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Ballet and Level =)


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Hey! Just curious, how many hours of ballet do you do a week? What level would you consider yourself to be? And how long have you been dancing? :)


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Teslafangirl, you've posted this in the technique section for Adult Ballet students - do you have a specific question related to ballet  technique and training?

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I began attending InterPlay (dance) sessions in 2011 at 72/73 years young. By 2013, I began yearning for training and enrolled as a basic beginner at a local dance school, which was not taught all that well. By 2014, I found a school with a more comprehensive teen-adult beginning ballet program and enrolled. Started with 2 classes per week and went to 4 + pilates. I felt that the level of technical instruction I was receiving was not helping me overcome many of the problems of an older body with no childhood ballet-muscle memory. In the fall of 2016 I went on to a Vaganova ballet school with a full morning program for adults (no teens). I've been there for about 1.5 years and counting. Hitting the wall again as the oldest student because my brain just doesn't process more than 4 sequences without a ton of slow repetition, writing it down, following one who can, etc. I wish I could be in a class with others closer to my age and senior citizens challenges, but haven't found anything. At 78, I guess I'm something of a trail blazer in the chicago suburbs.

About number classes: I had been taking 5 classes per week at the Vaganova school, plus a 1/2 hour private session, until I got sick this past winter for a couple of months with the RSV virus. I'm back now and taking 3 classes—basic, advanced beginner, and level A. Also doing Pilates for core.

About level: Because of the memory challenge I've stated above, I consider myself still an advanced beginner. The Vaganova method is beautiful, but very hard on bones and muscles set in their aged ways. Old school teachers are sharp and rightfully demanding, but they don't have the understanding of physiology that the younger ones do. Like I said: I'm a 78 year old suburban trail blazer.

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Hummingbird! What an inspiring story! Kudos!

At 45, after lots of encouragement from my dancer daughter, I somewhat reluctantly started taking classes two years ago. 

I began slowly, once a week or so, and built up to recently, where I'm taking three hours of technique 5-6 times a week, plus conditioning and rehearsals. I'm traveling to Europe this Summer to perform on stage with a company in two pieces, one of which is en pointe. 

Let's just say I was instantly hooked! 

btw, I still consider myself a beginner. What I love most about ballet is that there is always more to learn!

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I get in 6 hours of technique class time during the week, another hour and a half Partnering class and a half hour private Partnering class plus what ever extra classes I can work in when time allows. :D Plus gym time to work on core and strength (those lifts have to come from somewhere).

I think I might be considered intermediate level, but that depends on the day :P  Oh and I'm 62 and work full time.


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Wow so jealous of all you that have so many classes available to you as adults!! Whenever I travel, I am always looking for adult classes wherever I go.

I take 2 classes of ballet a week, each at a different studio that is all that is available to me because I also work full time.

I've been taking classes for just over a year, and I consider myself a raw beginner still. At 49, I find it difficult to pick up combinations as well which impedes my progress (and self confidence!)

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I have been taking 1-2 one hour classes a week for the past year and a half, and would conider myself a medium beginner? As in I usually understand what I am supposed to do, but I can't always do it. Or, what I think I am doing doesn't always look the way I meant it to :) my barre work is getting decent (for a beginner!), but I have major balance issues in center still.

I also have creaky stiff knees and a bad foot, so there are some things I just cannot do. I do see great improvement in my ability/understanding over time, which makes me happy. Taking more classes would help, but there is only so much that is practical with kids and other things (and they both dance too). I would like to do some privates over the summer to work on some center combinations to get better muscle memory and confidence there.

Edited by herekittykitty
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I'm 58. I started an adult beginner class in late March, so definitely a rank beginner. I had two years of dance in fourth and fifth grade -- each weekly class was half ballet, half tap ("for rhythm"). Took another beginner class in my late 20s for about six months, and got a lot more in terms of technique out of that class than I did as a child. But by the time I went back to it a few months ago, I had no muscle memory -- and not much in the way of muscle, period. 

