Top 5 Misconceptions About Ballet Dancers

ballet teacher training

What comes to mind when you think of “ballet”? How about a “ballerina” or a “ballet dancer”? Most might picture someone who is elegant, graceful, and tiny with perfect posture. Maybe you see pink? A fluffy tutu?

The reality is ballet dancers are built on a lot of hard work, discipline, and passion.

At Alberta Ballet School, we are dedicated to developing skilled, versatile dancers of the highest caliber, in a creative, caring and disciplined training environment. We believe in fostering student success through health and wellness programs.

There are so many common misconceptions about ballet dancers – and everyday as we work with our students, we see them breakdown the following ballet stereotypes:

  1. Health Doesn’t Come Second

    A ballet dancers’ body is under pressure; it is important that they are in top health. Training, rehearsals, performances – and fun – we know our students exert a lot of energy!

    A misconception is that dancers do not eat much, however they need to continually fuel their bodies so they can be at their best. Ballet dancers eat a well-balanced and nutrient rich diet that makes them feel energized. While dietary choices and requirements may vary from dancer to dancer, most are quite conscious of their body’s health.

    Nutrition is a critical part of a dancer’s life. They make educated choices made every day about what to eat knowing their choices directly impact performance, training, and recovery. Alberta Ballet School Board Certified Sports Dietician, Kim Wagner Jones, consults with, and educates, both students and staff on nutrition and positive eating habits. Kim also consults with our Residence Team and third-party suppliers to design meal plans for our Residence Program participants.

  2. Long Lines Don’t Always Come from Long Bodies

    When you watch a ballet performance there is a definite illusion that ballet dancers are extremely tall. Ballet dancers create that impression while on stage.

    The ability to move in isometric or diagonal directions creates the appearance that the dancers are much taller than they are. Ballet dancers wear pointe shoes that change the perception of their height to the audience.

    There is no height restriction to becoming a ballet dancer.

  3. Dancers Are the Opposite of Fragile

    Ballet dancers are not weak. And they are not fragile.

    Ballet is both mentally and physically demanding. Ballet dancers need to have the strength, power, and stamina to put on performances and make it through vigorous training. Ballet is all about a balance between physical power, control, and mental focus.

    At Alberta Ballet School, artistic training in our professional division has been developed to create versatile dancers, capable of creating every type of movement and style sought by today’s dance companies.

    Our ballet curriculum is specifically developed for Alberta Ballet School incorporating prominent influences from Cecchetti, Vaganova, and French systems of training and is overseen by School Director, Ashley McNeil. All students learn from experienced, international school faculty, guest teachers and professional dancers from Alberta Ballet Company. These educators provide mentorship and instruction, allowing our students to reach their highest, artistic potential.

  4. Ballet Is Not Intimidating

    Ballet dancers do take their job seriously, but they have a lot of fun doing it!

    Ballet is challenging, but it is also inspiring. Ballet focuses on ensuring dancers develop confidence, teamwork and perseverance. At Alberta Ballet School we foster a feeling of family between our students, staff, support teams, and parents. We believe in supporting and challenging one another.

    Alberta Ballet School also offers an after school program for those that are seeking dance at a recreational level. Alberta Ballet School’s Open Division is open to all levels of dancers and features:

  5. Boys Dance Too

    There is an evolving misconception that ballet is feminine and for females. The reality is that the art of ballet would not be complete without a masculine compliment. Men are extremely important in ballet training and performance.

    Male ballet dancers exude masculinity through their presence on stage as they make bold and strong movements. Male dancers train for years to reach a level of physicality needed to be a professional ballet dancer. At Alberta Ballet School our professional division artistic program progresses male dancers through body conditioning, technique, musicality and artistry at all levels. As the levels progress, study includes male technique, solo variations, repertoire and pas de deux.

Our recreational, Open Division, is also open to both boys and girls with an interest and passion for dance.

What are you waiting for?

Ballet dancing is much more than costumes and pointe shoes – and we couldn’t be happier! Alberta Ballet School is so proud of its students and alumni – they are the most dedicated young people we know.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about ballet classes in Calgary or Edmonton, contact us!