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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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Hi - not sure if anyone is on this board from Australia, but can anyone recommend an adult beginner class in Melbourne? I'm looking to start ballet and there doesn't appear to be many classes advertised online.


Any help appreciated!

Edited by haversack
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Hi Haversack.


I'm from Sydney, and though I'm afraid I can't make any specific recommendations, I had the same problem as yourself before a friend recommended the Sydney Dance Company.


I would be astounded if Melbourne did not have a similar institution somewhere, including a facility for adult beginner classes.


An online search for the classes I now take doesn't show up what I've enlisted in, despite the SDC having a fairly comprehensive website - Google just doesn't delve that deep into websites, it seems. You may need to do some phoning around first if - of course - you don't get any help from here (which is unlikely - a great many here are the epitome of helpfulness).


Either way, best of luck with your search, and "merde" with your dancing :wink:




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Kindness of wembley -


Have you considered CAE in the middle of Melbourne?


She's also reported favorably on Shirlene's in Pascoe Vale.


There is also an adult ballet class run at the parish hall of All Saints' Church in Hawthorn.

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On the Australia Dancing [Australian Dance Directory] website there is a link to Dance Education and an email contact for Ausdance Victoria. They might also be able to give you some advice -- victoria@ausdance.org.au

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You should go to www.blochworld.com , sign up for their forum and ask the question in the aussies page as you'll probably get more response about australian specifics there.

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Thanks for that.


On a related note - what's the key difference between canvas and leather ballet shoes? Is one better than the other for certain things, or is it a durability thing as with synthetic vs leather sports shoes?


The beginners class I'm now enrolling in starts next week - it ask for ballet shoes, but leaves dress as "for comfort and movement". Being an 'average' 24yo I dont own any real dancewear - would cotton gym shorts and a fitting singlet/tee ok for a first lesson, or would trackpants be better? Or should I venture out and purchase some proper dancewear when I stumble around trying to find ballet shoes? :wub::)

Edited by haversack
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On a related note - what's the key difference between canvas and leather ballet shoes? Is one better than the other for certain things, or is it a durability thing as with synthetic vs leather sports shoes?


Men typically prefer canvas if they perform turns and solos. They prefer Leather for partnering since it gives a slightly better grip.


Leather outlasts canvas as well.


If your studio has a sticky floor, go with Canvas. If it is slick/slippery go with Leather.


It all becomes a personal preference after time.


Your teacher/studio may have shoe requirements as well.



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You know, I think this thread would work much better in Adult Students. I'll move it there to give everybody fair access to it, and you'll be more likely to cover more ground there.

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Gym shorts & a t-shirt or singlet sound fine for a beginners class! Or you could wear bike shorts if you are comfortable with that (maybe not the ones with lots of padding in the butt!).


There is a large Blochs store in Southbank in Melbourne, or smaller dance stores located in the suburbs (also a smaller dance store attached to a costume place in hardware lane in the city), but given that you are after menswear you might like to try the larger store.


Personally I prefer canvas shoes because they seem to fit my feet better, plus they can go through the washing machine if required!


Men usually wear white or black ballet shoes, not the pink/flesh colour.


Wembley (grew up in melb, lived there for a year again in 2003)

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Thanks for the advice wembley!


Mel said above you recommended Shirlene's in Pascoe Vale - I can't find a website for the school. Do you know if they offer an adult class?



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I attended classes there a few years ago. It was quite an old style school, so they probably don't have a website. They didn't have specifically adult classes, but there were 3-4 adults in the class that I attended (only one male though) and about 6-7 girls in their low-mid teens. There is a young male teacher (Cliff) who is excellent on technique and anatomy (who I'd recommend as a teacher for you) and several older lady teachers.


Although they didn't have any adult classes per se, I personally found them to be welcoming to adults. At that point I had been learning for about 2 years, so not quite a beginner. They teach Cecchetti method, with an emphasis on strong basic technique, in a very traditional style class setting.


Melbourne is a big city, so you may need to let your fingers do the walking and make a lot of phone calls to find adult classes in your area. Also, I have a vague memory of hearing about adult classes in Collingwood maybe?


Hope that this helps, wembley

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