kellylynn Posted October 11, 2004 Report Share Posted October 11, 2004 I may be venting here a little but I was just wondering if anyone has gotten the same response that I have. I'm 25, and I have recently returned to ballet after over a decade. I stopped at about 12..I got on pointe and decided to take a break after about six months....unfortunetly it was a longer break than I would have hoped. At first I did a whole lot of research on it. I went on all the adult ballet websites I could find. I bought and read jofferys ballet-fit book and spent an entire month figuring out how I could start back up again. The hardest thing was not being able to find a studio where adults were completly welcomed. I don't live in some rinky dink town either. I live in westchester county which is about a half hour from nyc. So not being able to find a class a half hour outside nyc was shocking to me. I took out the phone book and literally called every single dance studio in a 20 mile radius and one of a few things happened. By the way...most if not all of these places have advertisments that say "instruction for all ages, all levels, children and ADULTS." 1. They do not have adult ballet and laughed...yes laughed... at me for even inquiring about something so silly. 2. They used to have adult ballet but there is not enough interest. 3. They are trying to set one up and take down my name and number. 4. they have adult hip-hop, pilates, belly dancing or something random like that but not ballet. 5. They only offer it once a week in the middle of the day (not good for working people). 6. They advertise it as "adult ballet" but its really for pre-professional fifteen year olds and any adult would feel uncomfortable. Finally, I was able to find a place that has a decent adult program with both intermediate and beginner classes offered most nights of the week. Crazy isn't it! It is however completly out of my way. I love it there and the teachers are very supportive and are wonderful. It's before and after the class that the problem starts. I'll be getting ready for class by putting on my shoes or leaving class and people just look at me funny. I look young and can still pass for a teenager but they look at me like..."why is that old girl here and not in pointe shoes." Oh...adult beginner...ha ha. Even the first class I've taken with each teacher...they expect me to be horrible with bad turnout and sloppy piles. It's a great feeling to see their jaws drop when I am in fact doing the steps correctly. I dont want to sound like I'm bragging but I was quite good when I was younger and according to the response I still am. After the first week teachers were asking me where I "trained" and who I danced with. And they were shocked to find out that I haven't danced in over a decade. Now they are encouraging me to go to the next level. I don't know what the big deal is. I'm good at ballet but I stink in other things. In fact if you put me anywhere near some type of sports equipment I'll just stand there dumbfounded. Ballet just works for me. I have the legs and the feet. It's the only thing I feel like my body-type can do. Short, thin people with long legs and long narrow feet aren't considered the "body type" for much. Except ballet. I dont want to be a professional, I don't want to perform. I do it because I just happen to love it, and it's the one thing that I can do well. I hate going to the gym, but I love going to ballet class. And I probably get a much better physical and mental workout than any treadmill can give me. I just get frustrated because I feel like it's such an issue. I can't ask about classes without getting laughed at. I get weird looks from the younger girls warming up before their "company class." And my friends think I'm just wierd. They know nothing about ballet and think that I'm taking some weird streching areobics type class three times a week. They are like..."so..like..can you like...twirl and stuff?" Or they go..."why can't you have a normal hobby like biking or rollarblading or scrapbooking." I also have read some awful things about adult ballet students like..."if you are going to start ballet after the age of 18 dont even think that you will ever be any good." I just don't understand why a ballet student who isn't professional is looked down on. Especially after there seems to be so many of them. I mean...what's the big deal? Not that this is a major problem for me. I was just wondering if anyone out there knew why adults are discouraged from taking ballet and why teachers expect us to be horrible? It's just another form of dance. And dance is a joyful thing that anyone can benefit from. I understand that ballet comes naturally to me and it may not for many. But tennis doesn't come naturally to me and I can be the worst tennis player in the world but if that was my hobby it would be more acceptable. I just think it's lame. Sorry for the length...I was just wondering how adults who are serious ballet students get passed this. Quote Link to comment
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