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Dance your way through 2018 with these life lessons

For many people, January is a time to reflect on the lessons learned the previous year, and to start looking forward to what the new year will bring.

In celebration of the Cape Town City Ballet’s performances of The Firebird and Les Sylphides at the Maynardville Open-Air Festival this month, we take a look at some of the best life advice that ballet can provide for the year ahead.

Keep focused in times of chaos

One of the keys to a successful pirouette is to focus on a static object. Dancers will select a spot in the room and keep their eyes focused on it for as long as they can, before whipping their head around to execute the turn and then finding their spot again. This technique helps to prevent dizziness, and allows a dancer to be precise with their movements.

Remember this technique when you set your goals for the year – keep your eyes on the prize!

Prepare to put in the work

Professional dancers will spend at least eight hours every day in classes and rehearsals to ensure that by the time they get to the stage, everything looks effortless.

It sounds cheesy, but it’s true – hard work really does pay off. Whatever your goal for 2018, make sure you’re willing to work for it – whether it’s learning a new skill or kick-starting your exercise routine.

Commit to persevering

You may not achieve something perfectly the first time, or even the fourth time. But don’t give up on yourself or your goal. Dancers will drill the same combination dozens of times a day until they can execute it perfectly, pushing through fatigued muscles and bruised feet. The result is almost always worth it.

Get back up every time you fall

No matter how many hours you put in, or how many times you’ve done something, there is always a chance that you will make a mistake. The secret is to get right back up, dust yourself off, and keep dancing.

Whatever you do, do it passionately

Legendary dancer Martha Graham famously wrote: “Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.”

So, whatever you have planned for 2018, throw yourself into it.

Get your tickets to the Cape Town City Ballet’s performances of The Firebird and Les Sylphides – running from 24 to 28 January as part of the Maynardville Open-Air Festival – on Computicket.


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