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too old for classes?

Guest Bree79

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Hello all! I am really happy to have found this website! I was wondering if anyone could help me out with a few questions.


1. I am 23 years old and I really don't know too much about ballet...but I am very interested in taking them both to learn and to have fun. Am I too old to start?


2. If I'm not too old, then would anyone know of any adult beginner classes to take around this area? :shrug: (I live in Northern Delaware in the USA) and how many is good to start with?


3. Lastly, would there be anything that I could do to 'prepare' myself before starting (if i can start)? like stretching, etc?


I appreciate any information that anyone can give me :(


Thank you!

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Let me just kick the responses off with the answer to the first of your questions: Of course you're not too old! :(


Now, as I was never an adult beginner, I'll hand this over to the rest of the gang, and you can continue; I'll just kibitz.

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I started in my 30's and am still doing it often -- means a LOT to me.....


You know what helped me a lot before starting? WATCHING CLASS:


I got a sense of hte shape of the class, what hte order of hte exercises is, and started thinking about why they[re in that order, and noticing who did things in a way I liked and who didn't ,and was thinking about how I'd like to dance before I started in on it .... THAT's how I'm going to do grand battement, or whatever.....


Good luck!!! Hope you find a good school and really enjoy it.....

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1- To late to learn and have fun? I wish I had your age! I was 48 when I took my first ballet class. Four years later, I find myself at Intermediate II level taking 2 regular and 1 repertoire classes a week, and I love it more than ever.


2- I live in Montréal so I can't help on this one


3- I guess what helped me most to prepare myself for what I was about to live has been to participate in bulletin boards with an adult beginners section like this one(Blue Diamond was another one). Made me realize it was possible to give it a try despite my age and the fact that I had no previous experience in dance. People were very supportive.


Good luck and enjoy yourself.



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I think most of the cities in the western world have beginners ballet classes. I started ballet from scratch as an adult. I started when I was nineteen in a very basic class, and quickly got into it and to a higher level. To prepare it might be a good idea to read a book about it. The Joffrey Ballet's 'Ballet Fit' is a book I wish I'd read when I started classes. It tells you all the basic positions, what to expect, what will happen when you get better at ballet (e.g. more advanced work, pointe,) has stretching exercises, and it even tells you what to wear. You could just show up in comfortable clothes and wear socks instead of ballet slippers for your first class, just to see what you think.


As has been said above, you will get into it quickly, especially if you are as enthusiastic as you sound. This is dangerous, time-wise :shrug: but it will give you something very rewarding and fun in your life.


Good luck and let us hear all about it! :(

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Guest kristinene

You can never be too old for dance! I plan on dancing in my wheelchair at 102. :hyper:


Although I didn't start as an adult, I highly reccomend taking an adult beginner class. The children's beginner class, although the right level, would not be geared to an adults needs. Adults and children learn differently from what I've seen at class! Also, it's great to have class with people in your same situation, if only just to compare aches and pains with!


Good luck finding a class you like, and have fun! :bouncing:

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Welcome Bree79!

Yes I agree that lurking at different sites such as this one as well as Blue Diamond helps alot! These sites will most probably give you a lot that you don't get from class.

But I didn't like the Joffrey Ballet Fit at all. It was too much of a commercial for my taste.


I would recommend Gretchen Warren Wards Classical ballet technique once you have realised that you can't live without ballet!


As far as to how many classes...for me once a week the first term was enough, just to get me started and to convince myself that this was something that I wanted to do and not just another of my crazy ideas :bouncing: Then the second term I did two classes a week...and then I was hooked! That was almost two years ago. If I had the time and money I would dance every day! My opinion is that you should take the time to let yourself and your body getting use to ballet and not to rush into it, otherwise you might get bored and think that all the things are too much for you.

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To prepare it might be a good idea to read a book about it. The Joffrey Ballet's 'Ballet Fit' is a book I wish I'd read when I started classes. It tells you all the basic positions, what to expect, what will happen when you get better at ballet (e.g. more advanced work, pointe,) has stretching exercises, and it even tells you what to wear.