I tell my friends they should start a betting pool on what I will go on first -- pointe, or Social Security?

My balance and flexibility (which are two of the three reasons I started ballet again -- the other is toning) are still pretty poor but improving. I can't hold a one-footed releve to save my life, but am getting better on two feet. 

I know that it's taboo to discuss weight on this board, but the elephant in the room (no pun intended) is that I am obese (see my username).  I would like to think of myself as a trailblazer for larger folks who want to dance for the love of it. 

Currently taking two one-hour classes a week at a studio that caters strictly to teens and adults, but there is only one teen in one of my classes, who comes with her mom. The other students are all adults, and I am not the only one over 50. Our teacher is in her 60s.

When I need inspiration, I look to the 20-something woman who has a private lesson before one of my classes (which her 50-something mom is in). This young woman has a traumatic brain injury from a car accident. It was one of those "not expected to live" situations when it happened, and she does not walk or talk well, but her grand battements put mine to shame!

Speaking of inspiration, Hummingbird, thank you for posting! I hope to be dancing well into my 70s.

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At age 59 I have about 7 months study behind me. I currently take 4 classes a week in 4 different schools. 1hr, 1hr,1hr 15min and 45min is 4hrs per week. Definitely still a beginner but not an absolute novice. If all the classes were at the same school I am sure I would be further on. I now feel I am at the bottom end of the class rather than lagging a long way behind. 

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  • 4 months later...

I started 11 years ago. I used to get 2-3 adult only classes per week but with changes in studio ownerships and my work schedule, I get in 1 -2 classes this last year. I had 1 year as a kid and some side classes forced on us for figure skating in my teenage years. I started pointe 4 years ago. 

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37,M. I started modern in January 2016, and ballet in September 2016. I get two 1 hour 45 minutes Balanchine classes a week, adults, at an advanced-beginner level.

Edited by TYR
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  • 2 months later...


  • I took classes when I was really little but had to quit, due to cost, by age 8ish.
  • I went back at age 20 and was so terribly intimidated by the adult classes that I let my class card expire (I cringe remembering this; I'm such a frugal person). I did yoga, Ballet Beautiful (ballet-based pilates), and marathoning instead for awhile.
  • 24ish I lived in NYC and took some classes at Joffery when I had extra money.
  • 25, I was in school in Boston and took Intro Beginners programs 1 and 2 at Boston Ballet school. I supplemented with a lot of Ballet Beautiful, Kathryn Morgan's barres on YouTube, and cardio. 
  • 26, moved to a smaller city and attend a very formal, classical studio (dress code for adults!). I take regular classes (started off in Adult Open but was invited into (RAD grade 6) Beg V (just before pointe, I think). My teacher is great and I get corrections and feedback which is not something I can say about the Boston Ballet School/Joffery NYC--there's just so many people--I've improved so much in this environment.

I take 1.5h Beg V, 1h Adult Open, and do an easy barre (Youtube) at home each week (on top of supplemental stretching, various exercises, and Ballet Beautiful). Not sure exactly how many hours that is but my level is RAD 6. I'm 6 months pregnant now so not making so much progress these days but I'm hanging in there. To be more precise; RAD 6 is a little easy for me but Elementary Adult Open at Boston Ballet is a little hard. 

Edited by Coriander9
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I'm 50 years old.

Started 5 years ago with classical ballet, and never looking back.

I have a teacher using Maggie Black school from New York, so no bonebreaking Vaganova for me.


I'm doing ballet 1 times the week, now. An intermediate adult class.

Oh, and i'm going one times the week jogging for some endurance.

And an urban contemporary class - the most fun class at the moment. Very demanding choreographies.

And a modern class to shape the modern basis.

And a hip hop class for the "urban" part of it. Yes, with 50 I started hip hop. Never thought of it before.


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