Anonymous asked: Hello! I'm currently writing a narrative that's very ballet-centric in that my main characters are all dancers. The story starts out when my main character is 7 and entering her first ballet class, and it will progress into her college years at an art school as she hopes to make a profession out of it. My problem is, I know absolutely nothing about ballet and google doesn't do much to help. Any advice? Thanks in advance!
I would recommend taking at least one ballet class! If your city has a professional company with an academy, they usually offer “adult open” ballet classes. Typically you can go on a drop-in basis & pay a reasonable fee ranging from $10-$25 for an hour or hour & a half class. If you don’t have a major dance school in your area, just do a Google search of local schools & browse their websites to see if they offer open classes. These classes are for recreational dance & are welcoming to beginners; don’t worry about not knowing what you’re doing in class. First hand experience even on a basic level is important for you to portray ballet with respect & validity in your writing. After class is over, approach the instructor & ask them if they’re able to answer a few questions for your book (prep some questions before this, obviously). Maybe you can meet up for coffee or at the studio another time if that’s better!
If none of these options seem feasible for you, due to finance or location or whatever, do research! Watch the movie Center State (keep in mind that there will be some exaggerations of stereotypes but it will give you a fairly accurate glimpse) & a documentary called First Position. Watch YouTube videos of classic ballets (Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, La Bayadere, etc), watch solos from Youth America Grand Prix, watch company classes from major companies, etc. YouTube is a great resource!