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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Adult ballet class


Guest mje

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Our class meets 5 days a week with the most wonderful teacher. We have an average of 8-10 students and they are serious and hard workers. Some are retired professional dancers and some are just ballet buffs. The oldest is in her sixtys and still can finish a full 1 1/2 jumps and all. What a plus for these dancers. Why don't more participate? :wacko:

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Because it takes a serious commitment, even as a hobby.

 

But -- if word gets out about the fact that you're getting great instruction AND that there is good comraderie about the students, you may find the class growing eventually.

 

I took at a studio for years that had that kind of group, led by a wonderful teacher. We enjoyed many, many social events together, including a once a month dinner out for everyone who had a birthday that month, complete with tons of presents and revelry.

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mje, you are lucky indeed. I just found out one of my classes is probably going to be cancelled because of low attendance. Very low indeed -- I'm the only student! :wink: Sigh. This class used to attract a solid group of 5-6 students, but after the time and teacher were changed, the rest of the class vanished. Not all of that was due to scheduling, I think. It's just hard to keep an adult ballet class going, for a number of reasons -- committment, as Funny Face brings up, is probably the biggest one. For adults, particularly those who didn't dance as children, it's really hard to master the basics and get to the point where you're doing the "good" stuff -- the turns, the leaps, etc. I sensed in my about-to-be-cancelled class that some people seemed frustrated that "all" they were doing was tendues and such rather than what they envisioned ballet was about.

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Sometimes it's just that life is too busy to make the commitment. For example, it is nearly impossible for a parent to get out several times a week. If I go to both of the classes available to me, then on two days I don't see my younger daughter from the time she goes to school until the time she goes to bed. I'd rather spend at least one of the evenings with her :wink:

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We go through this with adult Irish step dance classes too. It's hard to hang on to a decent-sized adult class for very long. Even though I want to see our classes increase enrollment, my sympathies are entirely with the parents for exactly the reasons Treefrog listed. We have a few dedicated adult students and, to a person, they are all adults without children.

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We have some ladies with children who come to classes 2-3 times a week. They seem to mostly do this by coinciding their classes with the kids' hobbies - sometimes meaning that they have to take a different level than their own, or something such, but they still can do it. (We are lucky in Helsinki to have two good schools offering a lot of adult classes.)

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It's definitely tougher with children. I think it would be a great idea if more studios could offer day care, perhaps offering a scholarship to a talented older student in exchange for that student babysitting during adult class. Or have a couple of the teen students do this.

 

Many of the women I've taken with have children of all ages. Our studio offered classes in the morning, as well as evenings and Saturdays for women with different schedules. You would be amazed at what I've seen all these years. One extremely talented dancer actually used to do the entire barre with baby strapped on like a papoose. We also had a doctor who had twins at age 42 and placed them on a blanket on the dance office floor while she took class and could peep out through the doorway from time to time.

 

One of the two studios in which I took class also had a playpen set up in the studio during morning classes. I think the music has a certain effect on the babies.

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I took an adult beginner class tonight, there was a good crowd, about 12, one of whom had her 10 year-old watching class. (Her daughter takes class at he studio also, and afte class was doing double pirouettes -- free-form,. but she went around twice) while her mother changed.

 

As to babies, it;'s not too long since we had a whole nursery for hte orning class -- there might be two, or sometimes even three babieson blankets downstage right.... but they're now toddlers, and it's harder to keep them within bounds -- though the studio where I take African class just has kids of all kinds,some of them taking the class, others being mnded by various folk while hteir parents take class, all in the same room --

 

I love having hte kids around.....

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