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New Adult Ballet Dancer


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Hi there! I'm new to the forum and was needing some advice! I took ballet in elementary school and stopped after a few years. I am now 22 and am wanting to dance again, with the goal of dancing en pointe. I live in a small town in Kentucky where no adult ballet classes are offered. I have heard of adult ballet students being in kid's class, but does anyone have any experience of being an adult in a class for children? Thanks!

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Hi, tndooley! I'm new here, too, but maybe I can answer your question. I'm a little confused, though, because your profile says you're male but you want to go en pointe. I thought guys didn't do that.

(ETA: Turns out my profile said male, too. I could have sworn I specified female when I registered. Anyway, I just changed it.)

I did take a beginner class in my 20s in which I was the only adult. I enjoyed it and would have stayed with it if I hadn't moved away and started a job with a weird schedule; however, it did feel awkward at times towering over all those littles. And they were littles, because it was a beginner class (8-9 year olds).

How many years did you study as a youngster, and how far did you get? Was it good quality instruction? If so, you might be able to join an intermediate class, where the students would be a bit older and closer to you in size. 

If you don't feel ready for that, how about taking some private lessons to brush up your basics, with the goal of transitioning into an intermediate class with bigger kids? Private lessons cost more, but if money is an issue maybe you could negotiate a barter deal in exchange for a discount -- you could clean, help with paperwork, build or upgrade their website, play piano for classes, whatever you're skilled at.

Hope you find something that works for you! 


Edited by The Fat Lady Dances
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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, tndooley. We're glad you found us.


There are some (quite old) threads about being an adult in children's & teenagers' graded classes. You might find them if you use the search function in this forum. When I have a moment, I'll see what I can find.

Generally, if you're near a reasonable pre-professional ballet/dance school, you'll find they might also have an adult programme, but I don't really know what small town Kentucky is like.  Have you contacted the various schools near you to see if they can welcome you to their classes?  You could also search BTfD for schools in Kentucky - in the Pre-Pro section of the messageboard.

I'm like a broken record on this, but I think that the aim to go on pointe is only one of many goals for an adult dancer. It is not the be all and end all of ballet, and I see too many adults on pointe badly, not to wince at it. There's so much else to learn! For example <deep sigh> I am challenged by getting any sort of speed and rhythm in petit allegro. I know how it should look and feel, but I don't get enough practice at it in class. And to be brutally honest, I don't practice enough on my own at it. So that's a more interesting challenge to me than going on pointe.

Your first aim is to get into suitable classes - ideally more than once a week. In the meantime, can you get to Pilates or yoga classes? They're a pale imitation of ballet, and you don't get to move, but the conditioning aspect will prepare you for ballet.

Good luck!

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Much experience with that! I was much older than you when I started. At 22 you won't stick out much. If the teacher is conscientious, it can work! You will get lots of corrections and everything will be fine. If you teaches is less inclined to work with adults, it may not be a good a training experience. I just caught the male /female thing.  As a female you have a bit more leeway than a male with this. Try working with the students. It may be just fine.

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No experience with this,  but there are dance schools in my area that allow adults to take lessons, alongside teens and kids. This was offered to me by one ballet studio because they don't have adult classes. Would it be possible to take a class online? And perhaps mix it up with a few private lessons here and there?

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