Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

An Adult Beginner


Mark

Recommended Posts

Hi all

 

I would like to intro myself as I am new to this site. I have just started out on an awesome experience. I have just resently completed my third Ballet class as a 40 year old yes I did say fooouuurrttty. AND I AM HAVING A BLAST.

 

Basically I am open to any advice that will enable me to continue to enjoy what I am currently experiencing.

 

I have absolutely no expectations of persuing this on ANY professioal level, but just to stay healthy, supply and have fun while I am doing my classes.

 

I have a military (Navy )- diver back ground, I have been a cyclist for many years aswell as a currentl scuba diving instructor. So yes, I am in a completely different league all together BUT..... what fun and I can also add that so far I have found the moves and positions to be slightly more difficult than what I originally had expected.

 

I certainly hope that I will be able to share my experiences with you and also share yours.

 

I look forward to many long interesting chats with you.

 

Regards

 

Mark

Link to comment
  • Replies 31
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • jimpickles

    3

  • TallGuy

    2

  • Mark

    8

  • Over 50 dancer

    4

Mark, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers! It's fantastic to hear that you have had such a good experience so far, and congratulations on starting classes. I am sure you will receive lots of good advice as we have many adult male ballet students here. I also recommend checking out the Adult Students forums as there is also good information there. We're glad you're here. :wink:

Link to comment

Yes Mark, there are lots of male late starters here, so you have good company.

 

I liked "I .. found the moves and positions to be slightly more difficult than what I originally had expected". I guess the understatement of the year!

 

Jim.

Link to comment

Thank you all. I certainly appreciate it.

 

Well giving that I am by no means un-fit, with the cycling, swimming, aerobics , yoga and and and -----------I thought that I would do ok, BUT ....... thats what I thought. I was very very wrong.

 

So the challenge is set and I think I am up for it. I will give it one hell of a go and lets see what come of it.

 

Regards

 

Mark

Link to comment
...

Well giving that I am by no means un-fit, with the cycling, swimming, aerobics , yoga and and and -----------I thought that I would do ok, BUT ....... thats what I thought. I was very very wrong....

Bwaahahaha!

 

Yes indeed; every physical activity has its own unique ways of using the muscles and joints. A teacher of mine once nearly crippled her marathon-running sister by inviting the sister to take her "ballet exercise" class. (Might have been a bit of sibling rivalry there? :^) I'll never forget the habit of another ballet exercise teacher, who would often say "That was fun, let's do it again" and re-start the music for a second hundred crunches!

 

It is, and continues to be, enormously rewarding - especially if you have a brain and get bored with pure exercise. This is after all art, and the exercise part is just a tool to get there.

 

Myself, I had a 35-year career in a swivel chair as a starting point, and didn't start until 56 after I retired. So you'll probably progress faster than I did. :wink: Be prepared for the ballet phenomenon - the most encouraging thing you're likely to hear from your teacher after you accomplish something incredibly difficult is "welcome to the next level." There is ALWAYS another level. That's what holds your interest of course. It's not possible to get bored with ballet training. You can develop other interests, or give up, but boredom ain't going to happen.

 

Incidentally, this is about the best internet forum around. It's tightly moderated which keeps the wackos at bay, the moderators are very knowledgeable and helpful, and - most important - it's a real community. Welcome!

Link to comment

Hi Mark, welcome.

 

Your experience is common, most people find ballet a lot harder than they thought at first. It's made to LOOK effortless on stage, that's all. My guess is that you're probably working double-hard on flexibility and some of the unique issues that come with working in a turned-out position. Ballet is an art, and physical fitness is only a small part of the equation. Remember that it takes 8 years to make a dancer. Although many try very hard, I have come to believe there really are no shortcuts to that equation.

 

I don't understand what you mean by a different league. Different from what?

 

Although I don't have a military background, I've come to believe that dancing for a ballet company is in some ways like the military in terms of the regimentation and discipline involved; while I was dancing for a company, I became increasingly interested in reading military fiction, because I felt I could relate to the experiences of the characters in the stories. Others here do have a military background, and can confirm or deny this relationship.

