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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Eufrazia, Western and Ballet San Jose


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So does anyone have any advice about these schools ? I'm new to this forum and ballet. I should mention I'm 32. All the schools around here are closed until Aug. 30th. Western has continuous classes going on for absolute beginners. Has anyone taken these ?


I feel like ballet San Jose might be a more serious class than the others, but I wouldn't really know.

Eufrazia you have to wear a leotard, etc., which is fine with me, but I don't know anything about them and have not been able to find much either.


Might be silly but I'm worried I'll go to the absolute beginner class and it will just be people who aren't serious at all. They just said to wear whatever as long as I had ballet shoes. As well as its a bit far for me.

I have heard good things about it though.


Thank you for any advice.



San Jose, CA

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Are you open to a commute? The best adult classes at every level in the area (in my opinion) is over at LINES ballet in San Francisco. They have classes 7 days a week all day long, all year long, even weekends.


I've never attended an adult class that was very "serious" so to speak- there are always people who are severely too low for the class level (and can't follow the exercise) and teachers rarely single you out to correct things, especially not hands-on corrections. But I think the crowd at LINES is as serious as they come, and for every person who really shouldn't be in that class (or in those pointe shoes...) there are professional dancers who also attend the studio. The main beginning teacher (Kathy Mata) is very kind, as well. The other one, Liezl, has a good reputation.


I only went to inquire about San Jose once and didn't like the snotty attitude nor the meager number of classes they offered so I never took there and can't say a thing about them, but Eufrazia seems to have a site right here: http://www.eufraziaballet.com/classschedule.html From the looks of it, they don't offer a beginner class for adults. If you're new to ballet you don't want to jump into an Intermediate/Advanced class with mixed teens and adults- you won't get the corrections or teachings you need.


The schedule at Western looks pretty good for beginners but I haven't heard of that school before- can't hurt to try a class though. You won't know what works for you until you try it out.

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  • Administrators

Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Asherah.


I have no advise on the schools you mention, as the only one I have heard of is Ballet San Jose. It is a company school, and generally they will have very professional teachers. I will say, however, that any school that advises to "wear whatever" should, in my opinion, be avoided.


I have edited your post to correct a few things so that it complies with our request to make the posts easier to read by using capitalization and punctuation. It does help to separate the paragraphs, too. :blink: We have members from all over the world here, many who speak English as a second language, so we try to make it easier for them, and we also try to set a good example for our young dancers. :blink:

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Ms. Leigh- I haven't been to every school in the Bay/South Bay area, but I've yet to ever find an adult class that didn't say "wear whatever is comfortable". LINES even allows people to take ballet class barefoot. :/


I do wish the adult classes and open classes still had a ballet-centric dress code, but I have personally never been able to find those. Only in my syllabus classes.

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Very interesting, xSugarplum, and very disturbing, too. Maybe this is something particular to the Bay area? Or to California?

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No, I'm on the east coast and the studios I've been to have no dress codes. I haven't gone looking for studios with dress codes so there might be a few who have them. I have taken classes in Maine, NYC, Philadelphia and central PA, and no dress codes for adults. Teachers will insist the student wear ballet slippers or socks and will not let them go barefoot for ballet--that's been my experience. I wear a leotard, tights and skirt, and the majority of women at the adult studio I attend wear some kind of leotard, tights and either with shorts or skirt or nothing, but there are some that wear some other kinds of pants, leggings, t-shirts, shorts with no tights. And forget about the hair--hair not pulled back. Most of the men I have seen at our studio wear a white t-shirt and tights, but some will wear bike shorts. A lot of adults are intimidated, or the studio owners think they are and don't put a dress code. I was at first a year or two ago but I didn't take classes. When I finally decided to come back to ballet I decided I was coming back seriously and wearing the "uniform."


