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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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