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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Adult Ballet friends

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So the "How much is too much" thread made me think that what caused it to be too much for me several years ago: it was when I realized that I had zero social life.


Now that I'm dancing more again, I'm in the ballet studio 4 times a week (not all ballet classes)... and it did remind me again that ballet isn't a very social hobby.


For ex, when I did ballroom dancing, there was talking with your partners during dancing.. then the occasional trip to the salsa club, being invited to latin dancing parties...


But in all my years with this ballet studio, I think only twice have I actually made social dates with people I met in class. I'm sure in the younger classes, more friendships are made.. but how about your experiences with adult classes?


I feel that in some way, ballet is a very isolated hobby. So I'm really excited to go to adult dance camp and make friendships that last beyond class.

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Being that I take mostly with teens, I really haven't anyone to socialise with outside of ballet class (I mean FROM ballet class). Surprisingly, though, I've found something of a peer with one of my teachers, so we go to the gym together from time to time and out for coffee or whatnot after class and chat about all sorts of things.


Social life, I would think, is what you make of it. I'm happy with a minimal "going out" life as I have other priorities, but others like being able to go out and have a drink or two once a week with friends. It's nice to diversify, though. Getting all your socialisation from one source is probably not a good thing...


And if all else fails, I still have my cats.... :yes:

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I do improv and I'm a geek, and have plenty of improv and geek friends.


But they do glaze over when I talk about ballet... so would love to have more ballet friends in RL.

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My experience in the UK was completely the opposite. Some of my best friends are my 'dance buddies', and I loved having friends outside of my degree program/work/college. These folks are now spread all over the world, and quite a few of us are still in contact.

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I do improv and I'm a geek, and have plenty of improv and geek friends.


But they do glaze over when I talk about ballet... so would love to have more ballet friends in RL.



Oh don't I know this reaction!

I have my table tennis friends and they understand certain things so I can talk about it in more depth. When I try to say something about it to other people they always manage to bring up Forest Gump... :lol:


So, it's the same with ballet. You bring that up with other adults and they might think you're too old or something. Even if they don't say it outright, they'll say something like "I thought that was something you had to learn as a kid to be any good at." Or they'll say something like "what's it like wearing a tutu?" It's very difficult to have an intelligent conversation with someone who either has no interest in that subject or is ignorant and doesn't want to understand. Don't get me wrong, I'm not being critical of people who don't enjoy or understand ballet, it's just not a subject matter we can clique on. There are other things in life that we could talk about, though, so I take it with a grain of salt and a heavy sigh. And a little bit of sadness that they aren't sharing in an art that I love so much.


I forgot to add...


Geeks Unite! :shrug:

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Like Ami, I have friends through ballet. The advanced class I do on Saturdays is a sort "invitation only" class -- the woman who organises it will tell you about it & invite you along if you're the right kind of standard & you're interested. And so after doing that class for a few weeks, I was invited along for coffee with a group of the dancers after class, and now it's a regular date, and it's lovely. It means I have friends in a new city outside of work. But it's an all adults class; it must be more difficult dancing with teens, although a bunhead is a bunhead, whatever the age!

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Something Spinbug said sparked a memory thing for me: I had a school student (regular school, not ballet school) who took a class in something else just after I had my ballet class. She was kind in that she never told anyone at school what she saw but did comment to me that she thought I was really good.


Then, a fellow teacher (again, regular school) who has daughters at my ballet school, commented that his girls had been impressed by what they saw. It sort of broke the ice at work about me taking ballet (esp. when you consider what my SIZE was at the start of this school year!!), and people at work started taking me more seriously when I mentioned it.


This year is a new teen/adult class and I'm hoping there'll be a few more adults in it. Last year it was teens and me. *sigh*

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I also have found it difficult to make traditional friends from ballet classes.

We get to class, few of us early. We speak a few minutes, take class and we are gone.

The one exception was one evening during my first month there I walked out with one of the other women and we got talking.

We found out we were at the same University in another state, at the part of same time, and even had dance classes with the same teachers, and knew some of the same people.

Do we go out for a drink or coffee?

No, but we did share e-mail addresses.

People have to get home to their families after class generally. A few of us drive home to outlying towns. There is not much time to go socialize.

I have also found that since moving here to a very settled family oriented area from a very mobile military community, life is different. People are not as open to forming new friendships as instantly as I was used to for the previous 10 plus years of my life. They already had their circles of friends and busy full lives.

I found that the local friends I have made have also spent time living in similar situations, some in exactly the same overseas military community life I did. We understand each other.

I think that rolls over into ballet class too.

I think we understand each other in there without even knowing each others stories. Those of us here have a distinct advantage. We might as well be talking to our classmates, thought I do look forward to meeting a bunch of "you" in person next week.

