, described it best when she said, “Ballet is an incredibly difficult, beautiful art form that takes a lot of training, a lot of time, and a lot of hard work”. Why continue if it is that hard? Victories achieved after so many repetitions keep the dancer yearning for more to reach the top of the hill. In the process, trainees and instructors, sometimes, resort to shortcuts that can endanger the health and wellbeing of a student. We have heard stories of muscle and joint overuse as well as dangerous contortions that lead to vertebra stress fractures, and injury to the hip, leg, knee, and ankle.

Cheryl Ale’s Crusade and Vision

That is why it is surprising to read true stories like that of Cheryl Ale, the Founding Director of the Revolutionary Principles of Movement (RPM). She attests that the ballet and dance training methods developed by Jo Anna Kneeland and Ruth C. Petrinovic have proven that injuries can be avoided. The noblest of goals can be attained without destroying a student’s body and future.

by Cheryl Ale

Visit Revolutionary Principles of Movement:

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