I have to second Kate B on this one. I think I have read that book cover to cover about 5 times since I started dancing and I catch new things in it each time. Also, if you are looking for some exercises (stretching, basic floor barre) you can also find them in the book and try some of them out (carefully of course since you don't know what you are doing) before you get into the studio. It's a marvelous book for someone who has never danced before and the pictures echo everyon's opinion that there is no one body type/age/gender that you must conform to to be a dancer. But of course I am a little biased about the book because one of the authors is also my teacher :bouncing:

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I’ll disagree with others and say that the best thing you can do to prepare is to find a beginner class right away and start. I think doing a lot of preparation, whether it be physical practice, watching, reading, or whatever just builds anxiety. The hardest thing is to walk into the studio that first time.


Once you actually start class, you will get ideas about what you need to do.


I started ballet at age 52. I had done competitive ballroom for a few years before that so I wasn’t all that scared to start.


Northern Delaware is suburban Philadelphia, so there must be tons of places you might try. As I recall Blue Diamond has a list of recommended teachers that you might consult. Choose Pennsylvania as your state (people in Delaware know to do that for most things anyway). Call some of the recommended places. If you think they are too far away, ask for a recommendation closer to you.


I often play “if I knew then what I know now,” and when I think about dance, I would have chosen to have started with ballet, forgetting ballroom completely. I would have taken two beginner classes a week and thrown in a Pilates mat class just so I could learn the basic principles of Pilates. I would also have done some general exercise 3-4 times a week, working on my physical dance weaknesses—flexibility and cardio (bodyweight) in my case.

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we're all different , and different aspects of ballet will appeal more and other s less--


a book that you might hate but that I like a LOT might mean a lot to you if line matters to you -- as it does to me.

It's kind of British -- Kay Ambrose's "Ballet Student's Primer" which is full of BEAUTIFUL drawings of the exact differences between croisee, en face, effacee, ecarte devant and derriere --


I'd seen a lot of the Royal Ballet, LOVED them, so that way of "looking" was my way into enjoying ballet as a spectator and through my selse of kinesthetic identification with hte dancer (i.e., of feeling he movement vicariously throught



But you WILL need to know these things, whe you get into hte center aafter hte barre is over - -and when things start to move fast, it REALLY helps to know how to orient yourself. All these positions are the BASIC angles you could put yourself in. It all comes out of the way of understanding your x, y and z axes with respect to yourself and also to an imagined observer....


Having a book to study can REALLY help -- especially since most teachers will not stop to explain the differences in detail. (I just took an adult-beginners class myself last night, -- i've got an injured foot and am taking "slow" classes to rehab -- and a new student asked what croisee devant was and she was told to go get a book and learn the "8 directions" -- and indeed, a book and a mirror are necessary to your homework).

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Hi Bree79 -


You are definitely not too old to start ballet. I started this past Jan. 2003 at the recommendation of my doctor after having to have emergency surgery. He suggested Ballet as a way to strengthen my abdominal muscles.


As far as preparation, the most I did was go buy some ballet slippers and hunt a studio that was nearby that had evening classes.


I encourage you whole heartedly to get to a ballet studio as fast as you can. It is such a wonderful form of exercise (you DO break a sweat) and a trmendous stress reliever.


I take two classes a week that generally last an hour and 15 min... sometimes longer due to additional instruction our ballet teacher gives us. When I started back in Jan. I found 2 classes a week to be beneficial, not only for my body but for my brain......less chance to forget what I've learned.



Oh and BTW, I'm 37 years old and my abdominal muscles have never felt better!! :D

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Yay! Thank you so much everyone for your response. It has really helped me out. I will take the books into consideration. I'm surprised that I didn't think of that myself! :D


I did some research, and found a place nearby that teaches adult beginner classes in the evening, once a week for 45 minutes. I suppose that's ok to start out with? Should I try taking a pilates class as well, or will that be too hard for a beginner?


Thanks again, I really appreciate the help! :flowers:

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Guest MissInga

I did very little ballet growing up and started at 30. Now, I am not naturally very flexible and have had to work little by little, but I love it. I started 2 days a week, because once is not enough, you forget everything too quickly. Now I take 5 days a week after 3 years of study. Consistency is important and not giving up. I just showed up and starting doing it. I don't think it needs much more than your motivation!

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Dear Bree79,


good luck with your classes! I agree with Garyecht, nothing you read can really prepare you for what the experience of your first class will be like. Everyone here has given really good suggestions about books and preparation. However, reading about technique can get a little overwhelming. If you have access to ballet videos (from your local library maybe) or can even go to see a performance, that might be a fun introduction. Also, if the teacher will let you observe a class before you start, that helps make it less intimidating.


Let us know how it goes!

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