Everyone knows Instagram is a great place to find inspiration and like-minded people, and this couldn’t be truer for the adult ballet community. In the past decade, we have collectively been redefining what ballet is and who it is for. It brings me so much joy that the narrative surrounding ballet is beginning to shift, dance is increasingly inclusive, diverse and open. As a community we celebrate people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities and sizes to connect to their own body through the beauty of movement.
In this sense, ballet no longer has to be considered elitist and exclusive as it once was. There are an infinite number of adult dancers out there opening our hearts and minds and this post is dedicated to just some of those leading the ballet revolution! Seeing incredible dancers who started ballet in their late twenties, thirties, forties and beyond made me realise just how much of a myth the ‘you have to start young’ ideology is. Everyday dancers disprove this widely held belief and challenge the notion that the only value we can add is if we strongly pursue ballet as a professional career from a young age. We can still change, grow, aspire and achieve in our own corners of the world, on or off the stage. Dance is a journey to know the body (and the heart!), it is a commitment to persevering and doing what we can, whilst striving towards what we can’t do (yet).
If you have always wanted to try ballet, or if you are on your ballet journey but feeling discouraged or that there is no point, these women are the perfect pick me up! The below 5 Instagram accounts feature some of my all time favourite adult ballet dancers sharing their #passionnotprofession. They prove how far you can come with hard work, dedication and spirit. Each of these dancers has their own unique style and quality, their own strengths and weaknesses and no doubt, each their own journey. They have not only grown into wonderful technical dancers, they make a significant and essential contribution to a new dialogue, one that encourages ballet as an art form without barriers. So sit back, read on and be inspired!
Katie reminds us all how important it is to truly dance and perform, sharing our individual artistry and stories with others. Her relentless effort in learning some of the hardest ballet variations is seriously impressive. Her Instagram provides an accurate insight into how hard and frustrating ballet can be but just how worth it it is. In particular, I love her interpretation of the Lilac Fairy variation and Esmeralda. When I saw her Instagram post of her triple pirouette on pointe, I truly felt her joy. Her account is an honest recollection, showcasing her incredible achievements, but also the difficulties and setbacks of adult ballet. Visit her account to go on her journey with her and watch the various stages of progress as she works towards beautiful performances.
You most likely already know and follow the gorgeous Natalie. She is blessed with gorgeous lines and feet, but despite her obvious natural abilities, her posts make it clear that she has worked diligently and consistently to evolve into the dancer she is.
Natalie’s social media accounts are full of useful and engaging content, covering everything from ballet attire to vocational exams and technique tips. She is no doubt a leading figure in the adult ballet community and what she has done to shed light on the brilliance of adult ballet cannot be emphasised enough. Recently, she uploaded Youtube videos discussing graded work, reminding us adult dancers that we can strive towards these sorts of goals (and achieve them)! On top of all this, she has brought together an international community of adult ballet lovers through Adultballetcommunity.com and we are very grateful for this amazing opportunity to better connect and support one another.
I have simply adored Lili's account from day one because it is equally uplifting and relatable. She provides a beautiful and honest insight into the battles we face with our bodies in ballet and how we can overcome them. It is very hard to be so raw about our insecurities and struggles, but it's this authenticity that makes her account uniquely inspirational. Her Instagram posts are always reflective and thought provoking, asking the best questions on how we can make the most of class and our ballet experience. I love reading through the comments where adult dancers from across the world share advice, tips and encouragement.
I also love seeing her ballet photos from her travels. She simply has the most wonderful grande jete ever – this is a particularly encouraging account if you are an adult dancer working on leaps and jumps. Her posts and videos make it clear just how much the body can achieve with hard work and dedication.
Julie started ballet at the age of 17 and since then she has not only personally evolved leaps and bounds, she has contributed a great deal too. She is the founder of Broche Ballet, adult ballet studios in Denver, where people can drop by for small intimate classes and for workshops led by exceptional dancers, for instance, Robbie Downey, dancer at Colorado Ballet. Broche Ballet is full of interesting Youtube videos, covering everything from achieving your splits to learning adage. Her personal Instagram videos are equally lovely, often with close ups of footwork at the barre, which makes them really useful for beginners who want to follow and learn.
Like all the other dancers featured in this blog, Julie shares her process with us and reminds us of the consistency and dedication required to progress as an adult. Most importantly, she is a wonderful advocate for enjoying dance and not just mastering it, a philosophy which underpins our work at London Ballet Classes too. Visit her account and you wont regret it!
I adore Allie’s account because she has a relentlessly fun and positive attitude towards ballet which is simply infectious. She recognises small achievements and progress, whilst acknowledging what she continues to work towards. She manages that impossible task of being simultaneously celebratory and aspirational, and that is something we could all do more of in the adult ballet community. She has tonnes of information on her journey and her progress, so you can get a realistic insight into how we grow as dancers over time.
Allie has also collaborated on a number of photoshoots which showcase all her artistic charm and charisma. I love seeing these bright and beautiful shots, which are particularly inspiring for adults wanting to work on pointe work and flexibility. Last but not least, Allie also has an unbelievable ballet wardrobe, so definitely check out her account for some inspiration on what to wear!
All these dancers are beautifully honest in sharing their journey’s, their posts depict their successes and achievements, but also the battles. It is so inspiring to know that we now all have a community where we can do this, where it’s ok to be an adult just starting your dance journey or somewhere at the beginning, full of mistakes AND wander, where it is as much about getting it wrong as it is about getting it right. Movement is integral to our lives, it is natural, healing and rejuvenating. So, I invite you to join in the bliss of dancing, as perfect or imperfect as you feel, because we all start somewhere and these ladies are the perfect examples of where we might just end up!
Next week each of these ladies share their words of wisdom for adult ballet dancers. Don’t miss out on what they have to say!
Know somebody you consider an inspirational adult ballerina? Tag them in the comments and show them some appreciation!