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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Returning to Ballet after Hiatus


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My mom enrolled me in ballet classes when I was very young (around 3 or 4) and I stuck with it for a short time but I hated it and eventually left. Come 13 years old I returned to ballet on my own terms; I danced 3-4 times a week for about 5 years and in the process started pointe (at the ripe old age of 15) and was invited to start taking technique classes with the school's company. I stopped dancing when I went away for college. Now it's been another 5 years (I'm 23) and I'm yearning to go back. I know it will take a while for me to get back to where I used to be (which wasn't that great to begin with), if I can even ever get back there. What I really want to do, though, is <1> get back in my pointe shoes (after a bit of practice and strengthening, of course) and <2> start performing again. 

Has anyone taken a long break like this and gotten back into it? I feel like it might be tough, not only because I've gained a bit of weight since high school, but also because I'm an adult now and I have a full time job and other responsibilities. 

Does anyone have any advice on where to start? I can't seem to find any place near me (Riverside County/Inland Empire) that has pointe classes for adults. I did find a school that is holding auditions for The Nutcracker next week that allows adults to audition, but would I be completely ridiculed by my lack of ability? 

Edited by cookiesforkay
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Oh gosh. I don't know....I'm not in your area, so I can't help with classes for you! But I think you can get back to being on pointe, it just might take longer than you think. I've read a lot of pointe things on this board (there's a TON, be sure to search for it!) and it seems like adults can do it, but it's an adjustment because obviously your body has changed, and you have to regain strength and technique and all that good stuff. :)



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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, CookiesforKay. Glad you found us, and the Adult Students sections of the messageboard.

There are lots of "beginnersagain" posting here with stories very like yours. So take some time and read through some old threads - there's lots of experience and discussion which will help you.

But my immediate thought about your return to ballet is that, yes, it will take you longer than you might think to get back to where you were at 15. And indeed, you won't get back to be the 15 year old dancer you were, because you're 23 not 15! You will be a different kind of dancer.

Take this as an opportunity to work slowly, and deal with issues and faults that you had (we all have them). Don't rush it. Find good teaching, but don't fixate on pointe work or performance at the moment. Those things will come. Indeed, you can't dance well on pointe without a secure basis of technique, with excellent alignment & control of your turnout, and strength. 

The risk of injuries increases as bodies age and rushing pointe work, and pushing into advanced work before your body is ready, can be very annoying if it causes injury. It would be better to prepare your body overall buy doing some cross-training - most dancers do it nowadays - weights, running, etc. I'd recommend looking at the social media of award-winning trainers such as "TheBalletStrengthPro" (he's UK based & excellent). 

The thing that adult dancers have over 15 year olds is that we understand our bodies better, we are calmer, and more used to thought & analysis - these all help you develop as a maturer dancer. So start the journey just get back to the barre. Don't think about pointe work yet. Once you're back in class, opportunities will arise. But take it sloooooowly.

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