What Can A Ballet Dancer Teach You?

When we see a ballerina during a performance, we barely think twice about the hard work and hours of rehearsal time she puts in behind the scenes. However, that’s the foundation for the graceful perfection that dancers evoke while performing. Here are some effective tips from the dance world to inspire your own performance in life.

Practice makes perfect

Repetition is what ballerinas thrive on. There might be a short, 5-minute piece meant for a one-off performance, yet every day for maybe two months there’s that same repetition of that piece to ensure the body is coordinated and the brain remembers the steps.

The Law of Repetition states that repeating a behavior (either good or bad) makes it stronger and more powerful. Where could you benefit from more positive repetition? Is it studying for an upcoming exam? Growing in your company by learning something new? The more times an action takes place, the more you build toward the final goal.

Develop new skills

Ballet is an artistic expression, but it’s more than that, too. It requires you to not only move gracefully but to think as well. Dancers learn to let the body flow to the musical rhythm – but with focus and precision. It’s a kind of mental multi-tasking and inspires a creative shift into using different parts of the brain. The necessary quick memorization of steps during class stimulates mathematical thinking; moving to music strengthens the awareness of spatial relationships.

Julia Erickson writes for, “What separates ballet from other athletic endeavors is the creative signature each dancer adds to his or her performance. Sometimes this quality comes deliberately from study and practice. More often it comes from our own perspective and life experiences. Take time to explore and dissect your work, play and relationships. Your experiences and perspective are unique. Don’t be bashful about taking a cue from dancers’ fantastical world of fairy tales. By exploring the world creatively you may find the more beautiful version of it.”

Build Confidence

Ballet is such an extroverted experience that it can help introverts come out of their shell.

Heather Elitou writes for, “I didn’t always love ballet, it was tough, and for a little kid, the discipline could be challenging. But, I am so glad I stuck with it because I was an extremely shy girl who barely talked. Ballet offered me a nonverbal form of expression that saved me.”

In the dance world, confidence comes from regularly working on and improving your physical technique. It also comes from effectively communicating with teachers, partners, and fellow company members about everything from possible roles to sticky parts in a particular piece of choreography. If a dancer and their partner don’t clearly understand how to work together on stage, the results can be devastating. Clear dialogue is essential.

Developing better communication skills and learning to ask more defined questions will build your own confidence as you interact with your own network, both personally and professionally.

Regardless of what your career is, consider these lessons from the ballet world to help you “stretch” further!

-Blue Bliss

Photo by Andrew (


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3 comments on “What Can A Ballet Dancer Teach You?

  1. Fantastic!! A wonderful artistic side of learning discipline.

  2. Great article!

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