Showing posts from February, 2024

Learning Ballet as an Adult: Embrace Your Ballet "Accent"

by Kate Feinberg Robins, PhD Embrace Your Ballet "Accent" I know as a linguistic anthropologist that languages are not made up simply of words, but of grammar, sounds, and cultural understandings. The same is true for ballet.  Ballet is not about what steps we can do. It’s about how we move.  If we know a few words (steps) and understand the principles behind them, we can communicate. If we know lots of words but don’t understand how they fit together grammatically, what they mean culturally, or how to pronounce them, communication is difficult at best. There is a myth that both ballet and languages must be learned in childhood.  Children’s brains and bodies do have greater plasticity. Children can speak new languages without a foreign-sounding accent. Their bodies can be shaped to the aesthetics of ballet. But anyone at any age is capable of learning.  Adults have a lifetime of experience that we can use to learn deliberately and purposefully. Whether learning a language or