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Ballet Talk for Dancers

It's been a long time...


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:thumbsup: I'm not quite sure how it will go but I'm setting my mind to enjoying whatever situation I encounter. I quit ballet class after several unforeseen circumstances made it difficult for me to continue. Money, time, distance to travel, closing of old studio, injury, all contributed to my eventual withdrawal.

 

But, I've missed it terribly and my husband has finally convinced me that it's time I got back into it again. Since stopping I've had more problems with aching joints and sore lower back. I know to some people it would seem like it would be the other way around but I'd never felt as good as when I was "ballet fit".

 

I think I'll start with a once a week adult ballet class, at least for a month. Then I'll add another one hour class and then, hopefully I can get back into pointe. In all, I should eventually be taking three two hour classes a week. I know I've lost a lot of my flexibility since I haven't kept up with the stretches, so I'll have to be very patient with myself and go slowly.

 

I know myself and know that I will be tempted to be very critical of myself and I'll have to watch out for that. Otherwise, I'm very happy with my decision. Ballet plays a part in my life that nothing else does and I feel like I'm going to see an old friend again. It will be awkward at first and we'll be trying to think of something to say, but we'll eventually fall into a familiar rythm again.

 

I hope...

 

 

By the way, it's good to be here on this forum again.

 

Candi

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Well, I'm a newbie on the board, but I hate seeing that little "0" under the replies section on the thread... so let me be the first to welcome you back! Enjoy yourself and we look forward to hearing what you have to say after you get back into it!

 

Funny how being back at the barre feels like coming home...

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Well, I'm a newbie on the board, but I hate seeing that little "0" under the replies section on the thread... so let me be the first to welcome you back! Enjoy yourself and we look forward to hearing what you have to say after you get back into it!

 

Funny how being back at the barre feels like coming home...

 

 

...just like going home again makes one feel like an insecure adolescent all over again...I guess as long as I don't act like it, I'm okay.

 

Thanks for the thoughtfulness, rockymtdancer. Now there's a 2 under that heading.

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Bug,

Stretching will help immensely, but I'm sure you know that.

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...just like going home again makes one feel like an insecure adolescent all over again...I guess as long as I don't act like it, I'm okay.

 

:yes: Don't I know it! As I said on another thread somewhere, I've been searching for more affordable quality instruction, and I'm trying a studio in a few weeks where I will be taking classes with their advanced girls (13-14 years old)... I'm terrified! I have to get myself into some open classes as often as possible so I don't humiliate myself too badly. BUT, if I was that scared of humiliation, I wouldn't have started back into ballet in the first place!

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... BUT, if I was that scared of humiliation, I wouldn't have started back into ballet in the first place!

Hah! :wacko: Try starting from ground zero ... :blushing:

 

That's my biggest and best lesson from ballet classes. I understand in theory that if it's not humiliating, you're not doing it right. And you aren't going to learn very much.

 

But transitioning from a being a successful professional to a hopeless middle-aged beginner, in a field where teenagers are already better than I will ever be no matter how hard I try? Taking that bit of theory into practice is a REAL exercise! :wacko:

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But, I've missed it terribly and my husband has finally convinced me that it's time I got back into it again. Since stopping I've had more problems with aching joints and sore lower back. I know to some people it would seem like it would be the other way around but I'd never felt as good as when I was "ballet fit".

 

Hey Spinbug, that is one of the truest things. I ache less and am happier when im 'ballet sore', but ive noticed over the last year or so it's more 'ballet fit' than sore. Hope you enjoy your new classes. Let us know how it goes.

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Well, my first class was to be tonight but wouldn't you know, my husband had to work and I had nobody to watch the kids. Hmmm...is that a sign? Not to be deterred, there are two more classes this same week that I can attend. I will prevail! :)

 

Some of you mentioned the humiliation of starting ballet for the first time. I wonder if it's worse taking class after being out of ballet for years since you have a developed expectation; you got to know your body and what it could do in it's prime, then you get back in and forget that your body has changed since then and you expect to be able to do the same things . Not only are you having to start your body all over again, then, you also have to adjust all of your expectations. You are in a new paradigm and it could be a little frustrating having to shift your ideas and expectations.

 

Then again, there's all those old ballet leotards. They used to fit quite nicely...I haven't had the courage to try them on yet. We'll see soon enough.

 

Thanks for all of the encouragement. I know I'm not alone. Goodness, I hear all the time about people going back again and now I can truly relate to the anxiety.

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Oh, definitely try on those leotards before class! If your kids don't make too terribly much fun of you, parade around the house in them for a bit. It'll do wonders for making you less self conscious. Plus, there's nothing worse than trying to dance in an improperly fitting outfit. The wedgies are dreadful.

 

It's all about every thing you mentioned, shifting your expectations and adjusting your paradigm to suit your body as it is. There may be some things your body never returns to but never fret, you'll be amazed at things you can do with much MORE ease as a mature student. I find retaining combinations and reversing sides much easier as an adult than I ever did as a child. No idea why. I guess I've gained a few extra wrinkles with the extra pounds. :-)

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There was something decidedly un-fun for me about starting ballet again after more than a decade away from it. Don't get me wrong, overall it was fun and worth it. But in the beginning, knowing that I knew how to do things but just didn't have the strength I used to have to do them was frustrating. Knowing how things used to look and seeing how they looked after all that time was not the most encouraging thing. My head and heart were so far ahead of my body! However, much of it will come back if you give it time. Who knows? Maybe all of it will come back. Here's hoping that enough of it comes back to make you happy! :)

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Oh, definitely try on those leotards before class! If your kids don't make too terribly much fun of you, parade around the house in them for a bit. It'll do wonders for making you less self conscious. Plus, there's nothing worse than trying to dance in an improperly fitting outfit. The wedgies are dreadful.

