When you break the name of this blog down ‘A Ballet Attitude’ the key word in the phrase is attitude – att.i.tude. There are a number of definitions in the dictionary for the word attitude as follows:-
- the arrangement of parts of a body or figure
- a position in ballet similar to an arabesque with the lifted leg bent at the knee
- a mental or emotional position taken regarding a fact or state
- a negative or hostile state of mind
- a cool, cocky, defiant or arrogant manner
For me, attitude plays such a huge part in ballet. There’s the obvious, the ballet definition of an attitude with the lifted leg bent at the knee, but it is also the barometer that sets the day. I can decide when I wake up, that it’s going to be an incredible day where I am going to land every double perfectly and have so much extension in my jete’s that I will literally fly across the floor. Alternatively I can decide that I haven’t had much sleep, that I didn’t allow enough time to write my essay and as a result I am going to get a bad grade.
Attitude can be taken from a different perspective. Everyone has probably experienced a a class or an audition where one particular girl waltz’s into the studio as though she were a prima ballerina and decided that she wants your space at the barre. She’s the type that will, with every combination, gradually ease you into the space of the girl behind you until you feel like you have to find another spot. She’s the type of girl that will kick you during a combination and not feel the need to say sorry. She may get noticed but she won’t win friends or favors by behaving like this.
In contrast there is the girl at the other end of the spectrum. She comes into the studio almost apologetically and finds the furthest most remote spot into the room. She has no confidence in herself or ability. She will probably be able to do every combination but will crumble under scrutiny.
There are those of us who take every criticism or correction as an opportunity to work hard and improve ourselves. Others may take the same information and feel like the teacher doesn’t like them or worse still decide that the teaches doesn’t know what they are talking about.
It would be easy to spend hours writing examples of different types of attitude but what is most important is the attitude that you decide to take when presented with various situations. When things are tough I’ll work my way through it. Sure, I know that some days it will, in fact, be tough, but you just have to maintain a great ‘Ballet Attitude’.