Ballet Dancers


Reading — Advanced Level
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Ballet dancers increase their risk of injury if they start training earlier than the age of ten. However, ballet dancers typically begin training between the ages of 6 and 8 (for females) and 5 and 7 (for male dancers) if they desire to perform professionally. Training does not end when ballet dancers are hired by a professional company. They must attend ballet class six days a week to keep themselves fit and aware. Ballet is a strict form of art, and the dancer must be very athletic and flexible.

Ballet dancers begin their classes at the barre, a wooden beam that runs along the walls of the ballet studio. Dancers use the barre to support themselves during exercises. Barre work is designed to warm up the body and stretch muscles to prepare for center work, where they execute exercises without the barre. Center work in the middle of the room starts out with slower exercises, gradually leading up to faster exercises and larger movements. Ballet dancers finish center work practicing big leaps across the floor, which is called grande allegro. After center work, females present exercises on pointe, And on their toes, supported by special pointe shoes. Males practice jumps and turns. They may practice partner work together

Ballet dancers are susceptible to injury because they are constantly putting strain and stress on their bodies and their feet. A ballet dancer's goal is to make physically demanding choreography appear effortless.

The upper body of a ballet dancer is prone to injury because choreography and class exercises require them to exert energy into contorting their backs and hips. Back bends cause the back to pinch, making the spine vulnerable to injuries such as spasms and pinched nerves. Extending the legs and holding them in the air while turned out causes damage to the hips. Such damage includes strains, fatigue fractures, and bone density loss.
Source: Wikipedia
  1. One needs to train at an   age to become an expert ballet dancer.

  2. Ballet dancing requires the dancers to   a very strict regimen.

  3. Injuries are   in ballet dancing as the level of difficulty of the practice increases.

  4. Grande is a French word which means   .

  5. Ballet dancers usually experience   which are sudden involuntary muscular contractions or convulsive movements.


Practice your writing skills by discussing the questions below

  1. What does it take to be a ballet dancer?

  2. Do you like dancing? If you do, which dance?

  3. Do you think parents are doing the right or wrong thing enlisting their children at a very young age in ballet school?


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