Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers to close ×
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Adult Classes Question


Recommended Posts

I'm not an "adult student" (yet)... though I am legally an adult... but my question is for all you adult students (and the moderators, too, if they want to answer me), so I thought it appropriate to post here. I'm currently studying in the pre-professional division of my ballet school, but I've only been studying ballet for 5 years and only in this division for 2. (I am not going to be a Professional dancer... in case that wasn't apparent. I'm nowhere near where I would have to be technically, but I do have a pretty sound technical base.) Previously I took teen-adult classes, so I am sort of familiar with them. I'm a Senior in HS, so I'll be going to college next fall, and I'm hoping to minor in Dance if the school I attend offers that. If I don't do that, hopefully I'll be able to dance at a qualified school near the college...let me rephrase that...I will find a school where I can continue ballet whether or not it is through the school. I have a real passion for it as I know most of you do! :) So now I get to my question...which is also a bit of a concern which I know probably shouldn't be. The teen-adult classes I took previously were challenging for me when I took them, but definitely would not be now that I'm used to a more rigorous program. I realize that adult classes are different than those training young people for professional careers, but I want to know if those of you who are at a level beyond beginner have classes that are truly challenging. It seems like lots of the adult classes in my area are beginning, and I just want to be reassured that I'll be able to keep working forever from the level I have reached and not start over. What are your experiences in adult classes in regards to the level of difficulty? I'm aware that big ballet schools (attached to companies) that have adult programs usually have various levels of adult classes. Do any of you study in schools like this? Did any of you study intensively when you were younger and then switch to adult classes? Was this transformation smooth and did you find classes that satisfied you and let you continue to improve? I want to keep dancing as long as my body keeps working, but when I move into adult classes, I want to keep learning from where I am. If it helps to know at all...my study now is 4 days a week (sometimes 5 when we have Sunday rehearsals)...about 11 hours of classes (all technique or pointe except 1 body alignment and 1 jazz....but I don't take the full curriculum for my level...it's 15 hrs, I think.) I know that when I have college work to do (and after that a job), I probably won't be able to dance this much, though I wish I could. Any advice on this subject would be most appreciated. I guess I'm just a bit apprehensive to make this transition because I've enjoyed my pre-pro program so much. Thanks a lot for any replies!

Link to comment
Guest Starling



I've just returned to ballet - so you sound much more advanced than me!


My university (and I imagine most other universities) has a ballet program through the sports and recreation department. It has beginner lessons - but it also offers intermediate and advanced. A friend of mine who has taken dance all her life and is quite good has taken the advanced classes and finds them challenging. The advanced classes teach elementary and intermediate RAD Syllabus if that helps any. (I hope that makes sense - it's out of my league at this point!!)


Anyway, the point is I'm sure whatever school you go to will probably offer lessons at all levels. I also know of a lot of private dance studios here that offer ballet lessons at quite advanced levels (including programs that require you to take lessons 3-4 times per week) that are probably at your level. The city I'm in isn't even that big (London, Ontario). So I'm sure wherever you go you'll be able to keep dancing!


Good luck!


Link to comment

Thanks, Starling, for the reply. It's good to be reassured that I'll be able to find classes at my level in most places. Has anyone gone from a pre-professional program to adult classes who would like to relate his/her experiences? Thanks again.:D

Link to comment

I haven't, but a lot of the girls and men I dance with in my intermediate class have, and I like to ask them lots of questions about their lives in pre-professional/professional track. The intermediate class is an adult ballet class, so I think it is applicable, but what I say is second hand.

All in all they enjoy the freedom away from the pre-professional classes. Some enjoy not having to do pointe work and never want to put on their poiinte shoes again and are quite happy with that. The class we take is challenging enough for them and they are still as flexible as the day they stopped pre-professional classes (+5 years most are mid twenties early 30's). I was asking how easy is it to stay so flexible even though you are doing a tenth of the classes you were doing 5-10 years back..They say its not really difficult at all. What you learn and the way you learn it during those years stays with you, habits i.e. stretching.

