Corrections! Ahhhhh! There are days where you long to hear even just one and other days you wish they would stop telling you all your corrections.
When I was quite young, taking ballet class, I couldn’t handle being corrected. I didn’t understand that corrections are given to help you improve. I only thought of them as failure. I was disappointing my teacher. I wasn’t good enough.
Corrections are for your benefit. 100%. Don’t be like silly, little me crying because my foot wasn’t pointed enough. I wasted a lot of time being very hard on myself. I encourage you, if you feel like this, to find your inner grit and be confident. Everyone wants the best for you.
When corrections are given, whether they are to you or to someone else in the class, always listen. Knowledge is power. Maybe you did the step correctly that time but one day, possibly, it will stop working for you and having a bigger knowledge to tap in to will only help you.
My biggest TIP to make sure that corrections really make a difference for you, is to use a notebook. At the end of the day write down all the corrections you remember. Take the time to go back through the class in your head, remembering what was said. Your brain has to recall what you were just told. This can be easier said then done. It’s normal to hear your corrections in class and then walk away and not remember them or not remember them until you are doing the step wrong again. Write. Force your brain to stay on top of your ballet technique.
You can scribble! You are the only person who needs to understand what it says. Spelling goes out the window. This is just about getting as many thoughts down as possible.
If you are playing a character in a ballet, I would also encourage you to write down all the emotions the character goes through. Write down lines as if you could speak. What would your character be saying in those moments on stage if they could.
Read your notes over and over and over again. Before you go to class, before you go on stage, before a rehearsal, before you go to bed, whenever you can. The more you think about it, the more automatic the corrections will be and the thoughts will become a part of you.
Before I entered the stage as Odette in Swan Lake, I had my notebook in the wings with me so I could read my thoughts helping me be completely in the moment. To be Odette. Feel as she feels.
If you are thinking, “Ok Holly, sure, but I can only think about so many things at once and sometimes I need my entire focus just to pick up the combination.” I get it! I totally get it. Been there. Some days you’ll be better then others. Some days really are just class, warm-up and go kind of days. 😉
If you are feeling overwhelmed by trying to remember everything then narrow it down to only one or two corrections and try to apply them to every combination. Then the next day, try two different ones. Preferably without losing the corrections you worked on yesterday.
If you want to improve at the fastest rate possible buy a notebook and start writing. Make your thoughts support your movements.
Notebook. It’s a secret weapon. I swear by it.