Our next adult ballet student feature is Laura Thomason…
1. How did you first get involved with ballet and what attracted you to it as an adult?
I started ballet at age 9 and have taken classes on and off ever since. As an adult I see ballet as both meditative and challenging in a way that appeals to me. Every class is broadly the same, yet every time I learn something new, make progress on a difficulty, or become more consistent. I have not yet found a better form of exercise: ballet provides strength training, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness all in one. Plus, I get a lot of compliments on my posture!
2. How many classes are you currently taking per week?
2 ballet classes per week plus a modern class.
3. What do you see as your biggest challenge as an adult ballet student?
To my surprise, I seem to have lost the ability to pick up choreography as quickly as I used to. The teenagers I take class with can pick up a variation after one or two repetitions while it takes me weeks of practice. I am also more physically cautious than a kid would be–I re-started pointe work last fall for the first time in 20+ years and the fear factor gets in my way sometimes. And, of course, dancing around all those younger people brings up the insecurity and competitive instinct that all dancers struggle with.
Fortunately my studio is a very positive environment and no one is allowed to be down on herself for very long. When I first started in my current class, I had trouble keeping up (especially in pointe work) because I had stepped up from a much more basic class. I mentioned to my teacher that I was discouraged and she gave me a good hard reality check, reminding me to be patient with myself till I caught up with the level of the class. It’s been about 6 months and I am glad I hung in there.
4. What brings you the greatest joy as an adult ballet student? [Read more…]