Ballet 101 for absolute beginners: How to start. | Anne-Marie Pos-Terlouw | Skillshare

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Ballet 101 for absolute beginners: How to start.

teacher avatar Anne-Marie Pos-Terlouw, Professional ballet dancer and teacher.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (19m)
    • 1. Intro ballet 101

    • 2. What you need

    • 3. How to stand

    • 4. How to us your core

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About This Class

It is never too late to start taking up and enjoying ballet! But how to start? 

This class will help you out! It covers 4 lessons, namely

  • The introduction and welcome to the course.
  • What you need.
  • How to stand as a ballet dancer.
  • How to use your core.

This class is the start of a longer course for absolute beginners in ballet. Just to give you background and basic information and make you feel good and confident before you go into a group balletclass.

Everything we discuss you can start doing yourself very easily at home. Should you want to continue with ballet, then I advise you to take up group classes as well. It is important to have a teacher or coach that can see you through your process.

Okay, let's start your ballet journey and have fun together! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Anne-Marie Pos-Terlouw

Professional ballet dancer and teacher.


Hello, I'm Anne-Marie. 

I am an enthousiastic, cultural entrepreneur with love for dance, music and theatre. 

My profession is teaching ballet (Russian Vaganova method), and especially to (young) adults of all levels.

Recently more and more adults are starting with taking up ballet. The community of adult ballet dancers is growing and growing. And that is why I am here. To teach you ballet. Because it is never too late.

Do you want to join? You can. Let's start!

