Not everyone is a fan of the performing arts, let alone the twirling world of classical ballet, but dance holds certain principles that have the potential to change your life.
I’ve practiced classical ballet for 12 years and taught it to youngsters on and off for 2 years, and I have both learned and taught that we can take away many things from practicing this art – including commitment, grace, dignity and respect.
First and foremost, I learned the physical and mental importance of having determination and persistence when training to perfect balletic techniques. While we all know that ballet dancers tend to display a certain grace, poise and elegance, it’s only a direct result of hard training that their underlying strength and stamina can make every motion look so effortless. Similarly, we all work hard in our lives and have suffered many emotional injuries while learning life’s lessons the hard way. But only if we push through those difficulties with commitment and determination can we come out even stronger, wiser and more “graceful” in our take on life’s challenges. We can then more adeptly “dance” through life.
Believe it or not, I also learned much about dignity and respect through dance. Each movement is all about strength, poise and grace, which gives ballet dancers an air of dignified royalty – and we all know how royalty likes to conduct themselves with pride and ceremony. How beautiful it would be if we all went through life with dignity – carrying ourselves proudly and without shame. The royal human beings we are meant to be! That’s what self-respect is.
Self-respect is truly a rare trait. In ballet training, teachers typically conduct their classes with stern vigor, which serves to foster respect not only for the teacher but amongst the students as well. Respect for authority is a learned trait, as is respect for others and yourself – for your body and spirit, and the things they let you do. Training and honing your body to do beautiful and amazing things is, in fact, an act of self-respect, in that you are unleashing one of your body’s greatest potentials – to create a moving art that instills joy in other people’s souls.
Disrespecting yourself would be to laze about and care nothing for not only your body’s health but for your body’s ability to give others and yourself happiness through it. No judgment though, as only a few of us are hardcore dancers (not me). But this goes for anything in life – it is disrespectful to yourself if you do not work hard at your gifts and talents and let yourself blossom in return.
Whether you are a ballet dancer or not, all people go through life wanting some beauty, some happiness out of it all. But it’s tough out there. There is not always the cue of music and people to applaud you – or a teacher to urge you on! But with simple determination to unleash your potential through your gifts and talents, and with self-respect, the hard work will pay off and lead you on to a more graceful dance through life. Now that’s beautiful!