Just Dance


Ellie Craven is practicing her arabesque. Courtesty of Ellie Craven

Who is stronger: a ballerina or a football player? Ballet is considered fundamental to the posture and agility required for football. Ballet requires thought, concentration, emotion, athleticism, and endurance simultaneously. While remembering the order of steps to perform, dancers have to emotionally convey roles while physically laboring their bodies to move flawlessly in unnatural manners. Millions of people perceive ballet as easy; little do they know the level of technicality and agility ballerinas practice daily.

A ballet class consists of barre work and center work. Barre work is practicing while holding onto a bar and center work is dancing in the center. Dancers do about 12-20 different combinations, or sequences of steps, in a ballet class. The different combinations include turning, jumping, extending legs, and much more. Ballerinas are required to flexible and fit, with enough stamina to push through physically difficult combinations. Advanced dancers usually get to be on pointe, using shoes made of special satin and cardboard to have the ability to dance on top of their toes.

Junior Ellie Craven has been dancing for thirteen years, five days a week. Craven loves the art of dance, and she uses dance as her break from school and the outside world. She can dance her feelings, exercise, and be with her friends.

“After not having dance for a day or two, I start to miss it. I feel like I need dance in my life,” said Craven.

Craven has always loved dance, especially the styles of ballet and flamenco (Spanish dancing). She has learned to do her homework early and manage her time wisely. Although dance consumes most of her free time, she does not mind because she appreciates the art and knows her time is being well spent at dance. Craven enjoys performances most because she has the opportunity to play roles other than herself and show the audience her skill. Ellie also dances on pointe. Although this is painful, Ellie knows all her time and energy put into dance are worth the rewarding and exhilarating feeling of performing.

Senior Gali Du has an insatiable passion for dance. She has danced since she was four years old, and she dances five days a week. Even when she gets burned out of dancing, she continues striving to succeed, which usually brings her out of her tired state.

“Ballet is never boring because you’re always working toward perfection. The problem is that perfection is really impossible. There is no place to stop and think that you’re good enough. There is always that extra turn or that higher extension to achieve,” said Du.

Du may not want to dance professionally, but she does want dance to be one of her majors next year in college. Du’s former ballet teacher Alexei Moskalenko, inspired her to persist through dance, always pushing Du’s technicality and ability forwards. Du loves ballet and would love to continue for as long as possible.

Dancing is seen as an art form, but a rigorous one. Several White Station students put most of their energy into this unique passion of expression through motion.