Some of the girls do dance professionally still and those who have fulltime jobs audition regularly for parts in ballets with local companies. They seem to work hard even if the step is really easy, they are always trying 10 times harder. So in the end its up to you. If you find a class that is too easy, but its the only class available, chances are there is always something you can really work hard at, really brush up on technique. Once you get established with a teacher, and you show them you are capable, then the skys the limit with where you want to take it. Of course it depends on how much is going on in your city/town, btu even then you may need to go furtehr away. Once girl in our class is up in Eureka performing. If you want to do it, you will do what you have to do to get there, despite whatever age you are.

Link to comment


I danced in a prepro school as a teen, then "stopped out" of dance, only to return as an adult student. I have lived in several cities of various size and know that it can be difficult to find an adult class above the beginner level. Since you are still fairly young I would advise you to just speak to the the owner/director of any studio you are considering. Tell him/her your experience and ask for a class you can feel comfortable in, and be challenged in. Take an introductory class. If it's not what you want/need, go somewhere else until you find the right place. I have taken classes at universities (college kids don't mind an older student in their class) and classes of all adults. Bigger cities seem to have more options for all adult classes. Right now I am in a place that doesn't offer much past beginning levels, so am enrolled in int. and adv. classes with the teens. However, there are others in town like me, so there are always 2-5 adults in these classes. You have to experiment with these classes. Check out the teacher. Sometimes the teacher will ignore the older students in favor of the "up and coming" students. I have been fortunate to find two teachers who seem to spread the corrections to everyone. I think that you have alot of options. Enjoy college and keep dancing til youre 80 if that's what you want!


Link to comment

One option if the adult "recreational" or "for PE credit" classes are not advanced enough at the university you attend, is to audition for the dance major program (even if you don't want to major in dance), just to be eligible to take the classes. I did this at Florida State.

Link to comment

Thank you for all the feedback. Knowing there are lots of options out there as I make this transition is encouraging...especially what you said, Xena, about other students in your class who studied in pre-pro programs. One more question I just thought of....I'm thinking about taking a beginning teen/adult class starting in January from a teacher I used to have. I have to check with my current school director, but I'm pretty sure I will be allowed because the teacher sometimes subs at our school. The class is at a school much closer to my home than my regular ballet school (5 mins instead of 40), and my purpose for being there would be to work very slowly and correctly to get a stronger technical base that I know will help in all of my classes. So here is the question... do you adult students mind having younger students in your classes? Do you think I would be infringing upon the class which is advertised for novices if I am honestly there to work for me? I would not want to be intimidating and ruin the class for other students. Your honest opinions on this are much appreciated. Seriously. If you hate having pre-pro level students in your classes, say so. Or if you don't mind as long as they don't have attitudes, tell me that, too! Sorry I totally changed the original topic. I still welcome responses on that as well! (Oops!)

Link to comment



I'm not yet even 30, so I am hardly an older student, but for my part, no, I don't mind at all pre-pros (and ex such) taking our adult beginner classes. It's inspiring to see more experienced dancers in class, working hard on the same basics we are trying to master, I think.


But then again, in my school, an "adult" beginner is anyone over 17-18 when they begin... so if you are going to college/university, I think you wouldn't at all be the youngest in our classes. :)

Link to comment
Guest CyberDancer

to paint a slightly different picture -- things may vary by city, but...


adult classes tend to have two levels -- intermediate and adv.


Intermediate classes are generally taught in the evenings / weekends while the adv are taught during the day.


The intermediate classes vary widely in level -- depending on the school, teacher, and who is in the class at the time. Also, because the students are open enrollment (i.e. drop in), the class content tends to be more random and doesn't build skills in the way that a planned curriculum class would.


The advanced level classes are more advanced obviously, but are not accessible to adults who work during the day.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...