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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Adult Ballet Classes - Virginia


MichelleW

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Hi all, I'm looking for adult classes in the Harrisonburg, VA area. I'm willing to drive up to 45 minutes (or, I suppose, to Staunton or Charlottesville if necessary) for a good school with great adult options. Does anyone have recommendations outside of JMU? I'd like to be able to take 3+ classes a week, but I'm willing to combine schools if necessary.

 

Thanks.

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Hi MichelleW,

 

I used to live in SW Virginia. I did a quick search and really can't find anything. There is the Shenandoah Ballet, Roanoke Ballet, and the Virginia School for the Arts in Lynchburg. Unfortunately, I think they all only offer 1 adult class a week. I found a few other links but they don't look like quality studios. You very well may end up at several different schools if you want 3 or more classes a week........unless you can find a studio that will let you take classes with their teen group. Just don't expect to perform with them.

 

WM

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*knock* *knock* (Mods feel free to delete; not sure if I am allowed to do this or not)

 

I'm from around there (more near Charlottesville).

 

Albemarle Ballet Theatre (in Crozet) allows adults to take their regular classes; all levels, the instructors are amazing and you could have as many classes as you want (of course depend on your level).

 

The Dance Barn (a new school) in Standardsville I believe allows adults to take their classes as well (the classes are more lower level and there are less than Albemarle Ballet Theatre).

 

I don't know much about other studios; but if you have any questions about these two, I can answer (I currently attend one of them and the other I'm at every day for a company class).

 

If you do end up having to drive to Charlottesville (which I don't suggest as either of these two will be closer, and better than the offerings in Charlottesville); I would not suggest Wilson School of Dance.

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Thanks, WendyMichelle and JessicaNicole. JessicaNicole, I notice you haven't been here long enough for PM privileges, so I'll ask here.

 

I know that Albemarle Ballet Theatre has a very good reputation, also among UVa students. It's great to hear that adults can take all of the classes -- do you know if there are a lot of adults mixed in? This is kind of a concern to me because I do believe that adult dancers have different pedagogical needs, so it would be quite an adjustment after dancing someplace with an extensive adult schedule. On the other hand, any ballet at all is better than none. I don't know much about the Dance Barn, just what I've seen on their signage from Rte 29. I'd be interested in learning more about their schedule. I'm a high beginning adult student (lots of childhood experience, but adulthood stops and starts have slowed me down and I'm not much of a jumper these days).

 

WendyMichelle, I looked at the two places in Harrisonburg proper but I'm not sure what to think. I was kind of hoping to get feedback on them. I know VSA has a great reputation and I'm thinking I might need to be willing to travel to get in three classes a week. With a little luck, I can get in two and a pilates class during the week and another class on the weekend if I end up moving.

 

Thanks, all!

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MichelleW,

 

This is my first year at Albemarle Ballet Theatre (just starting), but I took some classes over the summer; we had probably three or four adults in the Advanced class (really II/III level since the most advanced students were at summer intensives). I talked with the director who mentioned that there weren't enough adult students to have purely adult classes, so I am guessing there are some sprinkled here and there; I would be more than happy to ask her how many though as I go in for class tomorrow. I know most of the teachers there and even if there aren't many adults in the class they would be aware of, and more than helpful with, the needs of an adult student.

 

As for the Dance Barn, since they are so new (I believe this is their first year) there aren't too many classes. There is a ballet I for ages 10+ on Wednesdays, a ballet II for ages 12+ on Saturdays and a ballet III (with no ages given) on Saturdays as well. I personally know the teacher of the Ballet III class; she has been my teacher for the past two years, she gives a challenging class, and has worked with many adult classes in the past. I would guess that most adults would be taking the Ballet III class, although I don't know how many. I am also not sure of what level of students these classes will actually be seeing as the studio is very new.

 

Both places have a website; I would also suggest calling, the directors (at both places) are two of the nicest people I have known, and are extremely helpful!

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Thank you, I appreciate your help! This is one less thing to stress over.

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