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First Class Ever for Adult Male


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I am a 23 year old male who has finally gotten the courage to take a beginners class. I am however kind of nervous and would like to know what I should expect in the first class and how things will probably be run.


Also if anyone can give me directions on how to sew the elastics of my ballet shoe I would really appreciate it



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Hell Adultballetboy, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers :)


The elastic is sewn at the point where, if you fold the heel forward, you find the place where it folds at the sides of the shoe. Sew one side, then put the shoe on and measure how much elastic you need to make the shoe secure before you sew the other side.


As for your first class, if it is a complete beginners class, starting new, you should learn some very basic things like how to align your structure, where to place your body weight, how to pointe your feet correctly, and how to rotate the legs. If the class is one that has been going on a while you may have to pick up these things as you go along, trying to follow the teacher and the other dancers. It might be helpful to watch some classes before you start if the class is not a new one strictly for complete beginners.

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Don't be shy about introducing yourself to the teacher, and letting him/her know that you are brand new. You might also want to let them know if you would like a lot of corrections, or if you would rather have a few classes to acclimatize. Some teachers give many corrections to beginners for fear of scaring them off, to some beginners this is helpful, to others not so. It helps if your teacher knows what your expectations are as well.


As for class, expect about half the class to take place at the barre. Here the teacher will set exercises that usually isolate one part of the body to get you to warm up. Try not to be on the end of a barre, or one side you will have no one to watch. The other half of the class (or less than half) will be in the center. Here you will do adagio (slow movements), petite allegro (little jumps) and grande allegro (big jumps). Position yourself in the back or middle, so you have someone to watch, but this is the time to express yourself- so even if you can't do it perfectly, go for it!

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Thanks for the help,


Do you think it would be better if I took a couple private lessons first, or should I just go ahead and start with the beginner class? Please let me know



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Aw, just dive in! You'll pick up the very basics easily in an adult beginner's class.

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Do you think it would be better if I took a couple private lessons first, or should I just go ahead and start with the beginner class?  Please let me know




I'd first watch a class to get an idea of the class flow, vocabulary, and movements as they look to an observer. Then I'd dive right in to the beginner class. Private lessons offer way too many corrections for a raw beginner to absorb at all at once.


It is important to commit to going to class a couple times a week for at least three months. I've seen many adult beginners get discouraged after taking a couple classes and drop out rather than work through their inevitable klutziness.


Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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First classes can be overwhelming. All those new terms and being in a studio the first time is more than enough for the first class. I would not start with a private. When you walk away from your first class, if you're like I was, your head will be exploding with far too much information to retain it all. If you start with a private, chances are you'll get so much information (beyond overload) you'll probably think you'll never be able to do this and likely get discouraged.


Being in class with others is best to start. You can follow other dancers who know what they're doing. If the teacher has any where-with-all, they'll put you at a barre with one or two students who have more experience so you can follow them.


Give it a few weeks or months then you can start the privates if you want.

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Just a quick word regarding 'privates': not all teachers make these a regular part of their schedules. I have had several beginning and/or intermediate adults get miffed when I could not accomodate their requests. My schedule simply doesn't permit this, though I generally make myself available before the first class and after the last class for bits of extra 'individual time' :thumbsup:

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Aw, just dive in!  You'll pick up the very basics easily in an adult beginner's class.

Second the motion, though "easily" may be an exaggeration ...


Best advice for a beginner (I started in 2003) - leave your ego at the door, you can't afford to bring it to class. Yes, you'll look - and feel - really stupid and clumsy at first. Don't let it bother you, it will come. Persistance pays off. Now that I'm in a more nearly intermediate class, I can feel stupid and clumsy on a much higher level :blushing: Heck, if it was easy, everybody would do it.


Oh - and for guys, all sorts of details can be hard to find. Check the Men's Forum archives for info on clothing, and all kinds of other useful stuff. Also a good place to ask questions.


I started in socks. When I got shoes, I took them to class and asked about the elastics; my teacher showed me where to sew them on and they were ready for the next class.

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Well I had my first class last night. I had a great time , but like all you said I would, I definitely felt clumsy and awkward. The teacher placed me at the bar in between 2 more experienced people. I had to watch them a lot to figure out how to do the different movements. In regards to the placements, I feel I was able to do 1st and 2nd without too much trouble however 5th gave me a hard time. I also noticed a lot more trouble getting my left leg into position. Is this Normal? (Im Right handed) The only other reason I can think of is I had ankle surgery in October so the flexibility is probably down. Thanks for everyones help if I hadnt talked to you all before hand I probably would be much more discouragedand thinking there is no way I will ever be able to do any of this. But we will see, hopefully I will begin improving

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Don't worry, you'll definitely improve. One day at barre you'll realize that you don't have to watch anyone else because you know it! That hit me about half way through my first year of twice a week ballet classes (and I'm almost twice your age).


Fifth position is more difficult than first or second. After taking five months off for a broken foot I'm trying to get my fifth back. It takes a lot of flexibility in the achilles, for one thing, and I'm very stiff there right now. I am right handed too and am more flexible (relatively speaking!) on my right side than my left. The left side is always harder for me to turn out.


Have fun with class, it sounds like you have a great attitude! You're young enough that you should get into it fairly quickly. I love having guys in class! :blushing:



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Guest marathongirl

Congrats on your first class!!! Keep at it, it will get better. I'd say the left leg would have to do with your flexibility on that side. I find one sid is always easier than the other side. Remeber to ask questions at any time if you don't understand something or if you have concerns about something.


BTW, I see you are in DC, where do you take class? I go to Arlington Center for Dance.

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Guest pink tights

Welcome to the wonderful world of Ballet! Keep a little notebook in your dance bag so you can write down steps and technical corrections to remember; please, don't be offended by the corrections, they are not meant of scare you away. Avoid looking in the mirror too much--it can be very demoralizing, especially when you are already self conscious as a beginning student. Have fun!

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Fifth position is more difficult than first or second.


Definitely true!


Getting a good fifth incorporates so many details from posture to correct muscle use and even how your bones and cartlidge have set as you age, it's not worth worrying over too much for some time.


Re: you're left leg" one side is always stronger. In time it will even out a bit.


A word about "plateaus." You'll find you'll improve a lot over the next few months then you'll kind of level off for a while. You may feel like you're stuck and not making any progress. Sometimes we reach these "plateaus" and we get stuck there for a while before we finally break through and begin heading toward a new, higher level of ability. Don't worry about these. They can be discouraging but they're a natural part of the process. Just stick with it and you'll push through.


Glad you went ahead and did the first class. The hardest part is already behind you.

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And it may not even be a plateau, it may feel like you're regressing! I was getting a bit discouraged last year when working on pirouettes. One week I could go up but couldn't get around at all, even worse than the part way around stuff I was kind of doing before! My teacher told me not to worry about it, just keep working on the "up" part and don't even try to go around. Sure enough, the next week I didn't even think about going around, just went up, and ended up doing about a 1 and 1/4 revolution. Did it a few more times and after class asked my teacher if I had actually done a pirouette and she said "yep"! :P


I also found "The Joffrey Ballet School's Ballet-Fit" book by Dena Simone Moss and Allison Kyle Leopold very informative. It's written specifically for adult beginners.



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