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26 and living in a fantasy

Guest babygurlesq

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Guest babygurlesq

Hello everyone. First let me say it was a pleasure to find you all. I hope to get LOTS of really helpful information here. In fact I already have. :P


I am 26 years old, took ballet for 4 years a young adult (10-14) and then a year in college which was essentially beginner level. I never made it to pointe (my teacher was very strict about being strong enough and my earlier exploits only involved 2x.wk classes).


Here's the thing. I want to perform. I JUST stated back this year and will be attending basic and beginner classes about 5x/wk. I know I can't join ABT or NYCB or anything -- but is there ANY opportunity for an adult whose technique advances far enough to perform?




Blatant (sp?) honesty is welcome.......

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Welcome to Ballet Alert Online, babygurlesq! I guess you have discovered that we have quite a few adults who are relatively new to ballet here, or returning to classes after a long absence.


As to the dream of performing, nothing is impossible, however, this one is a bit unrealistic in terms of actually performing classical ballet on pointe in a professional company. If you would be happy with being a parent in Nutcracker, or something like that, it might be possible before even a lot of training. Perhaps there is a civic company in your area who will need additional dancers for certain ballets.

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Guest babygurlesq

Thanks so much Leigh for your honesty.


Ah well......


Just the dance for the dance then? I can deal with that.


Besides with a JD (which I am in the process of getting but have decided that I don't want to practice just now - if ever) I can maybe go into dance administration or something similar - contract drafting for companies maybe? Hmmm.....


At any rate, taking my technique right up to as close to performance level quality as I can get couldn't hurt - whatever aspect of the field I go into. :D


Thanks again for your reply.

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I've been told there are lots of performance opportunities for late beginning adults. Just depends mostly on where you live. If you're in a larger city, chances are there are local groups or schools that stage yearly performances. Can't tell you how many schools atge a "Nutcracker" at Christmas. They always needs adults for parts. Also, larger local companies and touring companies always need "supers" on stage during shows. It may not be dancing per se, but it's performance.


I've not given up hope that I could still work with a local company at some point.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Babyburlesqu...I have a dear friend who is approaching the big 4-0 who started dancing, oh, maybe less than 10 years ago. She is a professional dancer in a small regional company and is a fabulous dancer. She does have genetics on her side, as she has a wonderful, long-limbed body. Keep it up; you never know what will happen. I've learned that there is a place for every dancer...

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Guest babygurlesq

Lex that is so encouraging! Thank you for that. 2leftfeet thank you as well! I appreciate all the encouragement. I don't mind the idea of dacne for the love of it at all - but it's always nice when you can set up some goals to keep you going when your back aches and your calves want you to quit! ;)


Y'all made my day! :D

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Guest lara anne

Hi there!


I am a fellow 26 year old in fantasy land every time I go to my ballet classes or even think about them! Rather than writing everything twice, if you'd like you can read my post (I just found this site and joined really recently too and it made my day too!) Anyway, if you go to the messages including up to 45 days ago you can find my message. It's called "so nice to meet you" lara anne. If you read it, I'd love to hear back from you. You can post a reply back on your post that I'm now replying on.


Look forward to hearing from you!


Lara Anne

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Guest babygurlesq

Hi Lara Anne!


Thanks for your response. It's good to know I have a twin! Same age and everything! We also have the same muse - Center Stage was my catalyst for finally beginning again as well. I felt like they were living my life! :D


I understand quite well your nervousness about approaching the teacher - I still haven't figured out how to do that without almost swallowing my toungue from the nerves! :D


As far as supplementing your techinque classes and making sure you get a shot at pointe - I think private lessons are a great option.


I'm curious to know how you've felt the year you have under your belt (I'm sooo jealous! :)) has treated you? Has you body changed? Do you like the way you look doing exercises yet? I feel like a drunk ostrich when I catch a glimpse of me in the mirror trying to do attitudes -- or pretty much anything come to think of it! :P How do you feel you are coming along? Have you gotten to talk to your teacher yet about your progress? Have you stopped hurting everywhere yet? I have been going now semi-consistently for about 6 weeks. Still testing out classes and instructors so I devise a steady schedule. I find that every week something different hurts. My feet are the most recent (kinda that feeling you get when you wear heels all day? A kind of cross between fatigue and muscle soreness in my left arch and right achilles.


