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Hi everyone!


Thought I'd introduce myself and ask several questions at the same time.


My name is Chelsea (somewhat obviously) and I'm completely new to both this forum and dance in general. I used to take ballet/tap when I was very young (about age 4-6) and then I stopped for a few years because we moved. I started dance again when I was about eight or nine but only did about another year because I was the oldest in my class because of my low experience level. I got bored and felt awkward, so I quit.


However, I have never truly lost interest in dancing and ballet in particular. I have always thought it was one of the prettiest of the art forms and I've always wanted to be able to perform it. I've recently become VERY interested in taking up ballet again, but is it too late?? I don't really want to go professional in ballet (I'm interested in other things-- the field of medicine in particular) but I still do want to take lessons and classes, and maybe even perform for people! But at the same time, I haven't taken any kind of dance class in years. And I'm already almost sixteen. I know that almost all dancers my age have been dancing for a number of years and are already quite good, possibly enrolled in special dancing high schools and the like. Is there still hope for me despite my... eh hem... advanced age??


I REALLY don't want to be taking classes with a bunch of six year olds, even if they may have almost the same experience levels as I do... At the same time, I know I'm not NEARLY ready for classes that are more advanced. Please, someone! Help! Tell me if I'm losing my mind to want to try this again after all these years!


P.S. am I even posting this in the correct category? Is there like a welcome thread I'm supposed to add to?

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Hi, Chelsea, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers. :)


Since your goal is to track recreationally instead of vocationally, have a ball. You do owe it to yourself, though, to get the best training for yourself, as anything worth doing is worth doing well. It will involve a search in order to find the right environment for you. You should not have to be placed in a class with the tinies, as that will make both you and them uncomfortable. There is a certain upswing in teen beginners that I've been noticing for about the last ten years, so a savvy studio will have made provisions for people just like you.


Look for a studio whose director and faculty have had an affiliation with a recognized professional company or company-affiliated school, or at least a degree in dance from a university setting like Butler, Utah, Juilliard, and so on. Go and look the place over. Talk to the director, the administrator, and if you can, some of the students. Beware of schools which offer EVERY kind of dance, and have only one teacher to teach all of them.

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Hey Chelsea,


I started dancing when I was 14 years old, Im now nearly sixteen like you. I absoutly love ballet and am on pointe and basically the same level as other girls my age. Im going to dance collage when Im 18. So it can be done and you can have lots and lots of fun!


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Oh wait! Now I have more questions!


I am not a very flexible person at all and I know I need to definitely work on this if I want to do ballet. However, I'm not sure if there are any particular stretches I should do. I do know that this topic has been covered a million times on this forum already, as I've read a lot of them =] but I have a particular question. Will the stretches I do for other activities (namely Physical Training for my junior ROTC class) work for preparing to take ballet? We don't ever do any of the splits and I've seen that mentioned a lot on here... Should I start trying to work on these? Anything else?


I've also read on here that running isn't good for dancers. I'm very sad to hear this. I love to run and when I work on it, I'm reasonably good. Is there any particular reason running is bad? I can't really stop because of my aforementioned ROTC class in school but I suppose I could cut down if I really have to... Advice anyone?

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Chelsea, first things first. You haven't even started to take classes, so there's no need to do "pre-ballet" stretches. Your teacher(s) will give you the material you need to work on in class.


Military PT is not necessarily bad for ballet, and some of the stretches they do now are going to be beneficial for ballet. At least they've done away with the abominable squat-thrust!


Running per se will not hurt you right now. After you have developed rotation of the femur in the hipjoint, which is required for ballet, it could cause problems, but not now.

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i have friends that have started dancing in their mid teen years, and have started in a "teen ballet" class at a studio nearby. Mabye if you could find a class that is directly marketed towards teens you wouldnt be stuck with the younger childrem. hope i could help!

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Just a thought, a student recently started at our school and she took private lessons to get some basics. This allowed her to jump in the waters swimming and looking good doing it. Great idea if you can swing it.

Edited by Russina
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