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I'm starting Ballet

Guest LaurieM

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Guest LaurieM

I registered yesterday for an 8-week long introductory Ballet course. I've wanted to take Ballet for as long as I can remember, so I'm definitely excited to have found a school that will take newbie adults.


How are adult classes held, generally? Do they differ greatly from the children's classes? What can one expect to learn in introductory Ballet?



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Guest beckster

That's great news! I hope you really enjoy it.


Adult beginner classes often start with some simple warm-up exercises, perhaps facing the barre with feet in parallel or some pilates-based floor exercises. Adult bodies sometimes need a bit more warm-up than children. You will then go to the barre and do some exercises there. These will be fairly simple in a beginner class but don't worry if you find them difficult. It's really hard to make your legs and arms obey your brain, to begin with! The barre work aims to warm up all parts of the body and also to teach you movements which will later be incorporated into more complicated steps in the centre. Then you will go into the centre, where there will be some slower exercises (adage). This will get you used to the positions of the arms. You probably won't do turns in your first class but you may do some steps that will help you learn to turn later on. Then some faster movements and jumps (allegro) and at the end a reverence to thank the teacher.


Children who begin ballet are likely to spend their first classes doing "creative movement" rather than actual ballet. But adults can skip over that and start with the proper stuff. Have fun!

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Congratulations on starting ballet! You're really lucky to be starting in a structured course specifically for adult beginners... I had to just join in an ongoing open class that contained some people who had been doing ballet for years. I think that many of the steps are easier to pick up that you might think, but some basic things, like pointing your feet properly, are harder than you’d ever imagined! Good luck for your first class, and enjoy!

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Congratulations- you are going to have so much fun!


Something that I found very helpful was to find a book which explains some of the basic ballet terms (it is even more helpful if the book also has clear pictures). If you don't know any French some of the ballet terms can be confusing, so it is nice if you can go home after class and check what that foreign word the teacher used really was!


It is a good idea to do a gentle stretch after class as well!


Have a wonderful time, Wembley

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I think the Joffrey Ballet's Ballet Fit book is very good - you can buy it on Amazon. It tells you everything you need to know starting out, even what to wear to class!

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  • Administrators

Congratulations, and WELCOME! Laurie :wink: As you see, there will be lots of help and encouragement here, as well as sympathy when needed :speechless: We're glad that you found us, and hope that you really enjoy your new experience in ballet!

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I teach an 8-week newbie course, I'm glad that we're not the only school offering it. Somehow every 8 weeks, another group of students arrives, seeking to learn ballet for the very first time. It is definitely exciting!


There are many differences between adult and children's classes. The most important is that adults are mature and the teacher has no authority over adults. You can't (and don't have to) be a disciplinarian.


As for the teaching: adults are able to learn through explanation, whereas children are generally not. So if you teach with explanation, adults can learn some things faster than children. OTOH, adults have to work harder to overcome inhibitions.


In 8 weeks, I try to get the students to understand and execute the most basic fundamentals of ballet: turnout, plie, tendu, and body positions. I think I'm successful because my students, after 8 weeks, do those things better than many adults I've observed who have been dancing for years and attend open class. It's not that hard, it just has to be taught. It's better to come out of 8 weeks knowing how to do 5 things right than 100 things wrong.


The trick is to teach it in a way that students remain motivated to try hard. Luckily, ballet is by its very nature motivating: something about the movement makes us fall in love over and over again. I've seen my students fall in love with ballet: it's not me, it's the art.


There is usually no dress code in adult classes. Please wear tights and ballet shoes, as that will give you teacher the best chance to teach you. Baggy pants make it harder.


I agree, the Joffrey Ballet Fit book is a worthwhile read. But it has a certain amount of "New York"-ness that doesn't quite apply in the rest of the world. Some of the other teachers have thought it went a bit overboard in its fashion advice.

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Wow, I'm envious -- I wish I had something like what citibob teaches, or

what it sounds like Laurie is taking. Having the fundamentals explained

carefully, over time, would be great.


Hi Laurie -- I think you're in for a treat, not only from a dance point of

view, but also in terms of making new friends. I've found that without exception,

the adults in our thrice weekly adult ballet classes are friendly, funny, and

very generous with their help and encouragement to each other... I'll never,

ever, forget when one of the more experienced students said to me

after class "I think you're keeping up really well now." I was airborne for

days! I don't mean to brag on us as a group (OK, well, actually, I DO mean

to brag) but I've found that it takes a lot of courage and tenacity and a

good sense of humor to take ballet as an adult, especially among students

half (or less) your age! The adults who love dance enough to endure and

then even enjoy this exhausting, beautiful art in the midst of modern

life are, in my experience, quite wonderful folks, indeed.


So, you'll fit right in! :lol:

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It's better to come out of 8 weeks knowing how to do 5 things right than 100 things wrong.


Amen to that! :D

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Guest LaurieM

Unfortunately, I've recently found out that I must miss the first 3 weeks of the course due to conflicts with classes at university. I'm a bit disapointed in that respect, but I've been assured that I can go for the rest of the course so :green:


I suppose it works out in the end; I just found out I have shin splints, so it's probably best if I didn't dance for a bit.

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