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Ballet Talk for Dancers
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Ally158

19 year old starting again!

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Ally158

Hey Guys (literally!),

 

So after 7 years without wearing my tights, I've decided to make the jump and restart ballet classes! I'm based in Wales, UK.

 

I went to my local dance shop to get a recommendation on a good school that would accept a beginner/intermediate males at my age and I spoke to the owner of the dance school this afternoon.

 

She sounded really happy to have a boy asking to join her school, however she said that the best class for me would be grade 5-6 with a dozen 14-15 year old girls.....I keep having visions of it being like "Billy Elliott" where I walk into a studio with girls in tutu's all sneering at me!

 

Understandably I feel very intimidated right now, but I want to start classes again so badly and there aren't many dance academies in this part of the world!

 

I know this must seem like a very generic thread to see, but I'd love to hear some of your anecdotes about your first classes and how you coped with the nerves. I've got an awful feeling that I'm going to make an idiot of myself in my first class as I tried doing some of my old positions and really struggled!

What would you suggest wearing to my first class? Most of my old dancewear still fits, I've got too much choice and the school owner was very vague on the phone.

 

 

Over to you...and thanks very much!

 

Al

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Willimus

I was a late starter, and never felt uncomfortable...the girls were always very nice to me. As a teacher in my 50s now, I have one class (they are 10-11 years old) and we have one boy and 11 girls. They all seem to be very nice to him, he seems to love the class, and I love teaching him.

 

I wouldn't worry a bit. I'm sure you will be fine!

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Willimus

Oops...that wasn't clear...in one of my classes we have 11 girls and one boy...

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Ally158

I was a late starter, and never felt uncomfortable...the girls were always very nice to me. As a teacher in my 50s now, I have one class (they are 10-11 years old) and we have one boy and 11 girls. They all seem to be very nice to him, he seems to love the class, and I love teaching him.

 

I wouldn't worry a bit. I'm sure you will be fine!

 

Very reassuring to hear- thanks for that! I suppose in some ways it might be nice for the class to gain somebody new who is bound to be a lot worse than the rest of them!

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Willimus

And someone who may surpass them sooner than you think. Boys who dance tend to be quite serious students. A lot of my girls (not all) are there because it is a nice activity to do after school (clearly some are passionate, but at this school, many of the girls are not). but boys are there because they love to dance and want to learn. My one boy in that class of girls gets better every class.

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Ally158

And someone who may surpass them sooner than you think. Boys who dance tend to be quite serious students. A lot of my girls (not all) are there because it is a nice activity to do after school (clearly some are passionate, but at this school, many of the girls are not). but boys are there because they love to dance and want to learn. My one boy in that class of girls gets better every class.

 

That's a great way to look at it- I've definitely got my heart in it and would like to try and make something of it to benefit my future....just hope it's not too late!

 

Out of interest, what is the dresscode for boys in your classes?

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Rick

Welcome back to ballet, Al! I have no doubt you're feeling a bit uneasy about resuming regular classes after a 7-year hiatus, but I'm sure your technique will return to you in very short order once your classes get underway. Even if you find you're a bit "rusty" at first, I imagine your teacher and female classmates will be so happy to have a male in the studio that any shortcomings will be excused!

 

I had no background in ballet whatsoever when I registered for my very first class 2 years ago, so I was quite nervous just before that class began. I was so self-conscious in my ballet wear and so positive I was going to be the least competent student in the class that I nearly made myself sick with worry. In fact, my nervousness nearly prompted me to walk out of my ballet school and forget the whole thing, but fortunately I talked myself into staying for at least that one class and giving it a decent try. Once I got into the studio and was able to observe my fellow students, who were all dressed pretty much the same as me and were all basically at the same remedial skill level, I relaxed considerably and was able to redirect my focus to the teacher's instructions and my execution of the same. I'm so very glad I conquered my fear and stayed for that first class -- I wound up really loving ballet and here I am 2 years later still participating in and thoroughly enjoying regular classes!

 

Since the owner of your dance school didn't provide you with dress code specifics, if I were you I'd wear whatever I feel most comfortable in for your first class and see if it passes muster. Some schools are more liberal than others regarding dress, especially for their adult students. I was initially unsure what to wear myself, so I went with what I assumed to be traditional and pretty universally accepted for males in any ballet class -- a white t-shirt, black tights, black dancebelt and either black or white slippers. (Since I didn't know much about the pros and cons of the various ballet slipper designs, I bought several pairs to experiment with.) Most of the other guys in my classes wore shorts instead of tights, but I stayed with tights -- I just liked them better, and I still wear them exclusively today. But again, I'd suggest just wearing whatever you want and have readily available at first and see what happens.

 

Have fun with your classes!

Edited by Rick

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Willimus

We are a bit relaxed with the boys at this particular school. We do prefer that they don't wear anything too baggy, we don't force them to wear tights...the boy in my class wears black jazz pants and a white T shirt. I also teach at a pre-professional conservatory for musical theater (a lot of our graduates are working on Broadway). At this school we don't have a strict "tights only" policy either. Our dress code there is "tights, jazz pants or bicycle shorts and a solid T shirt or tank top" . I teach at one school in the summer, it is a more serious BALLET school. There we require tights. Wear what you are comfortable in, jut be sure the teacher can get a sense of your knees...nothing too baggy.

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