You’ve just spent two and a half or three hours in your seat watching a beautiful ballet. Have you ever had the thought, “How do they remember all those steps!?”
Ballet dancers have two major tricks up their sleeves.
1. MUSIC. The music does absolute wonders for dancers. Once the music becomes familiar, the steps are 100 times easier to remember. Even if you haven’t performed a role for several years, if you hear the music, usually the steps just start coming back to you.
2. MUSCLE MEMORY. Ballet dancers have a tool that they’ve been training from the very first day that they took a ballet class. Our muscle memory is highly tuned. When we are preparing for a premiere, we practice the steps for 4-6 weeks. Our muscles get familiar with the sequences, until they are so familiar that we don’t even have to think about the steps anymore. Eventually, after hours of practice, the steps just come and we get the luxury to finally let go and perform.