Are you thinking of starting ballet as an Adult?

Posted: Mar 05 2015

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It is many people's childhood dream to become a ballet dancer, although only a select few ever go on to be proficient enough to make a professional career of it. However, this should never prevent you from taking up ballet as an adult – it is a great way to get into shape, and can certainly help you to become more flexible, and you can really enjoy your time spent with other like-minded people.

A positive attitude is a must when taking up any new sport or hobby, and those with a true desire or passion for their chosen subject will often be more determined to succeed.

Ballet can be a very physically demanding discipline, so be sure that you are fit enough to take on the exercises before embarking on classes if you can, feel comfortable talking to the dance teacher about your abilities and your fitness as they will be able to advise you about which class to take, and don’t worry too much a beginners ballet class is suitable for pretty much everyone who would like to have a try. As you will be performing a lot of stretching exercises during your ballet classes, it may be worth attending a few Pilates, Yoga or body conditioning classes in your local area in preparation.

Ballet lessons for adults are becoming more and more popular with the advent of many dancing television shows and many dance schools now offer ballet classes for adults and teach them in a much more relaxed and fun way than if you were training to be a professional dancer. Many ballet schools already cater for adult dancers, and will offer beginners classes for those completely new to the discipline. Some schools will also run refresher courses for those who may already have studied ballet in their youth.

Appropriate clothing is essential, leggings and a t-shirt is normally a god start for your first lesson and when you have decided to stick with it there are a couple of key items that you will need: a good basic leotard, exercise tights, and a lightweight cardigan to keep you warm before and after class. Ask your school if they have any specific clothing requirements for adults as if you decide to pursue this and take exams there can be strict rules about what you can and can’t wear.

The most important piece of clothing for anybody learning ballet is the ballet shoes. Ballet just wouldn't be ballet without the proper shoes and we have a huge range for you to choose from in all sizes. Ballet shoes come in different colours but pink or black is most common and are made from canvas, leather or satin. Pointe shoes are for advanced ballet dancers and these will not be require in a beginner class.

Every ballet school will have their own way of teaching but you will usually begin with a warm-up session with some stretching exercises, so make sure you feel comfortable in your clothes, and that your shoes are secure and not too tight or loose, then move on to some ballet techniques and then put together some simple routines using the ballet steps you have learned. The end of the class will normally include a warm down and classes can range from thirty minutes to two hours.

Some dance schools like to put on an end-of-year performance, and you may be asked if you would like to take part. If you feel unsure or would prefer not to appear, then you can choose not to be included, but if you fancy the challenge, and you feel it would keep you motivated, then why not go for it!

A good thing about adult ballet classes is that they are often non-syllabus, so there will be no need to prepare for exams, or the need to be under pressure to pick up the moves perfectly. There is also a great social side to learning ballet as an adult. You can make some good friends through attending class, and also there are quite a few online forums for adult ballet students, so you can discuss the finer points of the art with many others in the same situation.

Ballet techniques take a lot of practice initially, but if you can practice at home too, then you will be surprised at how quickly the moves start to become second nature. The more you practice, the better shape your will be in, and the easier it will be to maintain your fitness and flexibility for many years to come. As dancers ourselves we are always happy to advise our customers on what to buy if they are unsure.

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