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Ballet Talk for Dancers

What puts you off starting ballet?


What is the number one thing that puts you off starting ballet classes?  

82 members have voted

  1. 1. What is the number one thing that puts you off starting ballet classes?

    • 1. Family/work issues.
    • 2. The thought of being overweight/underweight/having wobbly bits/unfit.
    • 3. The cost of classes.
    • 4. Not knowing anyone in the class.
    • 5. Emotional issues/peer pressure.
    • 6. Having never danced before/or for a long, long time.

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I was just curious to see what things may put off those potential adult dancers from taking that first step either into ballet, or back to ballet after a break. It's hard to narrow it down to just six things. Yes, there are others like work commitments etc, so if you have something to add, please reply as well.

I know there are plenty of ballet alert members or non-member lurkers who may be thinking of starting ballet classes, but find it hard to make that first initial plunge.

Even I find it hard to start up ballet again; I am going to my first class tonight after 6 weeks of not dancing, and yes, you do feel anxious, well I do anyway, and I know what to expect.

So one of the many aims of this forum is to actively encourage adults to take up ballet, (you know you want to :blushing: ) and to help overcome any fears and anxieties you have with taking the plunge.

So, please join in you newer members and lurkers :wink:



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I picked #2. Before starting classes, I was unfit. I knew that it would be very difficult and that it would be a challenge for me physically, esp in the beginning.

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OK, I bit - and voted, even though I've never ever taken a ballet class! :shrug: Because of my daughter's former involvement in ballet, I became very aware of all that it could do for one's body...I bought the book "Ballet Fit", I believe it's called that, and read it...but just could not bring myself to even consider going to a class - and God forbid a class where I might know someone :speechless:! The idea of my putting on a leotard and tights is enough to stop me cold, in my tracks :unsure: , as is leaping across the floor! :blushing: I just wish there were a class of barre only for adults who might be a lot more comfortable in sweat pants. :blushing:


I will say that I can certainly understand how someone who has been a ballet student who has taken time off - 6 weeks or a year or more, might feel a bit anxious... I know that my daughter has been considering going back to take class - an adult or open class somewhere and that she does feel uncomfortable because she used to be very good and has not done anything in over a year... Here's hoping she'll find a place and conquer her inhibitions. :thumbsup:


I admire all of you adult ballet students!! :wink:

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The thought of having to be in leotard and tights put me off for awhile. I took an adult class without a dress code (some wore sweatpants and socks, I wore leotard and shorts) and realized if I wanted good training I'd have to wear the proper clothes. I've gotten over it and now what prevents me from having all the classes I would like is the cost and the time.


By the way- I love the phrase "wobbly bits." I may have to start using that one.

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I think for myself it was the weight issue !!! now having started to get that under control only now I want to take more classes. Although it will be while before I do only leotard and pink tights combo.



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I just wish there were a class of barre only for adults who might be a lot more comfortable in sweat pants.


I know that my daughter has been considering going back to take class - an adult or open class somewhere and that she does feel uncomfortable because she used to be very good and has not done anything in over a year


BW, have you inquired if there is a place where you could take such a class? I have done adult classes at 3 studios that train pre-pro students (American Academy of Dance in Spring TX, Dayton Ballet School and Pontecorvo Ballet Studios in Dayton OH) and in every one of them someone wore sweat pants. (Dayton Ballet didn't even require that the summer adults got ballet slippers, some took in socks.) One studio we had a woman who just took barre. If you are in a strictly adult beginner class, the studio might be willing to work with you to help you become more comfortable in class. It really is worth it all!


As for you daughter, wish her luck. One of the most difficult parts of class for me is knowing I used to be able to do many of these things and realize that it is going to take time before I am able to do them again.

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Guest milky

Well, I voted for "not knowing anyone", but really, the thing that kept me from class for so long was feeling like ballet was a phase in my life that had passed. But right now it's my persistent tendonitis. Argh. Put that one down to age?

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Well, even though I've taken a beginning level class before in college it was still hard to make myself start at a studio while home for the summer for a lot of reasons. Too old for most of the classes (only 20, but older than most girls!), probably not good enough for the adult class, not knowing anyone, being very behind, afraid of the teacher... I think the only reason I'm there now is that I told my Ballet professor that I was taking classes over the summer to help prepare for the more advanced class when returning in the fall.


So I voted for #6 just for lack of experience and being very awkward at what I do know how to do.


P.S. - The teacher is great, I love classes here, and so far I'm not tragically far behind. :)

Edited by Nouvelle
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Guest gillian

I always wanted to take classes, but it was a matter of money, and more importantly, time. Thank goodness I can take ballet for credit now and have it count toward my degree!

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I put the lack of dance training in the recent past. My dance training was far past hardly memorable. I am presently in an adult class that is beyond my skill level...so that is challenging. Sort of a crash course you could say. I'm hoping that by the fall I'll be able to get into an adult class that is more my level. Then again, by fall I may have progressed beyond that so we'll see. ;)

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What a great poll!

I started ballet at the age of about 4, and danced til about 13-14. I did keep up with all other kinds of dance, which kept up my flexibility but I started back at ballet about 3 months ago, and it is hard work!! I mistakenly thought it would be a case of, once i got back in to it, it would all come rushing back. But it wasn't. Although I can do things in my head, it seems my body doesn't want to do it. Also having a far from ideal body type I was conscious about this. However, I'm so glad I came back because I'm not the best or the worst in the class, heaviest or lightest, or tallest or shortest. Everyone's so busy concentrating on themselves I can work at my own corrections. But I do agree it'll be a while before I'm back to the leo-tights combo!! :)

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I voted #2. I was very embarrased to deal with how out of shape I was when I started again. I looked like a beginner, even though I had studied ballet for 15 years in the past. It was, in fact, very frustrating for a long time. Especially staring pointe again when I realized I could no longer even do a one footed-releve. I had tried twice to return to ballet, and got frustrated and quit.


Once I wandered into the correct class for me (an Advanced Beginner class with Emilietta Ettlin), I never looked back. She (and others) have helped me so much. Now it's been 2 and a half years, and I'm already WAY better than when I was a teenager. I never thought I would be one of those people with a high extension or triple pirouettes on pointe. Those things are *starting* to happen now, and it's really cool. It's getting fun now that I can work on some challenging stuff without strength/flexibility issues getting in the way. I'm really starting to enjoy pirouettes :) .


I still get impatient and have unrealistic expectations, but I think in a way it's helped me to push myself and get better. I've never worked on anything this hard in my life.

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time and money were issues for me starting. But the biggest hurdle was finding a true beginners adult class. I danced as a child but that had been over a decade ago (ok closer to two!), about the only things I had was decent turn out and a vague recollection of what a plie was. The few classes I took I found myself so lost that I would usually not return. Very happy to find my current teacher who is very good at teaching a mixed level class and making the beginner feel welcome.


I still finding sheduling enough classes (especially that don't conflict with work) and finding the right skill level a bit of a challenge, and I can see where it will get even harder if I manage to progress.

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Good post, Lampwick! :D I second all of that. Had tried several times to take it up and it was just way beyond my capability and I gave up each time.


Just another example of how the teacher is SO important in making the class right (whether it be true beginner or multi-level). When I finally came across the right situation I grabbed on really hard and refused to let go! :)

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