“Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” – Martha Graham
Is this the kind of quote that makes you want to sign up to a classical ballet class on the spot?
Have you always dreamed of being a ballerina?
Even if you missed your chance to attend dance classes as child, it’s not too late to start. You can still learn to cut a rug (even though most dance studios are equipped with a hardwood floor).
Learning ballet requires discipline and perseverance, though you probably already knew that.
So grab your pointe shoes! Here’s our advice for finding the perfect ballet lesson.
If you want to become a professional ballet dancer, you’re probably going to have to start studying the art form at the age of 5 or 6.
You can learn to dance at any age. (Source: werner22brigitte)
If you reach 8 years old, it’s over! At this point, you’ll never achieve the flexibility or gracefulness that the professional dancers have and being a member of the best dance company is probably a bit out of reach.
If you are interested in dance education, ballet is a good place to start since it led to the creation of a lot of other styles of dance.
Have you already heard the common misconceptions that most people use as an excuse to not learn ballet?
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: You can start learning ballet at any age. Of course, we’re talking about learning ballet for fun. This is because learning ballet as a professional is very challenging, requires regular rehearsal, years of study and commitment, musicality, artistry, and impeccable dance technique.
While a lot of people think they’re too old to learn ballet, there are also a lot of men who think it isn’t for them despite their artistic talent. Ballet is not just for little girls. As long as you enjoy it and are willing and interested in the discipline, you can do ballet.
Make sure you’re in good health. Dancing is both an art form and a sport; you have to be fit and healthy as well as have a lot of core strength. Since old injuries may hinder your progress, make sure you make your tutor or teacher aware of them so they can work around them.
Are you still yearning to dance?
If this is the case, remember that you can still go back to ballet after 10 or 20 years of not doing it. Of course, your performances won’t be quite the same as they once were. While memories of ballet are still in your brain, it might be difficult remembering how to do it.
While you might vaguely remember how to do a pas de deux, an entrechat, or a pirouette, you’ll probably have to start from scratch after so much time of not doing it.
You’ll need to take your age into account and remember that your body isn’t the same as it once was.
A busy schedule doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up learning to dance. (Source: Photoshopoholic)
You should warm up and stretch in class before you do anything else, especially if you want to avoid injury when using the ballet barre. If you’ve got previous injuries, you should talk to your dance teacher before beginning ballet lessons and before you do any stretching.
If you don’t feel like you’re making any progress, ask your teacher for advice. They’ll give you some goals to achieve.
There are plenty of reasons why adults are starting to learn ballet:
Many young girls dream of being as elegant as a ballerina. (Source: nikidinov)
Check out our Zumba tutorials, too!
Adults should consider getting a class on the basic ballet techniques. These are often some of the most affordable classes, too. If you want to learn ballet, you need to start with these basics.
It’ll take you a few months to get comfortable with the basics of ballet. After that, you can move onto a real beginner’s class. This is when you’ll start learning some choreography.
These basic classes have quite a technical, almost sporting, focus. This can help you get over any shyness that you might have when learning how to dance. You won’t have to do any complicated choreography, it’s all about breaking down the steps so you can learn them.
You’ll start by learning to move your feet, then your legs, and finally, your arms.
There are three types of student:
According to Lorena Lopez of the Institut Sanlowa in Paris, you’ll need around 20 classes before you’ll know whether or not ballet is for you. This is when you’ll start to achieve some of your goals and can move on to perfecting your technique.
Ballet requires patience, discipline, and drive. Don’t give up too soon!
Whether you want an intensive ballet class for adult students, to learn about the absolute basics of dancing, or just express your creativity, there are schools and classes all and drop-ins all over the country.
Adults can start working on their pointe technique after as little as a year. (Source: lika777)
A lot of these classes are recreational and aren’t as strict as they would be at a ballet company in terms of the attire you have to wear. However, you should always check whether or not you need to wear ballet slippers, leotards, or specific clothing since what may be acceptable in one ballet studio may not be in another.
If you’re in the capital, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a ballet school or dance studio. A quick Google search of ‘dance classes london’ will no doubt bring up the following:
The DanceXchange offers a variety of classes for different levels, ages, and dance styles. You can book lessons in bulk online.
In addition to their ballet classes, the KNT Danceworks in Manchester offers jazz, contemporary dance, and tap classes, too. There are also classes for children. There are beginner, intermediate, and advanced ballet classes as well as the “absolute beginner” class which is an introductory class that focuses on the fundamentals of ballet.
Dance For All in the Scottish capital offers instruction in a variety of different styles for children, teens, and adults. The class schedule includes over 70 different classes.
The Dance Studio Leeds offers a ballet fundamentals class for absolute beginners and a number of other dancing disciplines, too. If you want to participate in one of their classes, make sure you book ahead.
Dance Glasgow offers 6 different types of ballet lessons from an absolute beginners class to classes on ballet repertoire and a class with an emphasis on pointe work.
Rubicon Dance in Cardiff has beginner, intermediate, and advanced ballet classes for adults. The adult dance classes cost as little as £5.50 and last an hour. There are also classes for children.
If you’re new to ballet and too shy to attend a group class, why not consider getting private tuition rather than attending a group adult class?
Find a private tutor who teaches adults how to dance. A good tutor will encourage you to overcome any stage fright or fears of performing in front of others. They can also introduce you to the fundamentals of ballet if the classes at your local ballet academy are too advanced for you.
Additionally, students with an advanced or intermediate level can also call upon a trained professional to help them put together some choreography before an audition, effectively hiring a tutor as the artistic director for their performance piece.
Tutorials are useful for students with irregular schedules. If you can make Wednesdays one week but need to have lessons on Thursdays the next, talk to your tutor about it and see if they can be flexible.
If you found this article helpful, why not check out our blog on the history of ballet dancing?