Thursday, June 11, 2015

Home Practice?

I'm kind of paranoid about practicing at home.  You know how there's that quote "Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect."  I always think I'm going to practice bad habits and get them ingrained into my body.

So my solution is to only practice things that literally could not be any worse.  Things that I know are bad, so my mind won't start to think otherwise.  Things that are so bad they aren't even at a level that corrections in class are helpful.  Things like petit allegro jumps (why won't my legs assemble in assemblé???) and pirouettes.

I usually do these things when I'm already warm (after Other Movement, yoga, or ballet class), but sometimes do some basic tendus, pliés and relevés because I can't get into too much trouble with these.  I'm thinking about adding a more comprehensive but still basic barre.  Kathryn Morgan's "Easy Ballet Barre" on YouTube seems like it would be appropriate.  I have a lovely ballet space at home (with a wall mounted barre), and it would be a shame not to use it more.

I also do flexibility and conditioning at home obviously, but I don't count that as ballet practice.

I don't practice more complex things at home that we do a lot in class, because I'd rather just work on them properly in class.   I definitely don't practice anything fancy at home off of YouTube that I haven't learned in class.  One of my ballet teachers yelled at a student for this, saying he could tell that he had been teaching himself off of YouTube because the move looks a certain way on video but it actually isn't that way.

This is how I approach practicing at home, not throwing shade at anyone who does it differently!  Do you practice at home?  What and how do you practice?


  1. The teacher YELLED at the student for teaching himself off youtube? :0 That's a little scary... luckily Teacher seems to be cool with home practicing, and has even told the class to look up certain moves on youtube so they can have an idea of how it should look.
    I'm a big proponent of practicing at home, BUT I wouldn't advise anyone who's just starting off to do so unless they're being very cautious. I think when it comes to practicing at home it's important both to have a good idea of how the move should look ideally (which a brand-new beginner may not have, unless they've been exposed to lots of good ballet), and to be able to see yourself (either a mirror, or videotaping it) while practicing the move. When I first started off I just did plies and releves in each position to build up strength, then after I wanna say 4 months or so I started doing a beginner barre routine, exact copy of what we did in class. Then way later I started to diversify it a bit. Kathryn Morgan's videos are excellent and I often go through youtube looking for official class videos. I do wonder, did the student who got yelled at learn from watching amateur videos, or official teacher-taught ballet class videos?
    That said, it is extremely easy to pick up bad habits (as I've found out firsthand)! Unfortunately for me, I tend to learn better at a really slow pace and through lots of repetition, so that's why I like to practice at home. Oh, and 'cause it's a really fun way to spend some time :)
    By the way, that is so cool you have an actual barre.

    1. Haha, well sternly lectured is more like it. It was a very specific case though so I should have given more context. This student is a late starter, but he's a teenaged boy with natural talent, so it IS still possible for him to possibly dance professionally. So basically, the teacher told the boy if he really wants to do that, he has to learn properly, because he is getting all sorts of bad habits by learning off of YouTube in an attempt to "catch up." Because if you do want to dance at that level, you can't just get the "impression" of it based on how it looks on a video (even with pros) absolutely has to be technically correct. The teacher said there can be illusions about how things look versus how they are actually accomplished.

      He is never so stern with other students, because we don't have the same things at stake, if you see what I mean?

      I do love having a barre at home. My boyfriend installed it, so it also makes me happy that he is so supportive. I mostly use it for my privates though! As you can tell from my post, I am VERY much the cautious type.

    2. Also, he is teaching himself like REALLY higher level stuff off of YouTube that isn't covered in class...and he's just doing it on the side between combinations. So I can see why the teacher got lecturey!