This is the most obvious way that consistency will make a difference in how you work in class. Turning up every time is so important for learning and retaining knowledge. It also means that you continue to hone your skills, which in turn means that you will derive more enjoyment from your ballet class. Being consistent means that you have more opportunity to express yourself through your dancing rather than just scrambling to keep up with the steps. Ballet technique is the basis for your dance quality and expression. Having consistency means that your technique is constantly refined, giving you the freedom to dance your heart out!
So now that you’re turning up to class every week (big tick for consistency!), let’s turn the attention to how you approach your ballet class. This can swing on the scale from being very easy when life is good, to very difficult if you’ve had a bad day that you can’t shake off. Often ballet class is the silver (or even golden!) lining to an average day, but what happens when it’s not that simple?
Consistency in approach can help. Having a routine for when you arrive at the studio to put you in the right frame of mind cannot be overstated! It might be sitting quietly for a few moments, taking a couple of deep breaths to centre yourself in the space. It might be having a quick ballet related chat with a fellow student or your teacher before you warm up. Maybe it relates to what you are wearing to class, something that makes you feel like a dancer. However, every approach that you take should incorporate a warm up. Warming up not only prepares you physically, but also mentally, and this should not be underestimated. If you can achieve this every time you attend class, you will be perfectly prepared for whatever comes your way in the studio.
Consistency in effort is another area that can be very dependent on how you are feeling on the day. It can be great one week and feel a bit rubbish the next. It can even swing between the two within a single class. So how do you develop consistency in your effort in class? Ballet is truly an ‘in the moment’ experience. When you stop dancing that moment has passed. If you can approach each of your enchaînement with fresh effort every time, not allowing what has gone before to colour your view, you will improve every aspect of your class. Of course, it’s important to hold on to the corrections and instructions that are given to you by your teacher, but if something doesn’t work, it’s important to learn from it and to let it go. This is one of the most challenging aspects of learning ballet. Consistency of effort in every moment that you’re dancing will bring clarity to your dancing and your thinking.
The last area to consider is consistency in thinking. Turning those pesky negative thoughts into positive ones only takes a bit of practice. So next time you’re feeling down about that pirouette that didn’t work or the allegro enchaînement that you couldn’t quite master, remember the beauty of your adult ballet experience is that there is always the next class when you can practice again. And if you act consistently then you will find fulfillment and success!