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advice for a newcomer?

Guest djinrain

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Guest djinrain

Hi! I'm brand new to the forum, and to ballet itself! I've never taken a dance lesson in my life and am nervously looking for a studio to take some classes.

I was wondering if anyone could help me with a question or two. First- in your opinions, are there any adult beginning type classes that are non-performance based and not too competitive? I'm pulling my hair out over this, as I'm excrutiatingly clumsy (was kicked off the baton-twirling team in elementary school, hit myself in the head with a dumb-bell a few days ago, and stabbed myself in the eye with a knitting needle last night, for example)

Also, what is "pre-ballet" and is this something that taken by children only? I'm trying to research the subject, but sometimes it seems to be written in another language (and I don't mean French)!

thank you all for reading this. I would appreciate any thoughts you have.

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Hi, djinrain, and welcome to the Adult Ballet Students' Forum here at Ballet Talk.


First questions first: Most adult programs I know of are not aimed at producing a performer,(unless you want to, of course, which might entail entering the general program of the school eventually) but in the main, it's a recreation-based activity, and not very competitive.


Don't worry about close-in activities like knitting or weights or batons. Ballet is built for the "wide open spaces" and not like those other activities at all! :)


War story: Once, in a production of Giselle I was in, our Giselle actually succeeded in stabbing herself with the sword, settling an old question for at least THAT audience! As I tried to hover near her to see if I could help, I heard her mutter under her breath, "Oh, lordy, why am I such a klutz?" ;)


And yes, "pre-ballet" is for teenie-tinies (kindergarten age), who don't have the musculature or skeletal strength for even beginning ballet classes.


[ 08-05-2001: Message edited by: Mel Johnson ]

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Guest djinrain

thank you! I am desperately searching for something in my area that is "right" for me.

All of the wonderful adult programs I've heard of are in other states!

Oh, I don't want to perform, I just want to have fun and maybe learn a little balance, poise, and coordination.

Thank you so much for the war-story! I have been messing up more than usual lately and needed the encouragment!

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In California, and all the adult programs are in other states? Relax! I know there are adult programs near you that will just suit your needs to a T! :) All that's called for is a little more research.

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Guest djinrain

hmmm, I know that sounds unreasonable dosen't it? I'm practically on top of a great big city (Sacramento) and I keep telling myself there has got to be something.


Ah, I found a couple in the SanFrancisco area, but as that is KIND OF FAR AWAY I am looking into stuff around here. Maybe the problem is my indecisiveness.


I'm afraid that if I take a class aimed for recreational-only students, I won't be getting decent training. I don't want to dance professionaly, but I would like to be half-way acceptable in what I DO learn. I don't want to go to a Sacramento Ballet production of Swan Lake and be embarrassed through the whole thing because I don't even know what they are doing!

I want to say- "ah yes, that move was a flinging-back-friggit-launcher (or something!) and you execute it by....." now, is THAT an unreasonable hope?


I am willing to take multiple classes a week (if they are in the evenings, and many around here are) but I don't want to be pushed past my own desire to play around and have fun.

I am feeling so depressed about this right now that I can hardly look in the phone book. (Too many choices, too many choices!)

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Hi Djinrain


I understand totally when you say you want proper training rather than recreational training. I have just been in that boat, and the school I am in only seems to give serious training to teenagers rather than adults. Anyway, that's another story!

The only thing I can suggest is that you phone up the ballet schools that you have got in your yellow pages and ask each of them about their adult dancers and how they treat them, and actually ask them if they are prepared to give adult dancers proper training, rather than for purely recreational purposes. I will ask that next time for sure.

If they do, then go along and try them out. But you have to start somewhere, and talking to the schools in question will give you a much better idea.



[ 08-07-2001: Message edited by: Xena ]

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Guest djinrain

hmm, I've read some of your past posts, Xena (Jeanette, whatever!). I see what you mean.

I THINK I'm narrowing down my choices here. But, I AM finding places that seem to think adults must only want an excuse to put on a tutu.

I've even seen places that go pro. level for kids but won't let anyone over 18 or so graduate to pointe even after passing the appropriate level exams. How depressing.

I guess we'll both have to keep looking. Good luck! And, Thanks! :)

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