I don't think it's necessary to have every woman in black and pink, but I think it shows respect for the art form to at least wear leotard and tights (+skirt or shorts), shows seriousness to the teacher, and also you just look better and more professional (even if you don't dance like a professional). I think it takes away from an adult amateur's presentation to be dressed like a slob for ballet. If you are so good that you are at ABT nobody cares what you wear to class, but if you kind of suck then looking like a slob or like you belong on the soccer field draws even more attention to your lack of skill/ability. But a lot of people don't care though.

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I can say with confidence that Western Ballet in Mountain View, CA is the better option for Adults who want to pursue ballet. Classes are held 7 days a week - ALWAYS. They only take Christmas Day & New Years Day off. They hold an "Absolute Beginners Class" (for the person that has never danced a step before) every couple of months, which teaches all of the basics someone needs to approach a regular "Beginning Class." Ballet classes are held in the morning, in the evening, and on weekends. There is a large collection of teachers with great backgrounds/resumes - each teacher has their own following of students... and each teacher has a distinct teaching style (some teachers like artistry, some give a cardio work-out, some teachers focus on body placement, some teachers work on clean technique, etc.)


Dress Code is not enforced heavily. However, most teachers want to see your body, and students do receive more attention if they show more of their body. It is believed at this studio that if you want less attention, and you are more comfortable with Lululemon garments, then that is your choice... and as an Adult, you should be able to make choices and understand that those choices come with consequences.

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Western Ballet sounds very good for adults, GTLS! I like their approach in terms of dress, and especially that they have classes for total beginners so often. That is great!


My problem about the dress question asked to one of the schools was the "whatever" thing. I mean there should be SOME quidelines for people who have not been there before! What about shoes, for instance, and hair for women, dancebelts for men? And certainly a little explanation in terms of what the teachers need to be able to see? I mean some exceptions from "uniform" can certainly be made for adults, but baggy pants and shirts are not going to help them, and hair in the face is just not acceptable!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've taken classes at a few of the studios in and around San Jose, most of them give some sort of flexible dress code recommendation for adults. However most people do pull their hair back, wear proper ballet shoes and tights, and wear some sort of leo combo with a skirt or shorts/jazz pants, sometimes a tshirt or tank on top. I've never felt the other students' attire detracted from the class. When I take teen classes I follow their dress code, black leo, pink tights, that's it.


The classes at Ballet San Jose are good, but there's a wide range of abilities. Absolute beginners all the way to pros. This is for their beg/int class, I haven't tried the int/adv due to the schedule. The studio is very large, and they usually have a live accompanist. It's a 1.5 hr class. Teachers can vary, sometimes the director teaches as well as visiting artists. It's an ongoing class, and I've never seen them start from the beginning so to speak. As in, they don't explain how to do a tendu or a plie, they just jump right into barre and try to help those who are struggling along the way. I always get at least a few corrections when I go. They offer class cards for adults.


I've heard Western Ballet is a wonderful studio. It's a little too far for me to drive, but another adult student where I dance goes and raves about it. Plenty of quality classes and teachers.


I hadn't heard of Eufrazia, but looking at their schedule it's very limited. You could take a max of 3 ballet/pointe classes a week.


South Bay Dance Center is right around the corner from me so that's how I originally found it, but they have adult classes as well as a full child/teen program. http://www.southbaydancecenter.com/ Very ballet-focused, but they also offer jazz, tap, hip-hip, pilates, etc. In order to take ballet at an intermediate or advanced level I dance in the teen classes, and there are a few adults who do this, with the instructor's permission. It's also very affordable, and they too have class cards.

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I attend classes at Western Ballet, after trying a few other places, and absolutely love it. Don't confuse the lack of a stringent dress code for adults with a lack of discipline in class; even the absolute beginners classes are well-run and focused.

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When DD was in the SI at BSJ, she was told she could attend any of the adult classes offered (she was 16). She chose only the advanced classes and guess who taught a few of them? Denis Nahat, the AD.


Western has a good local reputation for adult classes.

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