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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballet and Level =)


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I'm 36, and started ballet almost 3 years ago as a supplement to my ballroom work.  (I think I took one term when I was about 7 as well - I sort of remember learning a sweets dance for nutcracker before my parents split up.)  I take class twice a week - two technique classes, and one pointe, for a grand total of about 2.5 hrs of ballet a week.  (I've been on pointe a little less than a year.)  As part of my deal with the studio given I don't meet the minimum class requirement for pointe, I'm also expected to give myself a barre once a week in addition to my near-daily work in ballroom, etc.  I'm apparently "strong, detail-oriented and disciplined enough" to make that work.  I drop into a 3rd class on the rare occasions that my schedule allows.

I started out in an adult beginner class, but after about 8 months, I moved to working with the teens to get a harder class.  Last year, the class I was in was prepping for their level 7 (Russian) exams - I spent the first term mostly lost, but figured it out in the second.  This year my classes are/were prepping for their pre-elementary (class 1) and elementary (class 2) exam.  Elementary is a little tough for me still, especially some of the centre work (*cough* allegro *cough*), but pre-el seems to be right in my wheelhouse... all except for those darn double pirouettes, which I have yet to master.

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  • 2 months later...

I'm 28.

I started ballet when I was 3-4 years old and stopped at 11-12. I've restarted it (and started contemporary, modern, contact and anything else) at 25.

In the meantime, I've finished school, completed a 5 year degree in architecture, lived a crazy life, put on a lot of extra weight etc.

And then, at 25, I've rediscovered ballet and dance in general. I've re-entered this world without a drop of humility, starting at intermediate level because "I had done this before". And, in this first class, I lived the frustration of knowing where your members are supposed to be but being anywhere else. That class came with a great deal of frustration, but it made me clench my teeth and stubbornly decide that I'm going to get good at this. 

Right now, I'm having 6 1,5 hour ballet classes a week (two of them Vaganova syllabus) with 5 teachers, all very different but complementary to my ballet education, plus 3 hours contemporary etc.

And I'm an active choreographer, participating in festivals in Greece, because I've realized that you don't actually need a degree to be able to be one. I've even seen and met amazing professional dancers (but, rarely ballet dancers) without a formal educational background.

Truth is, my pirouettes are still dreadful and my petit allegro horrible (I won't talk about my pointework), but, as I've realized, there are some things your body needs more time to digest than others. And, when you're a dancer, you never stop learning.

As for the level, I hide comfortably behind pre-pro (and laugh while reading it)

Edited by marugotan
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  • 1 year later...

Right now it's 75 minutes a week--one class-I want to break in gradually. The other thing is that the other class is on Sunday and I try not to schedule things for Sundays. I'm a beginner, for sure, even though I had ballet training as a kid for three years and I've been attending adult classes on and off for a good decade. I'm in the "absolute beginner" class now, but I think beginner's class schedule (the next level up) is a little bit better in terms of my schedule. 

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  • 1 month later...

Dang, its great to read everyone's recaps here.  I too started late (10 months ago when i was 61).  I too am absolutely HOOKED (more honestly, ADDICTED--  Ballet is the New Yoga- just wait 10 more years!)  I too have dance class envy.  I live in a small town 100 miles from anywhere, so class options are extremely limited.  Presently my class consists of my instructor and "dancer 2."  Dancer 2 has danced, off and on, for over sixty years!  she's awesome.  Sure wish there were more guys around!


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  • 1 year later...

Since Coronavirus started my wonderful teacher has been offering a daily barre, online. Heaven!! It's the start to every weekday, and I go to work afterwards. So I end up doing 50 minutes of barre daily (work from a recording on the weekend). Nothing really in the way of centre, but I'm hoping when we can that there'll be in-person classes with loads of room for centre work and my teacher will keep the daily online barre going, too.

Before that it was 1.5 hrs once a week. I'm a raw beginner -- had never done ANYTHING before my 60th birthday: no dance, no gymnastics, no organised sports -- nothing. Like so many of you, the first plies and I was hooked.

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Way to go, CR-CR.  Like you I had not done anything "movement"-centric before starting ballet.  Well, unless you count a bit of yoga and over 20 years pedaling my ten-speed bicycle everywhere I could.  Hope to see you in a studio soon!  Best, Matt

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Corona has actually been quite good for me. All these lockdowns have given me the opportunity to dance so much more than before. I’m a bit obsessive compulsive in certain aspects of my life 😆. I kept track of every single ballet and dance class I took and taught in 2020.

So actually dance-wise the year 2020 wasn’t so bad. Actually it was good for me compared to the previous few years that never really allowed me to dance (the joys of 1. having suffered a brain injury; 2. being a full time dance studio owner and teacher with all the worries that come with it; and 3. being in a country where there were almost zero opportunities for self-growth …🙄)
So, statistics time! In 2020 I took 279 classes, 94 of which were in-studio classes, 177 were Zoom classes, and 8 were private (in-studio) classes.
I danced 76% of the year. Of course the Zoom classes never include a full center, but at least an adagio, tendus and pirouettes, and some small jumps.

2021 is looking good too so far. It's February 15, and I've already taken 44 Zoom ballet classes. 💪 


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