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Ballet Talk for Dancers

How many classes do you take?


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I've been reading the "Ballet Talk" forums for a few weeks now and the thing that has really shocked/surprised me is just how many classes people seem to do, particularly those based in the US.

 

I have a husband and two children (one dances, she is 9) and I already get glared at for taking two classes a week - one ballet and one Pilates. As it happens there are no other ballet classes to choose from around here, suggesting there are only about five adult ballet students in a town of half a million people! Anyway I would like to do more, but money and time don't allow it. I do work on my ballet at home, but it's not the same when there isn't someone watching for your errors!

 

My daughter does dance as a hobby - she does what would be considered the norm for girls her age here which is 1 hour ballet and 1 hour modern a week. I realise she only dances for recreation, but even the three girls in her school who auditioned for the RBS a couple of weeks back only do the same two hours a week.

 

I thought I spent an absolute fortune on dance related classes/exams (for her!)/classwear/costumes etc etc but I can see it's peanuts compared with others.

 

I'm just interested in everyone elses experiences.

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  • Merry

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Hi Merry:

 

There is only one teacher in my town who offers a class (1.5 hrs long at least) for adult beginners. She is barely able to offer it as enrollment is low. In the summer she sometimes offers a class that meets 2x per week for 1.5 hrs each. Right now I am waiting to hear if she is going to be able to offer another session next month because she isn't getting enough enrollment.

 

As I consider ballet a conditioning, cross-training activity to support other things that I do, one class is enough.

 

Reading this board has made me realize how poor the quality of ballet instruction is in my area. Most (probably all, actually) of the dance studios are what people here call "Dolly Dinkles". There really are no good choices for anyone who is serious about studying ballet.

 

I share your concerns about practicing at home. I do the New York City ballet workout at home but but try to focus on my technique very carefully.

Edited by macropis
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I have no children, and have reasonable working hours, so with disposable income and reasonable hours can fit in quite a lot. Only one class was hard to get to due to when it starts in the day, but it was with a favorite teacher, so I deliberately made the time for it.

 

I did, this year, a class just about every day of the week. Some days I had 2 classes back to back. Weekends were the hardest, though, because I do have family in the area and that's the time we can get together. Still, of the weekends, I managed one out of the two days that classes were available (we have Sunday classes at one of the schools - only for adults).

 

Next year will be pared down, though, because my commitments at work are increasing. I won't be able to get to a class at least until around 7pm most days, so back to back classes will be out during the week. Plus, my priorities have altered. I was doing it for fun and fitness and now that I've got more or less what I wanted, I'm going to just go for the fun part. I don't have to train as heavily as I have this year.

 

Then again, I'm tired right now, so by the end of the summer, or after Richmond, I may be all fired up again! LOL!

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Are you two both in the US?

 

Serendipity, may I be rude and ask how old you are, or at lest which sort of age bracket? :grinning:

 

I only ask because my OH keeps telling me that I'm expecting too much of my body because my two classes unhelpfully fall on the same day of the week!

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Whoa, just wrote a post that disappeared! I was taking dance classes 4 days a week and Pilates 3 days a week until the 1st week of June when my classes were over at the community college. They are priced by the credit per term and very reasonable. I've dialed it down due to a nasty cold and my knee having issues, to 1-2 classes a week for now. Monday I start modern again and have 3 ballet classes per week, and will do Pilates every day, at least the joint release parts. I've been practicing Pilates enough to have a home practice, and go to my teacher for an apparatus lesson if I need it. I have no children (but 4 parrots) and I work part time, use dance and Pilates as part of a physical therapy program to address hypermobility issues, and have been dancing all of my life.

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I probably average 5 / week. I am hopelessly spoiled in that there is at least one level-appropriate ballet class available to me each evening and on Sat./Sun. My job is relatively demanding, but I start early in the day and can usually escape in time for a 730pm class (I am also fortunate to have short commutes job-to-home and home-to-ballet).

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Hi Merry:

 

I am 44 and in the US. I have only been studying ballet for a couple of years.

 

How long is your ballet class and your pilates class? I have to say my ballet class kicks my ___, and if I were to do pilates immediately afterwards, I could probably do it but would not get as much out of the latter as I could in a more rested state.

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Both classes are only an hour - I wish they were longer, esp the ballet as I always feel like I'm just getting into it with 10 minutes to go!

 

The classes are not back to back though - Pilates is in the morning after the school run and the ballet is at 6pm just when I'm supposed to be producing the family meal!

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Both classes are only an hour - I wish they were longer, esp the ballet as I always feel like I'm just getting into it with 10 minutes to go!

