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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Class with teens?!

Guest jgb

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Hello all!

For a brief intro- I'm 32 and returning to ballet after a few years vacation to have my babies (4yrs & 1.5yr)! I'm now 20 lbs heavier and much less flexible than before. I had a long career as a student (with Yvonne Chouteau, in case anyone knows her) but quit at 16 yrs old-my body was not the right type. I even had an audition where the instructor suggested I have a breast reduction! (I am forever grateful that I didn't since I've breastfed both my children!)

I am so encouraged by all of you! I love ballet and plan to continue dancing the rest of my life! It's good to know I'm not the only crazy one out there!

I really need some feedback- I started this summer taking an intermediate adult class at our local company school. I dislike the instructor very much. She obviously thinks we're a waste of time. If a company member or adv student joins, she teaches the entire class to them & ignores the rest of us. I leave feeling depressed and worthless. I've gotten some reccs for another studio, but they don't have adult classes. Adults have to join the teens. Everyone loves the director and instructors, but I'm a little unsure about it because I remember what it was like to be a teen. We weren't always welcoming to the "old ladies"! I don't mean to insult teens, I'm just trying to be realistic.

I've visited all the local studios and they're either offering (in my opinion) bad training, or they don't accept adults. So I need to choose between these two. Does anyone out there take teen classes? Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome. I'm in Oklahoma just in case you know anyone out here. Although, it's not really the cultural center of the universe! LOL

I'm probably going to try the new place, despite the hesitation. I'd hate to miss a great opportunity.

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  • Administrators

Welcome to Ballet Alert Online, JGB! Glad you found us and I hope you will enjoy all of the forums, as well as the Special Groups Student areas!


Also lovely for me to hear of someone who has worked with Yvonne Chouteau, who happens to be one of my favorite people! What a lovely teacher and lovely lady! (I taught at OU for many years, quite a long time ago, and worked with her at that time. Loved taking her classes.)


Are you still in the OKC area? Is Yvonne's school still there? How about the school of the OKC Ballet? I'm afraid I'm not too familiar with the schools out there now, except for one in Norman (Marjorie Kovich School of Ballet) and one I think in Shawnee, where Janet Combs teaches, but I don't know the name of the school. There is another one in OKC but I need to get the name of that for you and it may take a couple of days. Tulsa and Bartlesville have good schools, but that's about all I know. We do have some other members from OK here, so perhaps we will hear from them. Anyway, congratulations on getting back into ballet!

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Guest beckster

Hi there, and I hope you enjoy ballet as much as I have. I'm 23, I've been taking classes for nearly a year now and have been in a class with teens for most of that time. It really doesn't seem to bother them, and I don't mind. Sometimes I do feel dumpy and rubbish because I'm not flexible and because it takes longer for me to learn things, but I just get on with it and so do they. Of course I can't really join in with the conversations about boy bands and suchlike but on the other hand, I get some of them coming to me for advice about university! At the end of the day, if you are in a class and a school you like and as long as the other people want to work the same way you do, then you will be happy, no matter what the age difference.




[ 08-29-2001: Message edited by: beckster ]

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Guest Danzure

well I'm sort of in the middle. I'm 19 years old. I feel really old in the teen classes and very young in the adult classes. I took a summer intensive program and most of the dancers were from LA High School for the Arts. It's funny what a difference there is between high school and college. But I was by far not the oldest in the class. There were several retired proffesional dancers. Although i did not fit with either group I had a great time. Just remember you all share something -You love Ballet. Good luck and don't stop dancing.


Aurelie :)

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If you like the teachers and directors then go to those classes. Teenagers are teenagers, but they won't bite your head off. yes of course you remember what it was like when you were their age and your treatment of 'the older ladies' but thats life. They will get older and go through exactly what you are going through now, then (if they give up ballet and then choose to go back to it that is). So go along to the class. They won't immediately be all paly paly to you, but after a few lessons they will get used to you and they as well as you will find that you can benefit from each others experiences!

If I had to choose between going to a school where they thought adults were a waste of time, or to a school where they encourage adults to dance with teens. I know which one I would go to..the dance with teens one. I find teens classes more enjoyable and challenging than some adult classes I have been too. So go for it, and you are 32, so don't try too hard to fit in and they will learn to love you over time :-) I found when I was younger that the more the adults in our class tried to behave like they were 15/ 20 years younger, the more annoyed us teens got and then its a no win situation. Just be yourself, you have learnt a lot since you were their age, so you can only teach them good things by example. So smile and say Hi and you'll be fine :-)

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And really, in the final analysis, the only way you're really going to find out how the teens will act is to go dance with them! :)

Some may go into the "standoff" mode, and others just fit you right in with the rest of their classmates. Every group has its own dynamics.

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Guest BrendaMc

Hi there!

Like you, I started taking ballet again after the birth of my first child, at age 30. There have always been teens in my classes, but also a few "old ladies" too. I've never had a problem with the teens, in fact, I have been pleasantly surprised at how polite and disciplined they are. I don't really worry about what the teens think, since I remember how self-conscious teenagers can feel. They are probably only paying attention to themselves and don't care about what you are doing anyway. Good luck and just have fun!


[ 08-29-2001: Message edited by: BrendaMc ]

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Guest TashaKat

Try it! You can't lose anything, you've got everything to gain.


In desperation I once took class with 11/12 year olds just to get some tuition. I felt a bit weird but the teacher was very good and the kids adorable.


I also Figure Skate and spend a lot of time with the kids (12-16 year olds). They're very helpful, very friendly and extremely supportive. They've come to competitions with me and cheered their lungs out and recently two of them 'looked after' me at my test because my coach was away.


Give it a try, you may be pleasantly suprised. Good luck :)


Lynne x

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Sorry if I shouldn't post here because I'm not an adult, but I've taken teen/adult classes with a serious school (used to be pre-pro) for a while, so I thought I'd add my two cents worth. This year I will no longer be in class with adults, and the more I think about it, the more I know I'll miss them! My situation is a bit different than yours because the classes I was in were teen/adult beginner (then intermediate) instead of adults joining a teen class, but I still think having both ages together is very profitable for everyone. While everyone had different strengths and weaknesses, everyone seemed fine with that. I really enjoyed the maturity involved with having adults and teens together. There was a sense of understanding from sharing the same struggles and triumphs in such a beautiful art form. I know that some teens have problems accepting adult beginners, but I just wanted to let you know that not all do. Just try it, and hopefully the teens you dance with will be so busy dancing because they love it that they won't even care about age difference. I just think it's great to share something I love so much with a person of any age! And if the teens in your class don't think so from the start, once they get used to the idea, they'll be fine. We aren't really all that bad. ;)

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Guest Ballerino

There were two studios where I actually preferred to take class with the teens. Frankly, the training was better, the adult class at one place moved at a turtle's pace and was not of full length, and the adult class at another studio was far cliquier than I have ever seen from teens.


The teens seldom know what to do with me, but they are polite, and I am there to dance, after all...as long as they don't get in the way of the class I don't care if they don't even know my name...

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