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Hi. Slightly nervous new older male student!


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I am 47 (though maybe look younger lol) and after years of prevarication, i have finally taken my first class...


My god it was interesting! It was a drop in class and alittle hard to keep up at times but i enjoyed and felt extremely relaxed afterwards. I have invested in some good gear now (capezio tights are very recommended!) and am practsisng at home


Fitness is something which i have been falling short on and also a few pounds need to be lost lol. Like so many though, I need exercise that occupies the mind. As an office and car bound person, could do with the improved posture


the most interesting aspect was how quickly the time went. tahts a very good sign. also nice to be surrounded by ladies!


I will continue to post my thoughts if anyone is interested!

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Congratulations to you for taking your first 'steps'!!! Make sure you find a good beginner's class, and start slowly. It's important that you start at the beginning to prevent any gaps in training. :)


You'll need the gear too; ballet shoes the same color as your tights, nice thick men's ballet tights, a supportive dance belt, and a white t-shirt or other solid color as required by the class.


You're certainly not alone in being a beginning male dancer, and certainly not anywhere near the oldest!


So join in and have fun! Perhaps someday, you'll be able to come over here for Richmond Adult Dance Camp!!! :shrug:

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Many thanks Dancing Jet


Hi Clara, that is precsiely the gear i have bought. All black...more flattering for the moment> did wonder about wearing tights (as many guys do) but the black capezios look great> I think if you dress the part...you feel the part... Maybe!


The next class i go to is a smaller group and i sense more relaxed pace. Might suit me better for now


ohio? what a nice idea! always love my trips to the US!

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Here is the link to the Adult SI threads:

Adult Dance Camps


Enjoy! Keep us posted after your class. Merde! :)

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Hi Clive,


Hello from a fellow London dancer here :)





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Hi Chinafish!


Nice to meet you! Where do u dance? Ive just been to Danceworks. ncie teacher but found it slightly too busy (and young lol) so vaguely intimidating (although im not shy)


Trying Marylebone this week. Observed last week and is certainly more relaxed and quieter!



Thanks Clara....looks interesting :) Im having thoughts now!

Edited by clive
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I mainly dance at Morley -- they do classes on a term-by-term basis (actually this year they made me pay for the whole year! :thumbsup: ) . Been to Danceworks in the past but it's just too crowded :D




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Hello Clive! Welcome! Wish you were in my part of the world - Vermont, USA - we LOVE having men in the class, beginning or intermediate it doesn't matter, it's just nice to have a "variation on the theme". Good luck!

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Hello Clive! Welcome! Wish you were in my part of the world - Vermont, USA - we LOVE having men in the class, beginning or intermediate it doesn't matter, it's just nice to have a "variation on the theme". Good luck!



I would not mind being in Vermont myself!. Have heard it is a lovely part of the world! who knows...may pop by when im next in the US!


Would have to agree with you about Danceworks china..... :lol: I certainly need some space and a quieter atmosphere given how new i am...

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Hi Clive - there are a number of older males on this board who will be happy to share their thoughts and give encouragement.


One set of web pages which you may enjoy reading are those by Tom Parsons, at http://www.dancer.com/tom-parsons/ballet_1.php (this is the first page; I suggest you read at least the first two).


My experience (starting as an absolute beginner at the age of 52; now I am 61 and do 3 classes a week) is that everyone has been absolutely welcoming and positive. If you try and are committed, they love you being there. They will not care about and will overlook all your errors; they are there to work on themselves, and have no time to spare, dealing with at other people.


Now some bits of advice, from the point of view of the ageing and incompetent beginner (aka me, I should add):


1. Try to get a place at the centre of the barre, with good people both in front and behind you, so that whichever way you have to face, you have somebody good to copy. You are meant to develop your own memory for sequences, but one thing at a time. Since nobody in beginner class wants to be at the end (where you may have nobody to follow), you might get squeezed up to the end; if this happens I suggest asking the teacher to place you in the middle (I do this, they take pity on me for being sort-of brain damaged, but I don't care). Also, if someone you are with has a good style, it will rub off on you automatically.


