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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Back to ballet...at last!


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For those of you that have been following my exploits, today was my first ever American ballet class, and my first time back to ballet after 3 months away!

It is an adult ballet class, and I chose the class at 9:30 in the morning. So it was a little weird dancing in the morning, but I think I was glad I did as the class was really quite good :-)

It was an hour and a half long. Normally I am used to an hour, and the teacher who happened to be a young English dancer, gave us 45 minutes of barre. It was really good and she made us work those feet! Her feet were absolutely fabulous. The only thing about the studio is the huge expanses of mirrors! I looked like a disfigured lumpy thing and I was dismayed about how my feet did not look at all like hers :-( oh boy I have to work them very hard indeed now! But it felt so good. There were mainly older ladies talking about their kids doing ballet SI's! so I felt as though I was in an ion teractive version of the ballet moms & dads board.


Tuesday is my next lot of lessons. I chose to do a stretch and flex class for an hour and then adult ballet. I thought doing the strecthing class beforehand may let me push myself a bit further in the actual ballet class...maybe that will be a good idea or a bad one..I'll let you know.


Anyway, just thought I'd let you all know, and I bet you can't tell that I'm excited at all? :)

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  • Administrators

Sounds great, Xena, and I'm glad you are back in classes and that the first one was good! Keep us posted :)

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Guest carabing

Hello! So you've been away from ballet for 3 months? I've been away for 9 years!!! I'm 22 and quit when I was 13 so I could play volleyball and basketball instead (my parents made me choose). Anyway, I just graduated college and am looking for a job which is the most stressfull thing in the world so I have decided to start taking classes again to clear my head. I've always missed ballet and can't wait for my class on Monday. I'm kinda nervous though, any advice? Also, I've grown a lot since I quit, I'm 5 foot 10 which I know is huge in the ballet world and I feel really self-conscious about that, help!

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  • Administrators

Hi Cara, welcome to Ballet Alert Online and the Adult Ballet Students forum!


First advice I have is to spend some time the next three days stretching! Nine years is a REALLY long time, and your body is going to let you know that, even if you have kept in shape with other things! Take it easy the first few classes, and don't try to do everything the first day. Also, USE that lovely height! Tall dancers are very beautiful IF they use all of their length, and don't try to make themselves smaller :)

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well at least you are now returning to ballet after all that time. I can imagine how excited and anxious you must be!

Definately use your height, always stand tall in ballet class, don't shrink just because you couldn't do a step.

Normally in your first class you will placed between people who have taken class before at the barre, and in the center you will placed behind those that have taken class before, so don't feel like you're on your own.

Take it easy and just attempt the steps, and if you don't understand a step or the teacher went too fast, just ask her/him if they would please go through it as you didn't quite catch it. I do whenever I am unsure, you have to speak up on those occaisions otherwise you find that you get left behind!

Take a small towel with you and a bottle of water, and take those into class with you and keep them near you wherever you are in the studio.

IS it an adult class that you are going to?

Do tell us everything, i always find it fascinating to hear what others get up to in class! :)


Enjoy yourself and don't forget to smile!



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Guest Colleen

I also took a 3month break from classes even though I continued to teach. My first class on Tuesday was quite frustrating and I don't know when next I'll have the nerve to go back. My body just doesn't seem to want to cooperate with the beautiful ballerina inside my head. :)

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Guest carabing

Thank you everyone for all of your kind and supportive messages! I feel better already and not as nervous for my first class on Monday. I just bought a leotard, tights, and ballet slippers today - it was so cool to go in the same store I used to shop at when I was younger and still dancing. The same lady even waited on me! Anyway, I hope I'm not boring you guys with silly details, its just nice to talk to people who have a passion for ballet. Thanks again and I'll keep you posted about my class Monday night.


P.S. Colleen, don't give up!!! Maybe you're just trying to do too much too soon. I'm sure I will have similar feelings after my class Monday though. Let's both try though, okay? :-)

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oh you have to go back! ballet wouldn't be so enjoyable if we weren't struggling to always do our best. If we could do every single step to perfection, it would be boring! Surely if you teach you cannot be nowhere near as bad as you think you are :)

Sometimes the prima ballerina within us needs to be brought back down to earth. Sometimes it hurts, and you just have to get on with it and smile. Afterall isn't that what we have been taught all those years of ballet training?

