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Class Level for Adults Restarting Ballet


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I searched the forums but couldn't find any information on this topic (although I just joined this board so maybe I'm searching wrong).


About twelve or eleven years ago, I was in an apprentice company in my hometown (Fairbanks, Alaska). I took at least an hour and a half of classes six days a week in high school, had two years of pointe work under my belt, and began college (in 1998) as a dance major. I had to stop dancing in 1999 as a result of knee problems.


The issue that I'm having now is that I really, really want to start taking lessons again. I know I shouldn't try to go back en pointe without first retraining in flat shoes, but given my ballet history, I'm wondering at what level I should start ballet again. The studio I want to attend has beginning, beginning/intermediate, intermediate, and advanced classes; I'm thinking that beginning/intermediate would be the most appropriate.


(If it makes a difference, I've been doing pilates and walking for at least an hour four to five times a week for the past couple of years, so I'm not TOTALLY out of shape... :pinch: )


Any input is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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As one who was in a similar situation, I can say that probably beginning/intermediate is a good place to start. The reason I say this is that even while you're not totally out of shape, you are likely out of "ballet shape" - the gym or walking doesn't work the same muscles as ballet, so they will need re-training. You probably won't have too much trouble with stamina, though, because of staying in shape that way.


Just my two cents' worth. I've been dancing about 7+ hours a week for well over a year and a half now (also a returnee, not really stopped dancing in 32 years, but had short periods of no classes or only once a week) and take all levels - I have 1 beginner (helps me work on my core, with simpler barre work so I don't have to think too hard about the steps) all the way up to an advanced class and pointe.


If you want something to work toward and can afford it (the time off and the cost, of course), there's the Adult Dance Camp in Richmond, VA (and this year also in Saratoga Springs, NY). I use that as my goal to work towards. The URL is www.sunkingdance.com for info. I went last year for the first time and loved it!

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Twelve eleven yerars is quite a time.

But as an apprentice in a ballet company, you probably also had a quite high level during your former "active dancing years".


i agree with Serendipity that an intermediate class might be the place to starts, but I assume you will soon notice that you will have more from the advenced classes. But in the end it is the teacher you connect with that will give you the best results.


I gave up 5 years ago, have still been teaching all the time, but it is nothing like dancing the 7 hours a day as a pro. 1 month ago I was asked to come in, take the class of this new teacher to give my opinion to the school owner, and I did all the class up to assamble, and did not have any special pains or trouble after that.


But anyway, this is all theory. You will find your level and teacher faster than you can imagine now. It comes to you.

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One of the studios I'm looking at offers a complimentary placement class, so I might try that one first, and maybe ask at the other studio if they'll do the same. Otherwise, I suppose spending $14 for the first class to make sure I'm compatible with the teacher is a worthwhile expense.


I would love to go to a summer intensive! Maybe next summer...that is definitely something to work towards.


Thank you both for your help!

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