Growing up just watching and learning from classical ballet, I did not really know what I was missing.
When I moved to Tampa, I got more into modern ballet and started to feel different movements with my body as well as exploring new ways I could learn a choreography. This is when I realized that dance has so much more behind a tendu.
Nowadays I know that a dancer needs to be versatile, as companies are demanding more and more from their dancers. Some even start to hire choreographers from a completely different dance branch.
Companies are not so classical anymore.
But you know... it is ok!
I am a true lover of classical ballet and its history. I love the romantic era with its Taglionis and Giselles; I love what Pavlova brought by exposing ballet worldwide; I love how a partnership like Fonteyn and Nureyev's inspired audiences.
However, I do like innovations as well. I love that ballet companies are still dancing the classics, but at the same time making new works that will probably be the Swan Lakes and the Nutcrackers of the new era.
Yes, dancers are technically superior compared to the ones from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, but we need to keep track of the fantastic things choreographers can create while we live in the 21st.
As a classical dancer learning how to explore movement (you can read my article for The Wonderful World of Dance "Style Shift" here), I am also learning that I do need to be versatile, and that going off classical ballet for a bit is ok and actually, very interesting.
Do not be afraid of trying new things and exploring how far dance has gone nowadays!
McGregor, Ekman, Millepied, anyone?