Tell me more about your experience! And thanks for reaching out to me - it's nice to know I have a partner in crime. :)



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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest lara anne

Hey Tracey,


Thanks for writing back. I will tell you more about my first year, but I need to say first that I am so jealous of YOU that you have those 4 previous years as a basis and that you are in a place (NYC?) where you can take good adult classes 5x a week! So we're even!


So, the 1st few weeks I took classes I didn't think I could walk each morning that I got up. I discovered muscles (by the pain!) that I never knew I had. I think that went away by a month or two of consistent classes, and A LOT of stretching AFTER class until my body was more accustomed to it. I think that after class stretching and a hot shower were key. Then by 2 to 3 months later I was already noticing a difference in the shape of my legs. I was shaving one day and couldn't believe it, my calves looked like someone's else's other than mine that I was used to. It was really exciting, and truly I started noticing these difference after only 2 to 3 months of 2 to 3 classes a week. Then throughout the past year I noticed differences in my upper legs. I can't really explain it, except to say that my upper legs looked more turned out or something because of the muscle tone differences. I even feel more comfortable in a bathing suit withour shorts on over it! After about 4 months my teacher asked me whether I had gotten new shoes. I hadn't and asked her why. She was surprised but excited and said that my feet looked totally different. I guess my super flat feet had finally gotten the idea that I wanted them to ARCH a little bit and not sickle either! I'm sure that since your feet and legs have some long-term muscle memory from your past 4 years of ballet, that you will ses all of these differences even sooner than I did. And I was pretty happy with how quickly it happened with me,and I was desperate for visible progress!


Unfortunatly, I had to leave my first teacher who was wonderful and patient and kind and formative and talented who I had for my first 9 months of classes - I moved about 10 states away. I never really had the guts to ask her about my progress, but hung on to her every word and comment about my work during classes. I have found some teachers that I like in my new city during the past 4 months, but when I am feeling like a spaz I wish they could know where I started a year ago! I do miss my old teacher, especially since she was there for my very vulnerable beginning and each of the successes of those 1st 9 months.


I am definitly considering a private lesson maybe once a week or so. Any suggestions of how to look into that? Are you going to take some private classes?


I was cracking up at the ostrich thing. That is so me! If I look in the mirror straight on (in center or if the bar is set up perpendicular to the mirror) then I feel a little bit graceful and okay. But if I get any sort of side view, I want to cry. My lack of turnout makes me feel like such a clueless kid or a very dorky adult. What's most frustrating is that my brain KNOWS what I'm supposed to do and how it SHOULD look, but my silly legs can't do it with my pathetic turnout! I think I'm doing okay for what VERY little turnout I do have, but I DO look like a crazed ostrich. And I have also decided that there is a tie between fearing most the words "let's go to the corner" or "petite allegro". I am such a spaz at both because I don't have the basis of knowledge of the steps (this is in the intermed. class I take which is a little too much for me but the classes available to me are limited so I take it anyway) so I just flail around.


Okay, enough of my woes. I do know that in a more positive light I have improved a lot since last September and I do feel graceful sometimes and like I know what I'm doing at times during class. And the day I went to a new beg. adult class this summer at my new school and discovered that it was too easy for me, was one of the best days this whole year. I wanted to cry from joy, and call my old teacher from this past year. And around that same time, I discovered that I am one of the better students in the BEG/INT class. I've been taking that class every Wed. for a while now and I love it. It makes me feel like I'm not clueless and it is the perfect level for me to actually learn and get better (instead of just trying to keep up).


Wow, I've blabbed a long time. I look forward to hearing more about your classes etc. Keep a close eye on those legs - they're going to look different to you any day now!



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Guest laurent

Hello babygurlesq:


i discovered ballet talk yesterday, saw your message and i felt i had to reply to it so i registered, and here i am.

Asking people's opinion can be useful sometimes, but it can be a rather depressing thing when it comes to ballet... so rather than giving you pieces of advice (which i can't) i just want to tell you that you are not the only one living in a fantasy world, far from that! Let me tell you a bit about me:

