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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Starting Ballet In My 40s


PinkSatin

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I was a professional dancer and continued taking class until I was 4 months pregnant with my first child.  I then pretty much stopped dancing for 7 years. A friend of mine, who had her own studio in her house, invited me to join an adult beginner ballet class. After three babies and not a great deal of exercise, I wasn't sure if I'd cope, but when I pulled up my hair and put on my ballet gear, my Dad,who'd come to babysit, remarked how nice it was to have his ballet-dancer daughter back!  I have to say, that the moment I held on to the barre, I knew I'd come home!  That was nearly 40 years ago and, from then on, I continued taking classes twice a week - until Corona hit.  I haven't been able to go back to class and I miss it and my friends there so much.  Although I've been doing my own barre, I am not sure that at my age I will ever be able to go back to a full class now.  That makes me so sad.  Still, reading your stories about starting ballet so late in life, gives me hope that, perhaps when there's a vaccine, I'll pluck up the courage to try and go back.  Even if I only manage half a class, it will be better than nothing............

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I'm in my early 60s and still manage a full-on class, although not at your level of professional accomplishment! I really really really miss flying across the floor in big jumps (mine are never very big, but it's the feeling). I'm working out very hard at the gym, so that when it's safe to go back to the studio in person, I'll be fit enough for class.

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I was still doing grand allegro (in a fashion!) up until February this year.  I always loved jumping and that ability miraculously stayed even when I could no longer cope with adage!  Teaching via Zoom on a hard floor in my house has also been disastrous for my joints.  I suppose it had to happen one day, but I so enjoyed putting on my pink tights and taking an adult ballet class. We used to joke that we took class for the coffee socializing afterwards, but it was more than that - it was a need!

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  • 4 months later...
Pgunila

Omg! I'm sooo glad I found this forum! I took classic ballet for 5 years when I was 5-10 yo. I managed to work my way up to intermediate level and was so proud holding my first pair of toe shoes. But then had to quit because as a child, my mother jammed too many classes into my daily life - ranging from math to swimming to ballet. Fast forward 32 years later, I'm 42 now and - believe it or not - just starting to figure out what I really liked in life. Turns out that ballet is one of them. But everyone keeps saying it's too late now that I'm overweight, having health issues and lose all the flexibility I had in my childhood days. Here, I find that I'm not alone! :) I think now I'm definitely starting ballet again from the basics.. with caution of course :)

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Miss Persistent

It’s never too late!

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Redbookish
On 3/11/2021 at 5:52 AM, Pgunila said:

But everyone keeps saying it's too late now that I'm overweight, having health issues and lose all the flexibility I had in my childhood days.

Welcome, Pgunila, and as Miss Persistent says, it's never too late!

If you are concerned about overall fitness, you can combine resuming ballet class with other gentle conditioning: Pilates is good, yoga is good, so is swimming or walking for exercise (ie getting out of breath, and walking for longer than you might usually). As adults, we need to take it slowly & look after our joints. 

You won't have the flexibility of your 10 year old self. But you will have 40 years of knowledge of how your body works. And that knowledge can really help you to re-learn ballet in an anatomically safe way, with the added enjoyment of learning this beautiful art.

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