 

The classes are not back to back though - Pilates is in the morning after the school run and the ballet is at 6pm just when I'm supposed to be producing the family meal!

 

Well then, I don't think you are expecting too much of your body at all, unless this is the only exercise you get all week, then you could be getting into the "weekend warrior" kind of thing, but the solution to that would be add more activity on other days.

 

I'm going to take a wild guess that the ballet class at dinner time is causing a little domestic friction. Maybe planning that day of the week to involve a meal in a slow cooker or something prepped before hand that your husband could easily finish would make things a little smoother.

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lol love that! 'Domestic friction'!!

 

I always leave a meal prepared and am happy to warm mine up with I get home, but often they wait for me and are starving!!

 

I think my OH says I'm overdoing it purely because I vocalise my aches and pains too much and I do tend to stiffen up after class! I do exercise on other days by myself - Callanetics and cycling mainly - just take Sundays off completely.

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Are you two both in the US?

 

Serendipity, may I be rude and ask how old you are, or at lest which sort of age bracket? :wink:

 

I only ask because my OH keeps telling me that I'm expecting too much of my body because my two classes unhelpfully fall on the same day of the week!

 

I'm pushing 50. I'm in the US, but I did live in the UK for 7 years. I took classes wherever I could. A teacher rented the studio at David Lloyds and gave adult classes there. She was terrific. I also took with kids at two other studios in the UK.

 

I will tell you I've worked my way up to this level of classes. At first it was two a week, a day apart from each other. Then three, then four, etc. There are things in class that I don't do much of, like jumping. I'm lucky my knees are okay but my ankles give me issues. This year I did 8 hours of my classes on pointe, more to ready for the recital, which was a difficult pointe piece. Finished that today and will scale back the pointe hours. I'm actually now more comfortable in pointe shoes than ballet slippers.

 

I also cross-trained at the gym, even when I was in England. I had a two-fold reason for working like this - one for the fitness - I needed to get to my proper weight range, and the other for enjoyment. This year was an exception though - usually I had done, at most, four classes in a week.

 

Some men might feel a bit threatened by their wives taking outside interests. Could that be the case with your husband? Is there any way to take off one class on the one day and get one another day? In the case of someone coming back into ballet, two classes in one day can be taxing on the body, especially if you only have them once a week and do nothing else the rest of the time.

 

I am adding that last summer, I tried to do two classes in a day like yours - an intensive ballet class in the morning and a lighter one in the evening. My body found it too much and I had to scale that back to just the intensive ones and one on Saturday.

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I take 4 classes a week, usually. I would take many more if it weren't for time and financial constraints (I am a full-time student and I work part-time). I would ultimately like to be a ballet teacher one day...so I am considering not studying next year and just working and concentrating on ballet...it may not be feasible though :wink:

 

I am also considering moving to the US where there are many more adult dance programmes and where I could get classes 6 days a week...but I suspect my husband would not be that amenable to emigrating simply for ballet classes! :wink:

 

I would dance 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, if I could. Anyone willing to sponsor me? :P

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I'm in Australia, in a large city. I'm 38, work full time, am married with no kids. There are adult classes in this city, but only one at each level per week. So i do classes with teens instead. This year I'm enrolled in five classes a week, but usually only make it to four (I miss the Friday night class most weeks because I get home from work and fall asleep......)

 

It does help that I'm allowed to leave work early on Thursdays so I can get to a 5pm class- I get to work at 7.15 in the morning, so the vice principal okayed me to leave early.

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I'm in the US (about 4 hours northeast of San Francisco), in my late 40's with a husband and two daughters (currently 12 and 14). I also work full-time in a science-related job.

 

I was fortunate to fit in three 1.5 hour classes per week last year - the classes I am in are a mix of "advanced" teens and adults. It's not quite a pre-professional school, but a few of the teens do go off to summer intensives each year.

 

Fitting the classes in has actually become easier now that my DD (the 12 y.o.) is dancing more too - before this past year I could really only fit in two classes per week. Now I try to coordinate my classes somewhat with hers, which helps with the transportation issues. (Soon, we are going to run into issues of being in the same class! :wink: Another topic for another time.) My older daughter is playing competitive football (soccer) virtually year-round, so she also has practice a couple of nights a week. With both girls so much busier, the guilt factor of making "me time" has actually lessened.

 

I must say, I really felt the difference between two vs. three classes per week. My strength and control were so much better! And I can more often let go of the tension and just dance.

 

Also, I'm very fortunate to have the support of my husband - we share the meal-planning, cooking and transportation logistics and he's also come to know through the many, many years that if I don't dance I can become downright cranky.

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