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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Just wanted to say hello!


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I've been looking at these boards for a little while and just wanted to delurk and say hello.


Yet another figure skater here - well, ice dancer to be precise!! Living in London, England.


However, I attended one of the main vocational ballet schools in England, from ages 11-16, upon which I decided not to pursue a dance career.


16 years later . . . and the time has come to put on my ballet shoes again! So I am off to my first ballet class in YEARS this evening, after work, and really looking forward to it . . although a little apprehensive!


I am going to start in the absolute beginners class (it is an open class, so just have to turn up) so my muscles aren't traumatised into complete shock! The muscles used in figure skating are somewhat different, and where my arabesque is still quite respectable from doing similar movements on ice, things like developpes to the front and side are somewhat more difficult! After a couple of weeks adapting, I'll reassess where I need to be, level wise. Although we did mostly free work, we did do syllabus once or twice a week, and the last I remember doing was RAD Advanced.


I did have quite a lot of fun buying new ballet gear the other day - but gosh, I know now why my parents complained so much about the cost!! I have gone for the traditional black leotard and pink tights, as after my training earlier in life, I cannot face the thought of wearing baggy clothes. However, as I am not quite so confident as I used to be, I have gone for some Sansha knitted black warmups for my legs, that fold over at the waist :)


Ballet shoes have been a bit of a revelation as well - of course at school, we converted all our pointe shoes into every day practice shoes. Having just bought some Grishko Performance (which I LOVE!), my feet feel quite naked! Particularly in comparison to the figure skates that I wear 3-4 times a week!


Anyway, enough rabbiting on - and hello!

Edited by Airyfairy76
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Good for you! I am sure that your ballet background has helped your performance in the ice dancing and that taking classes again will also add to it now. Well done for kitting yourself out properly. One of the things I can't stand is dancers in a ballet class dressed in totally inappropriate clothing - socks, baggy trousers, sloppy tops, etc etc. Take it easy at the beginning - don't push yourself too hard and expect to be able to do what you could do at 16 (you must have been really good to have passed your RAD Advanced at 16, by the way!). Give yourself time and you'll get back to it. I stopped dancing (except for teaching) for seven years when I was having my three children and when I started back again, it just felt like I was coming home and I'm still at it nearly 30 years later - so enjoy! :)

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Thanks Hamora!!


I didn't pass my Advanced - we didn't take it before I left - but was working on the syllabus. If I remember rightly, the last exam I actually passed was RAD Elementary when I was about 13. My year took RAD Intermediate when I was about 15, but unfortunatley I was injured at the time and unable to do the exam.


Yes, ballet training has helped skating a lot . . . from the knees up, lol. Even within my first few tentative weeks in group lessons a few years ago, the first thing the teacher (who is now my private coach) said to me was "You've done ballet"!


Where ballet DOESN'T help skating is spins, primarily. There is no spotting when you spin - you spin much faster than you do in ballet, and spotting can effectively cause neck injury. You just have to keep your head in a steady position - and you adjust to the giddiness!! That, and when I started spinning, my automatic response was to spin on my toes. In skates, that means on your toepicks, and that is a really unpleasant feeling. So I have had to relearn spinning on the flat (well, kind of through the ball of your foot).


And as for clothing, one of the reasons I am happy to start dancing again is that I have lost a LOT of weight over the last year. I now wear tight clothing when I am skating, and certainly wouldn't revert to sloppy clothes when dancing - after 11 years in my youth of wearing ballet "uniform", I think it would feel very strange and uncomfortable!

Edited by Airyfairy76
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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers (BT4D), Airyfairy. And welcome to "beginneragaining" in dance. You'll find lots of people just like you here, and a fair contingent of adult dancers based in London and the rest of the UK.


And there are also lots of discussions on what to wear for class, what shoes we like and so on. You'll find most of those on the Adults Ballets Students' Buddy Board, so welcome to whiling away your time -- oh no, researching dance :) -- on the board!

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Thanks for joining us Airyfairy76, welcome! :)


Funny, just two days ago I was talking with a ballet friend about how we would have loved to have learned figure skating when we were children - to quote her: "But alas... I grew up on a tropical island so no luck there!". :D


(I didn't though, so basically I grew up in the cold and the rain AND I have no excuse... :unsure: )

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I only did about a year of skating as a child, at about 8 years old. Of course, once I went to the vocational ballet school at 11, there was NO question of letting us skate, during term time at least!!


I started skating again at the age of 29 . . . and absolutely adore it. Just starting on my formal test track now, and will be competing later this year!

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I think I may be a fan of your skating blog AiryFairy (i'm pretty sure it's you) ! ;)


Yep that's me - I recognised your forum name from your blog too :)



going to a vocational ballet school must have been great. Would we know the school ;)


You may know it!


I am an ex-Hammond school girl.


When I was 11, I started at Bush Davies, which then sadly closed and I moved to the Hammond.

Edited by Airyfairy76
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Well, just got back from my first class - THAT woke up muscles I'd forgotten about, even with the skating, lol.


It was a beginners / basics hour long class, and I think I will do that one a few more times before moving to the "Intermediate" hour and a half class, which the teacher assured me I would be fine with. Strength wise, I wasn't as bad as I was expecting, but my balance is a little off key on centre work.


I think I'm gonna hurt tomorrow . . . and I'm skating for an hour and a half in the morning! Thrilled that I have finally made it back into a ballet studio though!!

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