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1. Intro ballet 101: Hi and welcome to this course ballet 101 for complete beginners. My name is Anne Marie Pos, and I am a certified professional ballet dancer and ballet teacher for over 20 years. So you are in good hands. Did you always want to start ballet? But you didn't have the opportunity. And now you're older. Now you're in luck because there is, a course, right here to tell you. to teach you, to practice the basics. And that is exactly what I'm gonna do. In this course, we will start, obviously with how to stand because it's a different way then standing and waiting for the bus, for instance. You have specific groups of muscles you have to initiate and set to have a really fixed and really strong core muscles and then be able to use and dance with the legs and the head and the arms in a really softly smooth way, but keeping the core really strong. So we're going to practice that and I will explain you how to do that. Which muscles to use. Of course, I think that you already know, you've seen a lot of ballet, so you know that ballet dancers do not dance in a parallel position, but they have the feet and their legs turned out. This is practical, practicality because, imagine this. If you are turned in, you kind of block your way of mobility. If you turn out, you have a whole range of mobility and movements. So that is the reason that we in ballet dance with turnout. I will tell you more about this specifically in the video clip dedicated to the turn out. And I will tell you, explain to you, and show to you which muscles to use and how to execute and how Keep it in your exercises. mind you, this will require a lot of practice. But if you're really dedicated and I think you are because you're here, then you will learn this and you will be fine. I am going to teach you the basic positions of the feet. The basic positions of the arms, positions of the head, épaulement, which is movement of the shoulders. And I'm going to teach you the three most important movements in ballet. With these three movements, everything starts, so you need to learn them from the basic and when you are able to do this correctly, you will see that learning other steps will be much more easier and safe for your body because you don't want to get injuries. These three movements are the plié, tendu and relevé. I will explain more about that in the dedicated videos. Okay, how to use this course? I made separate clips, separate videos with explanation, explaining everything, and then when we start in movements after the explanation and demonstration, there's another clip and we could do an exercise together with music. And then I'll give you some feedback. But of course I cannot see you. So I would advise you not only to follow a course like this one, but to go to a life action real class with a group and a life teacher, because then she or he can see you and work with you to make sure that you are again working safely and not getting any injuries, which is really important not only for your body, obviously, but also for your fun. Some of the clips you will notice that I will be on my own and some of the clips I will be helped by our wonderful dancer Desiree. So look forward to that. At the end we'll have an entirely new section and I'm going to put all the exercises after one another so you can follow through without the explanation. So you can dance along really quickly and get a little bit of cardio going on. Then stick to me till the end because in the end I'll have a special offer for you. Have fun. 2. What you need: Hello, everybody. In this video I will short, real quickly explain to you what you need to do this course successfully. Luckily that's not a whole lot. The list is short. Because if you are following this course in the comfort of your own home, I can imagine you don't have a ballet bar. So you just use a chair use the railing of a chair or maybe the edge of your couch, your sofa. Or there are even ballerinas who practice with their hands on a counter in the kitchen. So the most important thing is that you have the right height. So as you can see, for me it's just a little bit above my waist and you should be able to do comfortably the second position with the arms, and then lay the arm down on the barre. The arm is going down and you have a little bit kind of a cascading movement. Really subtle. down into the barre. Now, your ballet barre, or whatever you're using, is not there to grip on. But just to assist you. Whenever you feel that you might lose your balance a little bit. You're letting go of your abdominal muscles. That's okay. Then you can adjust, correct the muscles again and continue. We will talk about this more other videos. Okay, So you have your support, done. Your clothing. Okay. I am wearing today a tight T shirt and I am wearing my tights. It is cold today so I have some leg warmers and I have a skirt. You don't need to have all of that. If you're just starting out, you could just train. Go ahead, and train in a T shirt with a legging. So basically if you already have a set ready for your yoga or Pilates class, Just put it on for your workout for ballet. No problem. Then the question of ballet shoes? Well, if you decide to continue with ballet, yes, I would definitely advise you to buy ballet shoes. Okay. The ballet hoes are like this. You can buy them with split or whole sole, and they are very bendy, very flexible. Yeah, okay. But, when you're starting out with ballet and you just want to try it out. You don't know exactly if you want to continue, Then I would advise you to do the exercises on socks. Yeah. The main thing is, super important, that you will be able to articulate all the muscles in the feet. We are going to warm them up and use them in various styles to bring them down and up. So you can later on be able to jump and to turn. So, don't train, don't do these exercise in sneakers, because that simply is too tight, and your foot can not really move smoothly. Good. Yes. These are all the things you need to start out. Okay, let's go 3. How to stand: Hello, everybody. and welcome to the video explaining how to stand as a ballet dancer because it's really different than when you are, say, waiting for a bus or like I'm standing right now. Obviously, this is not the right way to go. So let's discuss real quickly how you are standing and what your posture is before you, begin your exercises, before you begin to dance and then which muscles you will be using. Which will also continue in the next video 'How to use your core'. Good. Let's see. First of all your weight is a little bit more forward then you are used to. Meaning, I am not to the back on my heels, where I can lift my toes. And I am not sinking into my legs and into my hips But, I am moving forward on the toes and at one point I can easily lift my heals and then to top it off, use the following image. You have a thread from the top of the head s 00:01:20.650 --> 00:01:33.000 going up to the ceiling. Now that thread is going down you neck, down all the vertebrae's, down your spine, down to the tail bone and then imagine a little weight pushing down into the floor. So you have two forces working here. You have a force working up. And you have a force down. So that in ballet and you can do it also in other dance forms is your axis, your central axis. Around the axis, then you are free to move whatever side you want to go, whatever you want to do. Let's review, stand parallel, and I will stand a little bit a cross to the barre, so you can see what is happening. Stand parallel and really take a parallel position that has the width of your hipbones. So let's see if I am correct. Looking down and trying to draw a line from the bones from your hips, going over the thighs, your knees, your shinbones and the middle toe. Perfect. Now we are bringing our weight a little bit forward, and I feel immediately that I am working my buttocks muscles. I'm squeezing them just a little bit. Don't squeeze the whole big muscle, the gluteus maximus, because if you do like squeeze really hard, you will not have any movement, freedom of movement left. It will be stuck. You don't want that, you want mobility. So just here under, the gluteus minimus, squeeze gently. It will happen really naturally when you're transferring the weight to the front and make yourself longer. Remember the thread going up to the ceiling, so you have a long neck, shoulders down, ribs are really gentle and really in. Shoulders are open and down. And I feel my arms a little bit floating, I have some space under my armpits. And then to the back here, I hold my little buttocks muscles. Here, to top it of, I have my inner thigh muscles, I squeeze them gently to keep this position. Because you can imagine and I encourage you to try it, go ahead, if you let go, of the muscles here and the muscles here, and you do not have the imagine of lifting and going down into the floor. Make yourself as long as possible, then you get this. you are in a very, very relaxed position. But also in a very heavy position. Go ahead. Try it. You can pause the video right now. Did you try it? Good. Excellent. So, we will discuss the use of the core in the next vide. See you then, bye. 4. How to us your core: Hello, dancers. How is it going? Now that we practiced how to stand, we apply using the core. What do we mean by core? People who doing Pilates or yoga already know right? But let's review real quickly. With your core we mean your torso and we mean the abdominal muscles, then your back and your buttocks. So, this portion, your torso, your power house, your center, your core. Okay, Now. To use your core in a very efficient way you can use the following images. The belly button, you are going to pull backwards. Try it for yourself. I'll stand here, this is my relaxed position. I am going to pull my belly button to the back. I can also do like breath in, and lift myself up. Right? Try it for yourself. let's go together. And one. There you go. Now the next image we are going to use is, in between the belly button and the pubic bone you have a lot of abdominal muscles, right? Okay, we're going to activate and we are going to use them, obviously, because we need them to stand upright. Okay, use the image of a pair of jeans that might slightly be too tight for you? So you have your zipper right here and you go like, hmmpfffm ah you know what I mean. Try it for yourself. Here we go, relaxed position, belly button in. Get a little bit taller. And now the zipper. There you go. Well, in the back what we already discussed a little bit in the previous video, in the back you feel immediately a little bit engagement here, your buttocks muscles. Let it happen. Do it. So squeeze it gently, and move yourself up. Now, the front is gonna goas flat as you can. Flat to side and up. You want to have a really flat nice front of the body. I will show you the difference. If you let go of the muscles you will get this and you will also see. that this part, your pelvis, and hips and everything here is relaxed and goes up. We don't want that. Because it has an effect on every plié and relevé that we make. Logical right? So you want to pull this up. And we want to pull these down. Now, do be careful that you are not going to much down here on the back, because then you have something we call tucking under. I'll show you. This. This is too much. And I can detect this already because I'm pulling here in front in my groins. There's too much strain here. We don't want that, so you pull it up again here. We want the groins, the muscles here tall and long, but relaxed. and not oempf. They are long and activated. Good. That's a lot of information, right? But you can do this. Let's apply what we already know. from the last video. Which was how to stand as a ballerina, a ballet dancer. And now apply the bit about the core. Here we go. So parallel position, bring your weight forward. Belly button in. Engaged the muscles up, close the zipper. Squeeze the buttocks muscles, engage the inner thigh muscles. Elongate up from the top of your head, and feel a long neck, shoulders down, And then from the back a long spine, and down into the floor. Feel as tall as you can and now try to move around and feel that have a really strong core, your powerhouse. And you are ready to go. Okay. Good job. In the next video, we will discuss how to breath as a ballet dancer. See you then!