Here’s our next Q&A with an adult ballet student…
1. How did you first get involved with ballet and what attracted you to it as an adult?
I saw Giselle when I was twelve years old and fell in love with ballet right there and then. But almost ten years passed before I took my first ballet class. A friend had wanted to try jazz dance, and asked me along for buddy support. A few months later my jazz teacher told me that there was a new adult beginner’s ballet class I could take. Up until then I did not even know adults could learn ballet! It was all very exciting, and still is. What I loved right away was the classical music, the structure of class, the concentration it required and the sheer beauty of ballet. There was so much to learn and to discover, about technique, steps and placement but also about the traditions of ballet, the culture and history.
2. How many classes are you currently taking per week?
Currently I take eight classes on five days of the week: five are ballet technique and three pointe classes. The amount varies from time to time, in my mid twenties I used to dance as much as 12 hours per week! These days I make sure quality comes before quantity, but three classes per week is my absolute minimum. I’m not getting any younger, and I just want to dance as much as I can!
3. What do you see as your biggest challenge as an adult ballet student?
Scheduling my classes around study and work used to be a big problem. I know this is a challenge for most adult students; how to fit work/study, family and ballet together. It’s not always possible to attend classes on a regular basis, and that can be very frustrating! But I’m very lucky, my current work schedule allows me to take as many classes as I want.
My biggest challenge right now is to be less demanding and critical of myself. I tend to focus too much on my flaws and faults, and forget how much I have already learned. The thing is, I chose ballet, but ballet did not choose me. I do not have an “ideal” dancer’s physique, and I’m not talking looks here, but anatomy. My turn-out is barely adequate and I have tight muscles and ligaments. You can’t change your skeletal structure, nor stretch your ligaments. In the beginning this did not bother me, but at my current intermediate-advanced level I’m much more aware of my limitations. I’m also not twenty-one anymore… [Read more…]