Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

adult ballet


Recommended Posts

I guess I can understand how a teacher teaching ballet to adults would think, "why would these people want to study ballet if they know they are not going professional?" I was also a serious student as a child..left for awhile...and now I am a recreational adult student. So I can see both sides to it. However, not all kids and teenagers want to go professional. Alot of the time, the kids are there because their parents want them to be, they like the social aspect of it, or they are there just to have fun like alot of adults are. And there is nothing wrong with that. Actually, I think that you would find more seriousness in an adult class than a non- professional teenage class. Adults are spending their own hard earned money and taking time out of their work and family lives to be there. They WANT to be there. So adult teachers shouldn't be intimadated or feel weird at all around adults. We welcome the corrections and most of us want to improve.

Link to post
  • 1 month later...
  • Replies 40
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • kellylynn


  • shulie


  • Mel Johnson


Guest Talularocks

To all other adult ballerina's out there, Don't give up! I did ballet for a year when I was five and then stopped. I was 22 when I decided to take it up again, and after calling about 11 schools in the area and being hung up on, laughed at and told NO ONE teaches adults ballet (no point), I gave up. Then two years later my Mum found a teacher. We both started with adult ballet about 6 months before my 23 birthday. I loved it and started taking RAD Grade 7 the following year with two other girls in the class. One was 18 and the other 14. I do look younger than my age but it was hard at first being with these girls who had done ballet their whole lives. I did the exam and passed well, even getting a higher score than the 18 year old. I have just done a Grade 8 exam and next year I am doing Intermediatte. I am several months away from being 27 and Am having the time of my life......even dancing in the concert (with my parents in the audience). I don't care what others think about what I am doing, there are a few girls from the studio in their early 20's who have been dancing all their lives and think I am weird for wanting to be in a concert "at my age" or even doing exams, but so what, I love it. .Sure I am too old to become a proffessional but someday would like to teach. I love my teacher and her faith in my ability and want to encourage other adults out there to give it a go, no matter what others think :yes:

Link to post
  • 1 month later...
Guest kristinene

There is another thing that I haven't seen mentioned - as an adult student I find that I have a lot to give to a class full of teenagers. Not in words, but in example. My being in the class says: she's dancing for the fun of it, for the beauty of it, and because she wants to be there. I'm afraid that many of the younger students in my class forget why they dance while pursuing the perfect arabesque. I think that striving to improve because I want to is just as good a reason as trying to get into an SI or company, in fact I think it is a better one.

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi there!


All i have to say is that i TOTALLY understand and empathize with you. I have been in your shoes and have to admit i have given up around here. Unless i want to dance with the children and teenagers, I'm on my own.....


Also, sometimes when you DO find a class for adults, it's purely beginner. No happy medium. :)



Good Luck to you!


Link to post
There is another thing that I haven't seen mentioned - as an adult student I find that I have a lot to give to a class full of teenagers.  Not in words, but in example.  My being in the class says: she's dancing for the fun of it, for the beauty of it, and because she wants to be there.  I'm afraid that many of the younger students in my class forget why they dance while pursuing the perfect arabesque.  I think that striving to improve because I want to is just as good a reason as trying to get into an SI or company, in fact I think it is a better one.


I made quite a few positive experiences with teenagers in the classroom. Some of them were quite helpful - even concerned - if I did not get a step combination right away. They were very eager to explain it to me again until I got it :thumbsup: They still show a lot of respect :):D

Link to post

Hi Kellylynn,

I have also had the same experiences as you, it took me over a year to find a good teacher/class that would fit in around my working hours and local enough to reach.

Finding the class was so far the hardest part for me because i felt as though i was searching for something impossible. Every time I enquired about classes people assumed they were for my children - (im 24!) :D or as you say laughed in amazement.

I dont have children of my own yet and every now and then thought about forgetting the whole idea. It seems to be a grey area. Im not sure why? Surely it is all about dance, if you are just passionate about it, have talent or not, Why does age come into it at all?

Of course the questions have already been answered and deep down us dancers whether professional or not, do it for the love of it, not for others approval.

Recently I worked out how much my training costs me over a year! It costs me over £1000!!!!! Shocking that this is just basic class fees and travel expenses, not including kit, books e.t.c. also this is just two classes per week! The reason is that i dont have a car, i get the bus from work and a taxi home (as there are no buses at night). I might of lost the point a little here but its all about what you will do to dance :) Cassy

Link to post

As for my part in Germany I guess I can call myself a lucky person since many ballet schools here offer ballet training for adults. (I am 21, was a teen ballet starter trying to head for a pro career until I at the age of 19 realized it was too late and I did not have enough training and so I quit. Missed ballet so much that I started again now about 8 months ago at the age of 21)

The bad side to it though is that it seems hard for the adult dancer to be taken serious. Pointework for adults is not widely accepted here- all adult classes offered stay at a beginner level. Fine for somebody who just returned or started ballet but no perspective for the serious dancer if you realize you have to stay at beginners level all your life since there are very few advanced opportunities for adult students.

