When you enter a dance studio, the first position they place you in is in front of a mirror at the ballet barre. Your fingers, just barely brushing the round surface of the wood, it's job being merely to remind you of your inner strength and keep you in place when your center is unhinged. It's the place you check your balance, watch your posture and hone your attitude. Its the place you learn new techniques, master combinations and correct minor errors in steps. It's your starting line for the rest of your career as a dancer. The barre is like your safe place, where your family is, where your support system dwells, the place you grew up.
The barre is the foundation of your core, as a home is of your soul. The barre prepares you to be steady on your own. In order to land and articulate a proper triple pirouette you must first learn the art of tucking in your core, straightening your back and keeping your foot in the front of your knee in posse. All of which are intricate steps initially taught next to the barre. The key is having the ability and strength to do it on your own. This is where many struggle. They become dependent on the barre. Rather than allowing their finger tips to grace its surface, their entire hand grips around it like they're holding on for dear life. They don't know how to be in control on their own. They're not ready when they make it to the center. They have nothing to hold them together without the barre. The barre is your safety, not your crutch. It's purpose is to instill technique and training to stand on your own. One cannot grasp the barre till their knuckles turn white and expect a smooth landing once they've moved on to traveling across the floor. How can you expect yourself to leap when you don't give yourself the freedom to let go?
There is only so much your parents, guardians or loved ones can do for you. At a certain point you have to be the one to make your own decisions. They teach you the basics, as you would learn at the barre, to prepare you for center stage. They can advise by correcting mistakes and showing you where you went wrong. But once you walk away, once you're living on your own, you have to find that balance within yourself. You have to take what you learned at the barre and apply it to the combinations and choreography you will perform.
When I graduated from high school five years ago my ballet teacher of 14 years told me this: "Take what you learned here and bring it with you." And I think I finally understand what she meant.
Never forget the essence of your spark!