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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Starting ballet

Guest Chedva

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OK, guys, please tell me - I'm thinking of taking an adult ballet class. Currently, I'm strictly a ballet mom, and I took my last dance lesson at the age of 5. I'm now 48. Is this crazy, or what? :D


If it's not crazy, what kind of ballet shoe should I get? I read on another board about the differences in full sole and split sole. Which one would work best for a true beginner?


(And thanks for not laughing!)

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Go for it!


I started ballet when I was 28, but there was a lady in her mid 50's in my beginner's class at the same time. She had done ballroom dancing before, but had never done ballet. She loved it, and the only things that she found she couldn't do was lots of jumping and she didin't do any pointe work.


Enjoy yourself, listen to your body, do gentle stretches before & after class and have fun!



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There's nothing wrong with starting adult classes at 48! It's a fine thing. Now, as to the shoes, a lot will depend on your foot. Full-sole will provide more support for you as a beginner, and when your feet get stronger, and everything consolidates, you can switch to split-sole.

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I have no advice about shoes, but you should definitely not worry about people laughing, and I don't think it's crazy either.

Good luck and keep us posted on how things go!

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Go for it, Chedva! You're not crazy at all. I'd never danced a day in my life until I started taking class at a very slightly younger age than you. It feels good -- what else can I say?


It does enrich your ballet parenthood as well. Yesterday, I found that shooting my DD's audition video was so much easier because the barre combinations were familiar to me and I knew what to anticipate.


Just be prepared for shrugs and rolled eyes when you proclaim your excitement the first time you master an elementary step. Oh, and all that accumulated knowledge you have from watching class? It only helps a tiny, tiny bit. Your body will betray your mind.

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I heartily agree!!! Go for it! Our oldest dancer in adult classes is now in her 70's and she started taking ballet for the first time on her 70th birthday. You can do it-just be patient with yourself. Treefrog said it right-your body will betray your mind :blink: so that's why patience, patience, patience is called for. I tell my adult students that physical tasks differ from mental ones in that every individual must repeat any given movement many times, some more than others in order to gain muscle-memory. Muscle-memory occurs when you no longer have to think of HOW to do a movement, you just dance it. If you stick with it, and don't give up, you will be rewarded! :thumbsup: Make sure to not get discouraged if there are things you can't do to your satisfaction. Just be happy with what you can do and congratulate yourself that you are not sitting at home wishing you could dance because you are dancing!! :wink:

Good Luck!

Keep us posted!


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Thanks so much to you all for your encouragement! :wink:


I don't think my brain has much to tell my body anyway; I haven't learned that much terminology or how ballet is done by watching my daughter dance. :blushing:


And I think I'll go for the full sole shoe. Obviously, I need all the support I can get!


Only problem now is that the school is closed for February vacation, so I have to wait until next week to start. Oh well, I've waited this long . . .

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I started as a beginner at age 47.

No time like the present!

Be really patient with yourself, and right now make it a personal pact with your ego to leave it at the front door. You will have a lot more fun.


Ballet is frustrating because we want to be perfect immediately.

Just get lost in the feeling and the workout. The rest will take lots of time and patience, the process is the reward.


I am so addicted to ballet. My husband just started a month ago - age 48.

We are together in class now on Friday night -

just a different kind of bar :wink:


Meanwhile - about those shoes - Mel is right on about that.

I like my full soles because they work my feet. They are more comfy.


I also recommend EVENTUALLY getting tights, a dance skirt and a long sleve or short cap sleve leotard. You can wear other stuff over it to keep warm. You will be able to see your progress easier.


AND DON'T LOOK IN THE MIRROR CRITICALLY - just use it to check placement vs. your teacher. You will get too discouraged, adapt gradually.


Just keep yourself laughing - best of luck, and congrats!

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You most definately are not nuts..:yucky: .we are here to give you support and to hopefully share in your ups and sometimes downs!! :wacko:

Please tell us how how your class went...we are all..well I am...excited to know.

Also if you feel you need encouragement of some other form, a good starting book for an adult beginner is Joffrey Ballet-Ballet Fit, you can buy it from Amazon, not very expensive and very much worth it, if you want to hear similar stories to your own and to discover that , anyone can do it , if you set your heart to it.



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Well, I did it - I went to class! Boy, it's a good thing that I didn't expect much of myself, because I wasn't disappointed! We did releves, ronde de jambe, pas de bourre, and pas de bourre turns. I could barely do any of them, even getting confused with the simple pas de bourre! :unsure: But I wasn't as sore the next day as I had expected, and I'm going back again.


I also appreciated the fact that the student assistant (I think she's about 15) didn't even crack a smile! :)


Thanks again for all your encouragement!

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Keep it up Chedva!!! :yes:

Out of curiousity, did you attend a Beginner's without previous experience class??

I am only asking because some of the things you did are things that I wouldn't teach to my beginners their first night-probably not for at least a few more lessons, so you are doing really well!! :)

Clara :)

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It's an open beginner's class, and it's been going on for a few weeks already, so I just kind of jumped in where they were. The teacher did say that she would add some more advanced steps for the people who had been there, but that the newbies should just do what we could.


Thanks for the encouragement!

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I'll add that pas de bourees are the :yes: . It took me ages to get the standard back-side-front down (and we are talking just What foot to pick up in what order and where to put it--much less phrasing or elegance or musicality). I went home one night shortly after I started and did nothing but pas de bouree to the left, pas de bouree to the right for about an hour.

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