The dancing days of summer
(Page 2 of 2)
But for Mr. Boggs, discipline isn't another word for scolding – yelling at students isn't right, he says. "You want a nurturing approach. Discipline helps you express yourself better – it gives you the freedom to move the way you want to move."Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Besides ballet, students can also study different kinds of dance, which may include jazz, hip-hop, ethnic and folk (character class), and modern dance. All of these, says Boggs, help develop a dancer's range and flexibility. "Kids want options as they grow up, and they want to move differently. The more forms of dance you learn, the better."
He tells a story from his own youth. "When I was growing up, I loved classical ballet, and I didn't want to go to the modern dance or jazz classes at all. Eventually I got into American Ballet Theater, and they were doing this piece called 'Opus Jazz,' by Jerome Robbins, and they put me in to learn it. And I could not move that way to save my life. I had been stubborn during my training [while] growing up. So they had to take me out of it, and I missed a great opportunity. So that's where all these forms come into play. The ability to move many different ways is important because no two choreographers are the same."
The students in this program develop friendships and try not to become too competitive. "It's definitely supportive," says Elizabeth. "We all kind of help each other. [Someone will] say 'That was an amazing pirouette, do that again,' and you think, 'Oh, wow! I didn't think anyone saw that.' "
Boggs calls this supportive atmosphere the "esprit de corps" – a spirit of loyalty toward the whole company. He says that no matter how different the individuals may be, under the Colorado Ballet system, they drop their differences to work together.
"I've been to quite a few summer intensives and quite a few schools," says Tiffany. "I used to feel that I had to be at the best school, and I had to have the competition or I wouldn't feel challenged enough.
"But the older I got," she adds, "I realized that I should be competing with myself. So I stopped worrying about other people, and that's when I started to get more out of what I was doing."
The dance world often uses words and terms you may not have heard of before. Here are some, with their pronunciation in parenthesis:
Arabesque [a-ra-BESK] – A position in which the dancer stands on one leg with the other leg extended straight backward.
Barre [bar] – The horizontal bar along the walls of a dance studio that the dancer holds for support. Typically, every ballet class begins with exercises at the barre.
Jeté [zhuh-TAY] – A leap in which the dancer jumps from one foot to the other.
Pas de deux [pah duh DOO] – A partnering in which a man and woman dance together; a duet.
Pirouette [peer-uh-WET] – A complete turn on one leg.
Plié [plee-AY] – A movement in which the knees are bent and the back is held straight.
Pointe[point] – The tip of the toe; only females dance on pointe.
Port de bras [por duh BRAH] – The movements and positions of the arms.
Relevé [rel-eh-VAY] – A movement in which the heels are raised off the floor.
Rond de jambe[rawn duh ZHAHNB] – A circular movement of the leg.
Turnout – A standing position in which the legs are turned out from the hips so that the feet point in opposite directions.
Tutu [too-too] – The skirt worn by a ballerina.
Variation – A solo dance.