Traditionally, ballet requires a tall, willowy, and graceful body structure. I'm not saying there can be no good ballet dancers who don't fit this description, but I am saying it helps a lot if you do fit this description. It is also true that this body type is more suited for ballet. I am not the tall skinny type. I am just below average height and slightly stockier than what a typical ballerina should be. I also have slightly thicker ankles than what would be considered good for ballet. If your ankles are thin or delicate, ice skating is probably not for you. In other words, I am far more adapted for figure skating than for ballet. I was also far more natural at figure skating. It seemed to click for me. I enjoyed practicing and I practiced nearly every day. I loved to skate. I enjoy dancing as well, but I'm not quite as suited for it. It's not as natural for me as skiing or ice skating is. I suppose winter sports are more my sort of thing. I think I will always regret quitting figure skating when I was eight. I know that if I had continued it, I would have been pretty good (I realize I'm sounding very boastful right now, but I don't want to have fake modesty either. If I think I would have been a great figure skater I might as well say it. :P). Ballet, on the other hand, was much more complicated for me. I began to improve my dancing skills more and more, but for some reason, when I reached the fifth level of ballet, I began to go backwards instead of forwards in terms of progress. That was when I remember it began to get pretty competitive. I think I couldn't handle the psychological intensity that came with the competition, especially since I can be a very self-conscious person. Figure Skating is also a competitive activity, but I felt more confident with figure skating than I felt with ballet. So after ten years of ballet and two and a half years of pointe shoe classes, I quit ballet as well. In some ways I miss ballet. I miss dancing; I like to dance. But in other ways, I'm glad I'm not doing it any more. I tried out skiing during the Holiday break two years ago, when I went to Quebec. I got the hang of it in four days, and it was really fun. I love the feeling of freedom when I'm skiing quickly down a steep slope. I plan on skiing again next year in Quebec. I feel that in a way, skiing has replaced ballet for me.
However, just because I didn't have the best experience with ballet at times, doesn't mean I don't still love it. I love classical ballet. I think it's a beautiful dance form that, to quote myself, possesses the talent of story telling. Here is the Odile solo from Swan Lake, a classical ballet I often went to see when I was little.
Below is a figure skating duet. As you can see, ballet and figure skating could be seen as similar in some ways, but are very different in many other ways. They have different movements and a pretty different style altogether. Some movements may seem similar at first, but they are executed very differently. For example, ice skaters do not turn out or keep their position the same way a dancer would. Although, it is of course obvious figure skating would differ from dance, since it is a performance art form that takes place on ice rather than on a stage or the wooden floor of a dance studio.
I really like this duet. I think they're excellent skaters. Their movements are very well executed and very graceful.
I really like this duet, as well. I think I may like it even more than the previous one.
I prefer the Russian style of figure skating to other styles, because they often cross-train in ballet and think of ice skating as an art form rather than just a sport.