I want to share a little insider information on what many of you may experience upon being newly employed. Hearing this information prior to starting your career will be invaluable to you. Here it is: When you begin your new career, you might find something missing — your technique.
You may, in fact, find that it will go something like this.
Your dream has come true…
after many years of hard work,
after many tears and plenty of sweat,
after many performances – good and bad,
you’ve got your job!
The contract is signed.
Your special order shoes are on their way.
Costume fittings and rehearsals have begun,
but you feel as if something is lost.
What could be amiss? What iss missing? Of all things, it is your TECHNIQUE!
Raise your hand if you have experienced your technique slipping once you got hired as a professional ballet dancer. My hand is definitely up! I so vividly remember thinking to myself, “How is it that I am now getting worse?” Relax, though – this is a normal shift that can be corrected. Everyone knows that learning is a verb of infinity, and so it goes with your technique. The learning never ends.
Your technique will naturally slip in the beginning as you switch your focus to rehearsals and performances versus the daily mind set of train, train, train you were used to. The hours you previously spent in class are now filled with learning new choreography for anywhere between one to six ballets at a time. Here are a few ideas to help combat against this natural occurrence.
- During off hours, find extra classes you can take.
- Tap into your memory and recall some of the corrections you remember hearing.
- Partner up with another company member and stay after class to work on a step you’re hung up on.
- Practice perfecting your technique within the choreography you are learning as you will rehearse those steps repeatedly while trying to get it polished and ready for the stage.
- Do not let frustrations stand in your way of what you know your body and mind can achieve.
Do you have any tips you can share that you have found especially helpful with a slip in your technique? I would love to hear them.