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Hey Dancers!


I am 18 years old and I am getting back into ballet after a 5 year break.


A little History: I started ballet when I was almost 3 years old. I danced once, sometimes twice a week until age 9 when I switched studios. I kind of took a break for a year and went back to my old studio at age 10 or 11. I had never been a good dancer, but I loved it enough that I stuck with it.


I was one of those kids that you could tell me my right from left foot a thousand times and I would never get it. It was the same thing with learning new steps. I had a hard time with it but once I practiced it enough I eventually got it. Sadly, my dance teachers had no patience with me.


The year everything started to click was when I was 13. I took a lyrical class and LOVED it. I felt on top of the world when my dance teacher asked to see myself and a friends leaps (evaluating for the recital piece). Out of about 9 or 10 of us in class, I felt pretty lucky. The other girl was chosen for the bigger part, but I was put into the group that was featured a little more, so I was happy even though I didn't get the biggest part.


The middle of that year, I developed Anorexia. The doctor pulled me out of dance and I never went back to that studio. I dream about that studio every day and night of once again being able to take classes there, but alas, I am not really accepted there or wanted.


I recovered from my illness and I started at a new studio 2 or 3 years ago. The teachers were absolutely amazing and the patience they had with me was like no other. I always got the help I needed and they were just fabulous. I didn't take ballet though. I took tap because I didn't have the strength for ballet.


Now: I start college in 6 days. I signed up for ballet. I am so excited but I am also very very very nervous. The instructor/professor emailed me exercises to do this summer and I have been doing them every other day but usually every day. They just include about 15 minutes of plies in all positions, tendu's, eleves, releves, balancing in eleve and pointing and flexing my feet.


My questions: I haven't danced/ballet in 5 years and I really don't feel my strength is coming back. Is there anything else I can do?

I have never successfully done pirouettes or any other type of turn with properly spotting and staying balanced. I always end up getting sloppy and very dizzy. Is this maybe because I don't have the strength? What can I do about the spotting?


Conclusion: I really really really want to be able to dance again and I really want to be able to dance well, not just mediocre. I truly appreciate any feedback you can give me. If you have gotten this far, I thank you!






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Hi Danielle


I might not be best person to advise on here, as I have only been doing Ballet for past 2 years, but I have found myself in a performance we are doing end of Oct, and doing 1 class a week to now doing 1 class plus 2 or 3 rehearsals has really hit me fitness wise and also the extra attention to detail of , of all your movements and positions,


All I can say from my experience, limited as it is , is keep with it, fitness and mastering positions is on going the more you do the better you start to become, just a matter of hanging on in there, until your body starts to accept its new regime and progresses.


Try doing your 15 minutes on an increasing basis, say if you can increase to twice a day then 3 times a day etc slowly build them up, I have a 25 min work out now every morning, then I try, don't always manage though !, to do smaller periods during the day at some point.


Sure as the days pass you will find yourself improving in the positions as well as fitness.


Good Luck

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Hi Danielle! Welcome!


I'm a returner to ballet too. One thing I've noticed/learned (both from this forum and from my own experience) is that while doing things at home can help, its really being in class that kicks it all into gear! It will take time, though, so don't get discouraged if it doesn't happen overnight--it's easy to get frustrated with oneself (at least for me!), but I try to remember that I haven't danced in 6 years, and I need to retrain my body. It will all come together eventually :D


I think there are exercises for spotting--we used to do one when I was younger where we basically slowly turned in a circle around ourselves (flat, not an actual turn), keeping our eyes on ourselves in the mirror. As we turned we stayed focused on ourselves until the last possible second, then snapped our head back around to the front as we ended our "turn." Someone who is an actual teacher could probably describe that much better than me :blush: There might also be threads on it here already; you can just search for "spotting" at the top and see what comes up?


Good luck, and congrats on dancing again! :)

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers (BT4D), dannyb358. It's great that you found us, and the Adult Ballet Students' forum. You'll find a lot of discussion here of continuing ballet at college.


About the pirouettes -- It sounds like you might benefit from starting again and working slowly. This is good for anyone, really, to fix things we didn't quite get the first time around. What I've found, as an adult dancer, is that although my body can't do it so well any more, my brain helps me understand in ways I couldn't as a 13 year old. So this time around, working slowly in a beginners' class maybe once a week, you'll "get" spotting. Here's hoping!

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