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Starting Ballet in my "Golden Years"

Guest Mary J

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I am new to B/T and I apologize in advance if this has already been asked and answered, but here goes. I am in my mid-50's. I do some walking and rowing (on a machine) but I would like to increase my flexibility and have a little fun, so I thought I would take an adult ballet beginner class. Assuming the local school will acept someone my age (and I can get my teenage daughter to stop laughing), what should my expectations be? I know I won't have much/any turnout, and my knees aren't the greatest, but I don't have any back/hip/knee problems.

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Mary J, I have known adult students who started during their "golden years" and are still going strong with it in their 70's :) What to expect? Hard to say, as of course it depends so much on the class you attend, the teacher, and of course your own ability. But many people totally enjoy it and stay with it as long as the joints hold out :) As long as you enjoy a major challenge, I say go for it! Ballet is not easy for anyone, and especially not for someone starting as an adult, but if you can go in with an attitude of learning and enjoying and doing the best you can, and not expect to look like a ballerina, then it will be great. :D

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what can you expect?


i think you can expect to feel frustrated! you MUST be patient with yourself.


suggestion: don't 'turn out' QUITE as much, as you might feel you are expected to...and IF you do any jumps at the beginning, keep them small (not far off the floor) and VERY simple. always bend knees when you land!


as victoria says, really, HOW you will find it depends completely on the teacher/venue/other participants/your own attributes (physical and mental), etc...so, these are just a few cautionary words to ensure you:-


A. don't hurt yourself, from over-enthusiasm, right at the outset, and


B. don't expect so much of yourself, that you feel disappointment, instead of pleasure and quiet accomplishment.


patience, patience, patience.





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My adult beginner classes have some ladies in them that are (judging from the look, I haven't asked) in their 50's or over. They are doing no better and no worse than the younger adult beginners (20ish and over). :)


(There is one lady who keeps on claiming she's "too old" to remember combinations or to do things correctly, but I am very much in the belief that she only uses this as an excuse of not paying attention in class, which she often does not.)


So you can expect to work hard, to learn a lot, to have tremendous fun, and, yes, occasionally, be very frustrated. :)

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Yes, we are often told in our company to be patient with our bodies.

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Personallly, I am in my late 40's (very late 40's), and I find my ballet classes to be a great sosurce of relief from stress. When I travel, I always take a "drop-in" calss whenever possible to get what I call "my floaty fix". I find that while in class, I cannot think of anything but what I'm supposed to be doing, thus taking my mind off of everything that is going on outside of class. So, just take each class one day at a time and don't worry if one class is not as good as the previous class. Some days are just better than others. I also find it's good (very good) to do some very slow stretching directly after class whenever possible. This will benefit your flexability the most. Good luck! And keep us posted as to how you're doing. :)

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Hi Mary J.


I just started last February. I'm 47. Everyone thinks I'm 38-41. I've lost 20 pounds. I have horrible turnout, which is improving. My muscles are showing, where before there was pathetic flab. I am beginning to look more like a ballerina, I'm definately feeling more like one. I can't say enough good things about what it has done. If you find that you like it, prepare for it to become an obsession, many here have the fever.


My recommendations, find a teacher with a great attitude, who is going to teach you patiently. Enjoy the frustration, it is part of the process. Ballet is complex and you learn slowly, it is a build up over time, and you can work at it and you won't get bored. Be patient with your self and your learning, it is imperative you don't get upset with how you are doing, just keep trying and things will come in a gradual build up.


I applaud and encourage you from the bottom of my heart, and if you were in class with me, I'd tell you "you go lady".


All the best!

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