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Ballet Talk for Dancers

To take ballet, or not to take ballet, that is the question


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So I have an interest in ballet, and started learning ballet at home more as exercise than dance. I have an injury to my left foot, and was looking for ways to improve my balance, strength, and my feet. Anyway I am a 35 year old male, have never taken a class in person, only at home videos, and you tube classes. A girlfriend is encouraging me to take classes, but I am nervous that I would be in the way, or out of place with the girls. 

So I would like to here from the girls, would you want me in class, should I take a class, or would you think it best not to take a class in person? To the guys, what age did you start taking dance, and did you feel welcome there? 


Randy Otis

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Go for it!!!

I've been taking classes for years and always found acceptance from my female classmates.


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There's at least one guy in all of my adult classes (medium-sized US city) and a lot in my east coast big city classes. It'll be hard at first; I was so nervous when I first started as a 20yo female that I let my 10 class card expire. Ridiculous! Just know that no one wants you to fail--everyone is too focus on their own work!

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Thank you for the reply, and support. It is rather a bit of a faux pas in my family for a man to take dance classes. The area were I live, a mostly rural area, there basically aren't any adult men in class, so I am kinda nervous. Maybe blowing this out of proportion though. The local studio hires professional male dancers from a big city in another state when they put on a show, as the studio has no men :/ . I am not going to hold a candle to that talent either, but I would be around on a regular basis. 

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I have had two classes (in the past) with one or two male students. I always found their presence an asset in terms of the energy the class produces. Last summer, we had a transgendered male to female advanced student in the class and wow, that was energy! I am amazed at what the male ballet body can do, beginner included. Go for it. Stay with it and within 2 years you will know your way around the floor and will not stick out. Most dance students concentrate on themselves, always looking to improve. Sometimes too self critical, but that's another story. Bravo to you!

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Go for it! For a few years it seemed that our studio had few if any adult men that actually took class. We had some adult guys who were somehow affiliated with the studio (dads, husbands, boyfriends, etc.) who stepped in for Nutcracker and some other basic partnering stuff, but they didn't take class. Within the past couple years we've had some guys join the studio, some beginners, some with more experience, and it has been great IMO. Not only does it change the energy in the room (in a good way, usually!), but it's great to have guys who actually want to dance to fill roles in our shows and allows us to put on even better productions.

Women still vastly outnumber the men regardless of whether I'm taking class at home (in a smaller city) or where I work (a major city), but I never think it's weird to see guys in class and I am always encouraging anyone who is interested in dance to get into class and do it. You won't regret it!

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My husband with zero dance background started taking the adult classes with me at the studio where our daughter dances.  He was in his 40's.  We're in our 50's now.  Our studio loves men in the classes so much that the director/owner refuses to charge them.  And yes, they are recruited for performances as per their talent.  My husband doesn't do pas de deux but some of the other men do, and they learn moves appropriate to their strength, skill, and experience.

Your gender and lack of experience are just not issues.  Of course you want to take a class that is for beginners (until you are no longer a beginner) but that's true for any beginning student.

Enjoy your classes!

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Randy, just do it! It is great and I enjoy every bit of it. At age 43 I started after summer. I am the only male in my classes and all the women (17 ~ 48) are really welcoming.

And I learned it makes a really good topic for small talk on parties and other events :D People tend to be honestly impressed if you tell them how complex it is and how its making you aware of your body and sharpens your mind.(...that's after the initial 'oh I can't picture you in a tutu and pointes' lol )

The only thing I regret is that I didn't do it earlier..


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I echo all the others. I really like having men in class as I like to jump with them if I get the opportunity and I'm not in their way. 

And to your family and neighbours - maybe you can say something - in a non-creepy or sexually harassing way - about being surrounded by beautiful accomplished women (well, we are inside our heads anyway 😜) In the ballet studio. And that you're learning a skill which requires both very high levels of physical fitness and athleticism, combined with the ability to make it all look easy and effortless. This latter skill actually involves even more physical fitness than your average sport player or athlete. 

And really, in class were all just obsessed with ourselves. We won't worry about you except to welcome you.

and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers!

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One of my adult teachers comments on how she loves teaching the adults because we are there because we want to be as opposed to the kids who have to go because their parents paid for the class and make them go. We are there to improve and simply for the joy of dance. Having men in class brings a distinct energy to the room. My son is a ballet dancer and he would often drop in to our adult classes when he didn't have class. The energy he brings is infectious- his jumps and turns help inspire us to reach for more :)

Go for it Randy!

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Also, just to go back to your first post, Randy - you can't really learn ballet by yourself. You need to be taught by an expert teacher, who can see you from the outside and help you get to the right body alignment and use of the appropriate muscles. There is a lot of rubbish on YouTube, and you won't really know how to distinguish the rubbish from the OK stuff.

The other thing about going to class is that you learn from being with other dancers, and learn how to move in space with other people.

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That's no question. Take ballet!

I started when I was 40 years old. Now I'm 42, had my first times on stage with ballet and it's great. I wouldn't want to do anything else.

And there was never the question whether I would be welcomed there or not. Everybody's there to dance. I dance. So I must be there.

Even if I'm the only adult male doing ballet in my whole city.

Do what you love!

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  • 2 years later...

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