Modern Dance Benefits Ballet Dancers

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Modern dance is a dance form that developed in the early twentieth century, partly as a rebellion against the traditional, more highly technical forms of dance such as ballet, as well as a way to express contemporary social concerns. While strongly influenced by classical ballet, the movement of modern dance can be quite different in dynamics and style; many movements are weighted and close to the earth. BCH Alumna current Ballet/Modern Dance college major.Modern Dance is typically done barefoot.

Modern class
JoDee Engle, teaching floor work in modern class.

 Modern Dance is very diverse and generally cannot be categorized as any specific dance style, although many dance styles influence much of the movement. Modern Dance in the twentieth century not only broke free of the constraints of traditional dance forms but provided important social commentary to the upheaval and turmoil of the century’s greatest changes.

Modern Dance Skills
Examples of bison, high release, and contractions.
Many dancers today enjoy Modern Dance because it can allow them to be more expressive and free in their movement. While there definite technical elements, Modern Dance gives the dancer a freedom of expression that ballet sometimes cannot. Modern Dance offers dancers a chance to explore their creativity through movement. It also builds a lot of strength! From floor work, to jumps, to partnering and improvisation, a Modern Dancer uses his/her entire body and must learn to go from one level to another quickly and seamlessly.
For any dancer, being exposed to as many different styles of dance as possible is always a good thing. Incorporating Modern Dance into a young dancer’s ballet training is essential if you are wanting to develop a well-rounded dancer and performer. It is difficult these days to find a Ballet company that isn’t adding contemporary works to their repertoire. The more versatile a dancer can be, the better chance that dancer has of having a sustainable career like our alumna! Modern also builds a strength in a dancer that you cannot acquire through ballet alone.

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