We have to accept sometimes as we get older that we cannot do all the things we used to do so easily when we were younger, but we can also do a lot of things a heck of a lot better now that we are older! So go back to class and enjoy it for what it is, not for what you want it to be in a different world with a differnt body..if that makes sense ;)

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Guest Jonathan

Hello. I used to take ballet when I was younger (quite a bit younger, actually 8 or 9 probably), and I really want to get back into it. I am a 20 year old guy, and I guess I'm just looking for suggestions--I know I'm probably a little old to start again, but I'm in pretty good shape from rowing, and very flexible. How do you choose a ballet school/teacher etc... I really know next to nothing about it...HELP...any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you.

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Jonathan, we are never too old to do what we like ! I started ballet at 25 !


You are maybe too old to become professional !


I will let the moderators giving you advices on schools and teachers :) See you around and good luck!

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Hi Jonathan and welcome


Ithought I would tell you what I did to find a school over here in California as its only been a few months ago that I moved here.

Here's what I did.

1. Posted on this board, saying that I was in such and such an area and does anyone know of any good schools/teachers there.

2. Checked the Yellow Pages online and hardcopy.

3.Searched on th einternet for those schools mentioned anywhere just to get a feel of the general school, rather than what they advertise. Like who has gone there, what are they doing now, class schedules etc

4.Once you have narrowed it down to a few places, decide on the one that is the easiest to attend, i.e. nearer to work or home.

5.Once you have decided, phone up the school and tell them what you posted here. They may send you out a timtable, with their classes and prices and what to wear and what not to wear etc, or they may not. So you need to ask them those question when you phone them up.

6. Physically prepare yourself. So you have a date to start back, but not feeling your fittest. I took up body sculpting and aerobics jsut to get me back into the swing of things, and started stretching everyday. every little bit helps.

7. Posted here an awful lot asking questions and bascially anything that I was worried about. Everyone here likes to help, especially with those starting ballet again, no matter how long or short time they have been away.

8.keep us all posted, we all like to know what we're all up to..just nosey I guess ;)


Bye for now


Jeanette :)

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  • Administrators

Jonathan, choosing a school will depend a lot on your location and what is available, and also which schools have a good adult program. If there are several in your area, then I would visit each school and observe a class of their upper level students and also an adult class. Watching the upper levels will help you to see if quality training is happening at that school. Are the students disciplined, well groomed, respectful of the teacher, and of course most importantly, how do they look when they are dancing. If you have watched enough ballet to know what a good dancer should look like, the upper division in a good school should have dancers who look like they are seriously working towards that look you have seen in professional companies. These students should be having daily technique classes and pointe classes, and hopefully some rehearsals and performances.


In the adult classes look for a teacher who TEACHES the class, not just gives a class. Someone who corrects, places, explains, and also shows the movements well.


If you tell us where you are, we might have some suggestions for you. But if you live far from any major city, that will be much more difficult.


[ 07-18-2001: Message edited by: Victoria Leigh ]

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Guest Jonathan

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. In answer to where I live, it is in Toronto, Canada. I have been talking to the National Ballet School because I have hard that they tend to be pretty good with adult students. However, if anyone knows of another good, solid school in the area (Toronto or surrounding), I would love to hear about it. I have talked to a few more schools, but most do not teach adult students, and I would like to find a school who would be serious about treating me as a student, rather than someone just passing time,. Thanks again, and I'll keep you posted.

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Hi Jonathan,


I have been taking classes from DanceTeq for several months now and enjoy it immensely! It is run by Kevin Pugh, a former principal with the National Ballet of Canada, and classes are held at the NBoC studios at Queen's Quay and Spadina. It is very well run and professional, and the teachers are quite supportive and fun. There are drop-in classes at several levels from beginner to advanced several times a week. The material can be challenging but the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly--everyone is here because they love to dance. The students are mostly adults, a few teenagers (and there was an 11 year old in my Wednesday class!), and principals from NBoC have been known to drop by for a class occasionally.


I don't know if you're looking for a formal ballet school or just good classes, but in any case the website is http://www3.sympatico.ca/danceteq/index.html




[ 07-21-2001: Message edited by: tigger ]

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Guest Jonathan

Michelle, thank you very much for the suggestion, and I will definately check out the school. I went to the webpage, and I'll probably call them tomorrow, thanks again and I'll let you know what happens.

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