im a 30 year old male who's just quit his day job and decided to dedicate one year of his life to ballet. i discovered ballet only two months ago and it came as a major revelation to me. Even though i grew up in an artistic family (i started painting at 5, music at 8 and my sisters studied ballet for 8 years), i never realized what dance was all about until about a year ago. the only exposure i come to remember was the performance we did at primary school when i was about 10 and i felt so ridiculous in these tights and fighting with this stupid choregraphy (i kinda remember we were trying to mimic birds flying) that it definetely did not help spark my interest in dance. I came to classify dance either as ridicule and boring or as a type of gymnastic. A year ago i got an angry call from my mom and she said: you did not even invite your mom at your SECOND sister's wedding last month. I said "but mom i can't dance". she said "you did not even invite your mom at your FIRST sister's wedding". I said again that i did not know how to dance. Then she said "you'd better invite your mom at YOUR wedding". I said "yes mom". knowing that my wedding was nowhere near in sight, i decided to take it easy and started with the free salsa classes they were giving near my place. as i became better, less shy and more knowledgable i started to understand the strong connection between dance and music, the mix between the abstract music and the sensuous bodies, and i liked it. so i decided to take up ballroom: tango, chacha, swing, hustle, etc. and i liked it too. then a few months later i went to one of these broadway dance schools and tried jazz, tap and latin jazz. there i discovered that you can also dance alone and to any type of music. i also discovered that dance is a very athletic art. i saw that they had ballet class and at first wondered why, but then all the teachers were saying that you need to take ballet to have a solid foundation. so i went to my first ballet class. at first i was happily surprised to hear all the classical piano tunes that i used to play (i once considered becoming a pianist). then as i was doing my first cambre forward and backward to a beautiful music, tears came to my eyes. i almost cried because it was so beautiful, and also because i felt so sad that i only came to realize this only too late. a bit like how you'd feel if you were to find the love of your life only too late (ever heard of Cyrano de Bergerac?). i also felt it was so unfair, i felt that i had been born to be a dancer, and i felt angry at all these stupid prejudices and pressures in society. but now i feel happy. i just want to go as far as possible on my learning curve during this year. and then who knows?

Of course it is every dancer's dream to bring more beauty to the world, either by performing or via the art of choreography. But we also have to face the hard reality of today's world. At the end of the day, it is your life and nobody will live it for you. This is all about you, and nobody can know you better than yourself. Be yourself, believe in yourself, become what you are. Live life to the fullest according to your values, not the opinion of others.

i believe there is a place for everyone of us in this world, but it is up to us to find it, sometimes via the hard way.

Maybe one day we'll perform together in a company, maybe not. In any case, who can ever reproach us with having lived in a fantasy, if not us? i know i won't! smile.gif


All the best!



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Guest amdewitt



What a wonderful story! You've certainly inspired me. I believe wholeheartedly that you can do anything that you set your mind to, and that if you have a passion for it, all the more reason to go for it!

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Laurent, I wish you so much luck for your ballet year! I don't know how on earth you will be able to go back to "normal life" afterwards though...


I too discovered ballet late, aged 19, and now, three years along the line, i'm dancing more and more and thinking how unfair it is that I didn't realise sooner that I was made to be a dancer! Small successes really matter to me. I keep having little breakthroughs in my technique, because I didn't realise how a step should be danced, and when you get it right, it's such a perfect moment!


I had a small success in yesterday's class. It was the last class of a course I have been to at ENB in London. We got newsletters about next term's course, explaining that there would be a higher level course running alongside the usual ones, but you had to be recommended for this new class. In my envelope I had an invitation to join the higher level class! smile.gif I was so happy, especially since people I considered to be better dancers than me didn't get asked. I really can't wait till next term now, so I can prove to myself that I have the necessary "strong technical knowledge" and really belong in the advanced class.


I respect you so much for giving up your job to concentrate on ballet. It is becoming clearer to me that that is something I need to consider too, before I start to have regrets at what might have been. Are you going to study ballet at college, or are you dancing at a studio? I would be interested to hear about your plans. smile.gif

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Hello Laurent, and welcome to Ballet Alert Online, and especially to the Adult Ballet Students' forum! Your story is quite wonderful, and I wish you a great year in your pursuit of learning this art!

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Hi Laurent


Good luck to you, i wish I could take a year out/afford to take a year out!


Do keep us all informed please! oh and I am definately sure the others (whereever they are) on the mens forum would be more than happy to discuss loads of stuff with you. So on behalf of their dwindling forum I urge you to post there as well as here. Its not entirely for men so us ladies can join in..I hope?


But you definately have to share your experiences with us, the highs, the lows, the good , the bad, that is if you don't mind sharing these things with us?


Its just lovely to hear of someone who has actually taken the plunge and gone for it.

So was it scarey to give up your day job for your dream?


Hope to hear lots from you soon...



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