2. In centre work, do not hang around at the back because you are shy or because you think that they'll think you're incompetent. You will not be able to see the teacher properly, and it will get crowded so you won't be able to move properly. You will end up following the other shy ones who aren't themselves doing it properly. Instead, be brave and go near the front - e.g. the second row if you dare. In the second row, you are not too exposed, and you have someone good in front of you for the moment when the teacher turns round and asks the class to do it on their own.


3. Now the real killer - when the teacher says "why dont we do it from the corner in two's?" (I could say why not). Here (1) you have to realise that putting up with humiliation is part of the ballet learning process, (2) try to go early and pair yourself with someone who knows what they are doing. Not only will you have someone to copy, but with luck all the rest of the class will be looking at him/her, and not at you. Otherwise, you will end up in a draggle of people at the end who are doing nothing like what they are meant to be doing, and have no idea, so you wont learn anything (except putting up with humiliation). Also by then, the "good ones" will have recovered and have turned round and be all looking at you (maybe pityingly). If you go early, they'll still be invoved in what they've just done, and the people who've not gone yet will be looking at your good partner, to check on what they've got to do.



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Welcome Clive!


I hope you are enjoying your journey and continue to post about it here.


Regarding across the floor - a few things to note.... Most people in class aren't turning around and watching others in pity! We've all been there before and remember it. We watch each other to learn. And often, to be honest, we're not watching, but we're actually trying to figure out the other side, figure out what went 'wrong' when, etc.


And with across the floor combinations it can be difficult to mix levels a bit. I completely understand why many of us like to combine levels, but.... well, for example, I'm *very* short. Over the years, I've learned to 'dance big' without being clumsy (although I still have very many clumsy moments), but Ive also learned that sometimes I'm just in the way of people who travel more or so.


I don't want to be sending a conflicting message at all. Rather, I think it is fabulous that jimpickles brought up issues of space in class - I'm just suggesting we consider both sides of the coin! :)


But you know what, really, I'd say at this moment, don't sweat the small stuff. Go to class, have fun, enjoy, and soak up as much as you can. After all, at the end of the day, we all dance because we love it!

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Welcome, Clive! It's lovely to see another adult student...both from the perspective of a teacher, and that of an adult student!


Don't let your nerves get to you. And whatever you do, please take it easy in the beginning. There's nothing worse than finding a new love in dance only to injure yourself early on and have to take time off. I'm all for sweating and pushing one's self, but you know your body -- if something feels like too much, it probably is! No one will think less of you if you don't quite make it through everything in the beginning. Stretch after class before you get cold as a way to help prevent injury.


As a slight warning: Do pay attention to points of etiquette (not crowding someone out of a spot they got to first, not bumping into people, moving out of the way when you are done, etc.). The one thing dancers get quite snarky about across the board, regardless of age, ability, etc., is class etiquette.


I'm so glad you took class and enjoyed it! I hope you enjoy many more classes to come!

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Welcome, Clive; you seem to be discovering that we have a large and welcoming family here at our old mansion on the web. Enjoy it and make use of the wealth of experience and training that we have in our adult students and teacher/moderators.


A bit about demeanour for class that may be useful: During America's War for Independence, that great Englishman, George Washington, was quoted at dinner by one of his aides as having "told us the old one about the Quaker and the hat." Gee, thanks. After a lot of research, I think I've figured out what story that was. It IS an old one, and if you've heard it, try and stop me! :)


On Audience Day, William Penn attended on King Charles II on matters pertaining to the Pennsylvania Company, which was under Royal Charter.


At being presented, Penn did not remove his hat on principle. Being a Quaker, given to plainness, all were equal to him, and ceremony was kept to a minimum.


King Charles beheld him, and put his hand to the crown of his own hat, which he wore at Audience, he thought the crown was inconvenient, and besides, it hurt after awhile. He lifted the hat from his head, put it on the floor beside the Audience Throne, and lolled back in the seat.


"Friend Charles," said Penn, "Why dost thou take off thy hat?"


"'Tis the custom of this place," answered the Merry Monarch, "For only one to be covered at a time."


So there you have a drollery from George Washington, which displays not only a sense of humour, but what he felt was important. Dignity and humility should be inseparable. That's the proper demeanour for ballet class. It doesn't serve badly at other times, either! :)

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