One school I auditioned for did not have any problem with adult students on pointe and offered three dancing days a week (in addition to the two dancing days with 5 hrs training I already have at the university ballet studio) but I had to do a class with snobby 9 year old kids who were already put on pointe by that horrible teacher there without actually being ready for pointe. My only thought was: RUN AWAY ASAP! :D

I do need at least 5 dancing days a week (at least 3 or 4 of them on pointe)- my university studio only offers 2- though they are full 2 1/2 hr classes. (right now it is more- dancing up to 4 or 5 times a week- since we do have rehersals for an upcoming performance)

That studio is perfect. It is geared towards the adult student in general and not only towards the adult beginner. It offers classes for beginners up to advanced students which is quite nice.

My ballet mistress does own a professional ballet school in addition to being ballet mistress of the university ballet and I have the impression most of the people in the advanced classes are taking their additional lessons at her regular studio. Might be an option for me though her private studio is far away from where I am living and I would have to travel quite a bit every day.

Link to post

In which part/town of Germany do you live Shulie?

Link to post
  • 4 weeks later...
Adult classes can be hard for teachers also. First, most teachers have studied ballet very seriously from the time we were children. For better or worse, growing up in ballet teaches you to think in certain ways. Many of us have difficulty understanding someone who wants to study seriously but won't ever pursue a career, or SIs, or perhaps even performances. Not to say we are right, but it's just sometimes hard for us to understand. Ballet is so goal oriented for those who study professionally! Also, particuarly as a young teacher, I find myself intimidated in a unique way when teaching an adult  class. I may have women who are twice my age and quite successful in areas that I will never be, yet who are dancing at a beginning or intermediate level. I find it sometimes intimidating to correct these ladies, wondering whether or not they want it. I also sometimes feel a lack of control of the classroom that comes more naturally when teaching children and teens, which can make me more reticent. Also, generally the progression of technique is slower for adults than children, which can be frusterating for a teacher. It's also sometimes hard to differentiate between those whoa re there for purely social/exercise reasons and those who want to improve, unless you make it clear in conversation with the teacher. These are just some of my thoughts-- I hope you find a good place to dance and you certainly deserve to! I only wanted to share another perspective that might be helpful. :yes:


I find your comments fascinating.

I always communicate with a new teacher but I have seen in adult classes that most don't.  I think it is not that they don't want to improve technique,  but more likely just extreme selfconsciousness ...Aghast that someone is looking at them at their age or size or whatever.  They want to hide in the group.

Part of us knows that when we stop learning we are dead...inside.  The rest just wants to do our "exercise" of choice.  Not everyone who loves dancing is competetive or professionally goal oriented about it;  even when young.  Some of us just are not happy if we are not there. 

Some dancers "perform" while others just go inside themselves and dance.  I saw a young girl (12 0r 13) dance at a wedding.  She continued dancing alone when everyone else stopped and requested music for dances she wanted to do.  When she got applause after one solo dance, she looked stunned.  I think she forgot anyone was there with her.


Link to post

The majority of the students in my adult ballet class are teenagers. This makes me more selfconscious (in addition to wearing tights and leotard in public) and sometimes makes me want to hide. It is easier to hide at the bar than it is doing floor work. We usually go in groups of two or alone across the floor. I don't pick up the combinations as quickly as the others, which just makes me feel frustrated. I feel very shy around the teenagers in my class, although they are supportive.


I found a second class at another studio that I am going to drop in tomorrow, but I don't know if it is really adults or teenagers. (I am trying to find another class so I can have more than one a week. Therefore, I can improve and not be frustrated.)

Link to post
Guest lucky1122

Reading this makes me realize how fortunate I am. Here where I live there are no less than four ballet schools offering adult beginner classes, three of which are all within a mile of one another. If I could afford it (and I'm working on it :) ) I could probably take five classes a week in five different schools. The class I take is pretty full, with a range of students, from older women to teenagers, to people with a lot of dance experience, to absolute beginners (me, for one). I'm the only guy in the class, but everyone, especially my teacher, is very supportive and considerate. Although, I'd take a class full of the dancing hippopotomuses (hippopotomi?) from Fantasia if I had to! I'm just glad to be dancing.


Sorry to hear the experience of others has not been as positive, but keep trying and don't give up!

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...
Hope, what part of Michigan are you in?


I am in Rochester Hills. I take a class at the Clayton Acadamey of Dance in Troy and just started at the Rochester School of Dance. The new class is mostly adults, which I find refreshing. The other adults seemed so excited to have someone new in their class. Their kindness overwelled me! I still like the other class, simply because the two teachers different. I am learning the same things in new way.

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...