 

It's all about every thing you mentioned, shifting your expectations and adjusting your paradigm to suit your body as it is. There may be some things your body never returns to but never fret, you'll be amazed at things you can do with much MORE ease as a mature student. I find retaining combinations and reversing sides much easier as an adult than I ever did as a child. No idea why. I guess I've gained a few extra wrinkles with the extra pounds. :-)

 

 

Ha! The kids made fun of me when I was taking class and practicing at home, anyways! The friends they brought over thought it was really neat and asked me to do all kinds of things on pointe, the girls were quite unfazed, however. My personal interest is more of a deterrent in getting them involved in an activity as opposed to encouraging it. What can a parent do? :blink:

 

In fact, I started taking ballet as an adult so I have no ideas of granduer on my non sylph-like body. However, I was in it long enough to begin holding my own in the advanced level class and on pointe. And, I was quite fit and pretty flexible, even if I wasn't quite stick thin. I'm actually not much different in appearance now but every little bit really shows in a leotard. However, I know my fitness level is quite a bit different now than it was then and I'll be feeling it the next morning like someone beat me up. It took four years to get to the level I was when I stopped and in one year I lost it all. What a shame! Oh well. There's no whining in ballet. :wink:

 

There was something decidedly un-fun for me about starting ballet again after more than a decade away from it. Don't get me wrong, overall it was fun and worth it. But in the beginning, knowing that I knew how to do things but just didn't have the strength I used to have to do them was frustrating. Knowing how things used to look and seeing how they looked after all that time was not the most encouraging thing. My head and heart were so far ahead of my body! However, much of it will come back if you give it time. Who knows? Maybe all of it will come back. Here's hoping that enough of it comes back to make you happy! :)

 

 

Happiness...That's a good point. If one expects to be perfect before one decides to be happy then it sets up for a lifetime of unhappiness. I'm just glad I'm back, even if things are not as ideal as I hope. Most likely hindsight is 20/20 and things were not as ideal as I thought and I really wasn't as good as I believed at the time. Anyways, the process makes me happy. The end result is always unpredictable.

 

Some very wise words, insidesoloist. :thumbsup:

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But transitioning from a being a successful professional to a hopeless middle-aged beginner, in a field where teenagers are already better than I will ever be no matter how hard I try? Taking that bit of theory into practice is a REAL exercise! :wink:

 

 

So true, so true! And it's a real exercise in humility, isn't it? ( the good kind, you know, not the "being humiliated" kind). That's why I hope I never stop trying new things. Sometimes the failing of it is a better strength builder than the success of it. What a sheltered world we would all be in if we only did the things we were good at!

 

But, I need enough of the successful pursuits to offset the humility building ones, at least a 50/1 ratio. That's about right, don't you think? :)

 

I bet you are better in ballet than you think. And I'm sure you are a very highly respected individual.

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Sooo glad you are back. It seems like forever since we hve heard from you around here.

I thought you might have been one of those who made a road trip to Cincinnati for Ed's film a couple of weeks ago, but I never saw you in the discussions. I got to go and it was inspiring.

I understand the feel of going back expecting something after time off. I had no classes from Early February until the beginning of June and within a month or two once again I up and hurt something. I'd rather have the ballet soreness.

I don't know what I'd do if I had to change schools now that I have one where the teachers really understand one's limitations and encourage me to press on. I would hate to even start to explain my grown up physical issues to a new teacher and then wait for the look that says "What are you doing here?"

I hope your new program supports adults thoroughly.

 

Laschwen

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Laschwen, thank you so much for that warm welcome back :D . I sure wish I could have gone to see the film. I spoke with him two years ago about the movie and it sounded so wonderful. Something like that is truly a labor of love. And I'm inspired by all of the people who have been so candid about their journeys, struggles and triumphs and their willingness to share it on film.

 

I hope your injury wasn't too serious and that you're healing nicely. It's easy to forget that even though we KNOW what our bodies are supposed to do, we are not always able to do it. It takes time to get back into it.

 

Okay, I missed last week's class but today I have my schedule open and a place to take the kids. Unless something serious happens (God willing, it doesn't!) I will be there. I promise myself that I will do my best but that my best will have to be good enough for me for today. If I am disappointed in my performance I will only let it last until the next exercise when I will be starting anew. (I'm writing this to everyone as if I'm saying it to myself so that I will remember. It will be my mantra and I'll be repeating it whenever necessary! I may have to for some time, too.)

 

Everybody wish me luck. I'll let you know how it goes. Oh, by the way, I tried on those leotards and guess what? They still fit! One small triumph!

 

Candi

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Wow! Class was so much fun! Yes, the frappes was sloppy and I could hardly get that leg up in developpe but I was there. I got to jump again, too! A grown adult giddy like a child because she gets to jump again :rolleyes: . I was so sore the next day, though. But I knew I would be.

 

Well, class was Tuesday and it's now Friday and I feel sore this morning. But, you know what, I actually look forward to doing a little barre to get the soreness out. It may be that I'm stiff because I haven't done anything in a few days.

 

Thanks for all of the encouragement!

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