 

Anyway, welcome!

Link to comment
Hi Mark, welcome.

 

Your experience is common, most people find ballet a lot harder than they thought at first. It's made to LOOK effortless on stage, that's all. My guess is that you're probably working double-hard on flexibility and some of the unique issues that come with working in a turned-out position. Ballet is an art, and physical fitness is only a small part of the equation. Remember that it takes 8 years to make a dancer. Although many try very hard, I have come to believe there really are no shortcuts to that equation.

 

I don't understand what you mean by a different league. Different from what?

 

Although I don't have a military background, I've come to believe that dancing for a ballet company is in some ways like the military in terms of the regimentation and discipline involved; while I was dancing for a company, I became increasingly interested in reading military fiction, because I felt I could relate to the experiences of the characters in the stories. Others here do have a military background, and can confirm or deny this relationship.

 

Anyway, welcome!

 

Hi David

 

Thank you for your words and come to think of it you 100 % correct. Put in that context it works for me too. I look forward to up dating you on my progress.

 

Mark.

Link to comment

Welcome, Mark to our little happy home. aka the institution, the crazy cabana, the laughing academy.... You don't have to be nuts to take up ballet, but it sure helps! :thumbsup:

Link to comment

Mark,

Welcome to both ballet and the board. At forty, you’re still a whippersnapper to some of us. You may have read about the 95 year old who was recently in a performance with the ABT. Look at it this way - you only have time for 55 years of practice to match him.

 

As far as comparisons to the military, I spent a career in the service doing some things similar as you before moving on to the real challenge of ballet. Comparing ballet to memories of Ranger school, the instructors in ballet may be better looking and use cleaner language but they can be every bit as demanding of your focus, attention to detail, and expectations of performance standards. Even worse, ballet instructors will expect you to look graceful at the same time. (I don’t recall them giving many points for artistic expression in Ranger school.)

 

But as has been mentioned, the required discipline to overcome the inevitable frustrations, the ability to deal with physically demanding challenges, the ability to work within a hierarchy, all are valuable cross-over skills with military experience. The good news is that I think you’ll also find some of that combination of competitiveness/camaraderie in dancers, particularly among us guys in ballet. I've frequently enjoyed being the best guy in class, but it’s even more fun being the best guy if there is actually another guy in class!

 

Good luck and hang in there!

Link to comment

Admit it, Ballet is incredibly fun. I still look forward to every class. Unless I'm injured.

Link to comment

Thank you to you all for your encouragement. I am certainly glad to hear I am amoungst many. My only regret is that I did not get involved many many yeras ago.

 

Thank you again

 

Mark.

Link to comment

Hi Mark,

 

I am in about the same situation as you. I have now had my fifth lesson, and this last one was my favorite one, because there was a substitute teacher who was very conscientious about correcting me, and just about everything I do need to be corrected. The regular teacher, although quite skilled, seems less enthusiastic about teaching beginners than the sub. We even did a little adagio in the center, yeah!.

 

To progress at my school, my understanding is that a dancer will have to spend a solid year in Beginner Level 1 before moving to Beginner Level 2, which is supposed to be a more physically challenging. So far I haven't been pushed physically, but mentally is a different story. I plan to keep at it, hope you do too.

 

Steve

Link to comment

Hi there Steve.

 

It certainly does sound the same. I have just done my 8th lesson and I am really enjoying the challenge. Plenty plenty to learn as you are very aware. BUT I must say I never imagined to enjoy this as much as I am. I am very happy to say that slowly but surely I am getting to know where the arms and the feet are supposed to go, still mess things up but just keep on trying. We will succeed eventually. I glad to hear you enjoying too. Hard work, plenty concentration and we might just get there---one day.

 

Keep us posted on your progress now ok.

 

Mark

Link to comment

Hi Mark,

 

I agree that ballet is very difficult! I found that ballet challenges ME: my brain, my body, my memory, my coordination, my stamina, my strength, my perseverance, my dare I say evertything and when all that is done, its starts all over again, because you can never do everything perfectly!

 

Enjoy!

 

TallGuy

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...