I am sort of bringing a classmate along. I hardly know him, but I told him about the camp anyway, and he signed up to go.

Later I thought of something else...I will have a witness to whatever happens and somebody to reminisce with afterwards. :lol:

It is a start.

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I began ballet (in France) when I was at university, so I went to classes in the afternoons and at noon ; I met a lot of people - well , 99% other women ! Some of them where "housewives" with young kids, some retired, a few other students...We spend hours in cafes before or after classes, and we meet for evenings out and so on...I struck a friendship with my teacher too, even though she's more than thirty years older than me, and we even went on holiday together ; currently, I go less to ballet, because of work, and some of those friendships, especially the one with my teacher, have become less strong, but most of them hold after six years... :wub:

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I take lessons with teens, because there is no adult group, which is as advanced. I must say, that I have a wonderful relationship to them, and it's wonderful for a woman in my age to be accepted by 16/17 year old as one of them, but of course they are not the right people to become friends. Like someone here told before I also become friends with a teacher, but she is the only friend I have to talk about ballet and dancing generally (I am also doing musical). I also would love to have more "ballet-friends".

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I have a bunch of ballet friends, but I've never been in a ballet class with them which is kind of funny. I met them through other channels and discovered our mutual vocation coincidentally. There's usually a significant enough age gap between me and the other people in my class (I'm 22 - on the young side for adult open classes) that certainly doesn't help. I guess my mindset is that I'm there to dance and improve not necessarily make friends. It's not so bad for me considering that I have people to gripe to about ballet when griping is necessary (and it is. Often).


What I've noticed is that I'm great friends with my fellow contemporary dancers. I've worked with most of them as a dancer and choreographer so I guess that changes things.

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Perhaps the formal structure of ballet classes tends to inhibit the opportunity to really meet and befriend fellow classmates in ballet, particularly in adult classes. And as others have noted, adult schedules, families, etc., often aren’t always conducive to a lot of socializing out of class.


Having said that, I’m fortunate to have made a number of nice but casual acquaintances through ballet. Perhaps it’s somewhat easier for me being a relatively rare man in class. If another man is in class, it’s usually natural to strike up a conversation with them and I think the women are usually curious (or more likely, amused), so it's easy to have a conversation with them. While I can’t say we have socialized, it's always fun to run into these acquaintances at other places and catch up on what we may be doing in dance, etc. One thing I’ve enjoyed is that the range of these acquaintances has been from teens through a wide background of other adults. It is really interesting when you know that you all share a somewhat unique enthusiasm for dancing ballet. All we need is a secret handshake. :o


The opportunity to spend more out-of-class time with other dancers is one reason I really would have liked to go to Richmond this summer, but alas, my work schedule didn’t allow it. Next year for sure. :dry:

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I recall, when I was living in the UK, testing out one adult ballet class. I WAS told that the class was pretty beginner but that I could try if I wanted (even beginner classes can be made hard if one knows what to work on in them, in my view).


I did. It was more a social gathering than a class, though. They did precisely 3 barre exercises in between the chatting, then started doing jumps in the center. THAT is where I drew the line and just sat down and watched the rest of the session. I thanked the teacher and we both agreed that this was not the class for me, although I did regret somewhat missing out that social atmosphere.


Took a class at a gym instead - a real ballet class with a lovely, excellent teacher - all adults. We did end up being more sociable, too, often having a coffee and chat or whatnot after class.


It's interesting - when I left my part of the country, there were loads of adult ballet classes to take. Coming back seven or so years later, there is a dearth of them. *sigh*

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I also noticed, that I have some really good friends from the musical people. But maybe there are more "older" people singing, than dancing ballet. Of course we are doing Jazzdance there too, but most of the "older" people (they are between 25 and 30 years) concentrate more on singing and don´t understand how I could struggle so many hours a week with ballet. Often I can hear the question "Why are you doing this, you can´t become a ballerina in your age"... they don´t understand that I´m doing it because I love it...


To find an adult ballet class is impossible for me in my hometown. There´s an adult class at my school, but these are beginners and for an advanced class I would have to go about one and a half hour by car. That´s to far away... but like I wrote above, it´s a very good atmosphere in my class, though the others are teens.

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The teen class I take is very difficult to make friends out of class. I'm a couple of years older, I study and I work and the interests are just too different. With the adult class we do sometimes things together. All of the dancers there dance at minimum 10 years there and so we know each other. My sister and a friend from ballet do a lot of things together and it happened to me that I have met her boyfriend once and found out that we study some of the same subjects at uni. Now I have got a friend at uni over my ballet class.

Otherwise I have a good social life. Uni and work makes it suffer much more than ballet!

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