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Hi! I am Jodie Gates, professional ballerina, teacher, choreographer and artistic director and I am going to teach you basic ballet. First, we are going to cover placement and alignment, which is how you hold your body at the ballet bar and in the center, the proper technique of ballet.
Then, I will go with the basics of the ballet bar, which is the holding and the placement of your arms and hands which we call in ballet, port de bras, and how we hold our feet and legs. Then I'll cover the five basic ballet positions. We have first, second, third, fourth and fifth.
Both in the feet and the legs, and again, the alignment of the arms and the hands and the head, the head being a Épaulement. Then we'll talk about moving between the positions, such as, what is a plie, a Tombé which is extending the foot out, Degagé, Rond de jambe and so forth as you move forward with the technique and vocabulary of ballet.
Finally, we will move forward and talk about how to continue with your lessons if you choose to pursue learning more basic and intermediate ballet technique. We'll talk about where you can go, who to study with, the appropriate teacher for you.
What you'll need for a ballet and for ballet class is the proper attire, clothing. With the clothing you want to think about what you're wearing that will present a very clean line, so that the teacher can help you appropriately decided what your alignment and placement is to look like.
So, for women I suggest, women and young girls, wear pink tights, simply because it's an easier line, you will be able to see the leg, a black leotard which is one over the tights, and your ballet shoe, which is a slipper.
What you want to do, is to go a local store, ballet store, dance store, find one, it's in the yellow pages and online, and have them fit the shoe to your foot. You don't want it to be too tight and we don't want to be too loose, it should be snug and wide enough to fill the floor and spread your toes appropriately on the floor.
For a gentleman or young boys, you want to think about wearing black tights and a white t-shirt and a dance belt. Men and boys will also wear black slippers as well. Then let's move ahead to how you wear your hair. You want to think about it being slick out of the face, whether it's a ponytail or a bun, keep it clean and slick.
And for accessories try not to wear big bobbles, necklace and bracelets are not appropriate, a watch is fine but make it small something that does not get in the way of the movement.
Now let's talk about safety tips, before we begin. I'd suggest always, even when you first begin ballets particularly when you start, warm up and warm down. It can be a very simple, couple of minutes of either, just stirring on the floor, rolling your ankles, flexing and pointing your toes, and stretching the hamstrings by bending the body forward and coming up again.
Even just a few head rolls to get it going, couple of the times to the right, a couple to the left. Move the shoulders around, back and forward, stretch out as you would if you were going to the gym. Feel the same thing you would feel, get the body in moving, and get the blood going, so that you can appropriately be ready to start at the bar.
And always think about don't over extend, don't expect that Rome was built in a day. it will take a while to get that proper ballet technique. Ballet is based on what we called turn up, which is rotation from the top of the hip line.
And this feels foreign when you first begin, particularly if you are an adult, and just beginning and I forgot to mention that when you -- after you've taken the ballet class, always, always warm down. It's a much safer element. Warming down is same as you warmed up.
Now moving forward into our rotation, when you are rotating, don't force it. Always feel as though the rotation is coming from the top of the hip, don't feel like you have to rotate from the knee or the ankle, that's a little bit dangerous. So find your own rotation very simply and as you move forward in ballet classes and with the technique, it will become easier for you.
Now I'd like to tell you a little bit about my experience and what I have done in the ballet field. I danced professionally for almost 25 years. I danced with the Joffrey Ballet, The Frankfurt Ballet in Germany, with the Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia and as a principle guest artist.
I then moved on to become a choreographer in which I choreograph internationally for various professional companies. And I am an artistic director for a festival in Laguna Beach, called the Laguna Dance Festival. Currently, I am a Professor of Ballet and Dance at the University of California, Irvine.
So that's pretty much wraps up my career and my experience. Now we are ready to go. In the next clip, we'll start with alignment and placement.