Last week our blog post featured 5 of Instagram’s most inspirational adult ballet dancers. This week they are back to share their top tips for Beginner ballet students. Read on!
I would tell an adult starting their ballet journey, don’t get discouraged too quickly! Have fun and enjoy the process! Ballet takes years to become even decent at so for most people it won’t happen overnight. But with that be sure to celebrate the small victories like learning a new step, flexibility gains or nailing a pirouette for the first time. Being able to see your progress is what has helped me the most when I feel like giving up. I’m well aware I’ll never be a professional and that’s fine because I still absolutely love dancing in any capacity. So have fun and don’t let anyone or anything hold you back.
(Also, I always find a little ballet retail therapy does wonders for motivation 😉)
To any adult ballet beginner I would say, first of all, that it’s never too late. Don’t limit yourself to things you think an adult dancer should or shouldn’t do. If you go to class consistently and work hard, there will be so many possibilities! Don’t worry if you have days of feeling overwhelmed at the beginning, there’s a lot to learn in ballet. But I promise, as you get better, those days will be fewer and fewer and there will be more days where things ‘click’ and you can really feel like you’re ‘dancing’ rather than doing exercises to improve technique.
I started dancing ballet again as an adult at 26 and I couldn’t have imagined the journey it would take me on! I love sharing things I’ve learned on my ballet journey on Instagram and my YouTube channel. Last month I launched the adult ballet community (ABC) website, a place where adult dancers can connect and support each other. There are ballet groups, progress boards and quizzes as well as barre videos for members. I’ve been overwhelmed by the love from amazing adult dancers all over the world. As a thank you to anyone who registers, I created the ABC Guide to Adult Ballet with all of my top tips for anyone on their adult ballet journey. Visit adultballetcommunity.com to learn more :)
Welcome to the adult ballet world! It’s better late than never!
Be prepared to experience all kinds of frustration, disappointing body limitations, self-doubts, but at the same time, the incredible fulfilment ballet brings both physically and mentally while trying to conquer all these negativities along the way.
Passion and persistence are key to carrying on this journey, so think smart, explore, and enjoy every little bit of the evolution of your body and mind.
As long as we remember what made us take this first step, respect and love what we do, we’ll find ballet is more than glamorous tutus and tiaras, but a way of life.
Congratulations for taking this first step in enrolling for class 👍.
We must get over any possible anxieties of not being able to catch up with the rest of our dancemates. I wasn't afraid to ask my parents to bring me to class as a very chubby 8 year old (I just wanted to practice my splits 🤩). After an absence from ballet for 25 years, i decided to try again in my early 40s (I recall the huge effort i put in at my first class as a returner, and every class since then, i invested no less effort 😍). So, never say never !
Take all the time you need to learn the art form and depending on individual lifestyles, ballet can be that sole form of workout for busy adults . Adults generally learn faster and are more self-aware, so these are definite advantages. Each of our ballet journeys are unique, so if I may quote what I came across in the internet : 'Don't compare your chapter 1 to someone else's chapter 20' 🤗.
ENJOY, and if you haven't felt or acknowledged it yet, adult ballet truly is addictive
Just get started! Walking into a new studio, starting a new skill, and meeting new people, are all intimidating! But, if you have that burning desire to dance, just get in there and try it! All of us late-starters have gone through it and come out the other side, and you can too! Once you get to the studio, try to introduce yourself to at least one person and let them know it's your first class and that you're a little nervous. That way during class, you have someone who will look out for you. They'll probably be willing to show you the ropes, help you know where to stand at the barre and in center, and with the class etiquette. They will probably also offer you a few smiles along the way :) Just go in with a positive attitude, know that you're doing something scary, but do it anyways! It's SO worth it!
Be consistent! Once you do get started, try to make it to class at least once each week. If you end up missing a couple of weeks, try to double up on classes for the next couple of weeks to get back into the swing of things. Especially when you're learning something new, consistency is key. You have to keep solidifying it into your brain and body, and if you miss a little bit of time, you may experience some setbacks. These are normal and totally part of the process, but it can also be frustrating, so be prepared for the knowledge to slip away quickly in the beginning. Especially when you get started, try to be as consistent as possible. I don't necessarily mean that you have to get to class 5 times per week (that's really tough with kids/job/families/chores), but try to make it to class the same amount each week so you get into a routine. Once you start seeing progress, you'll be even more motivated to keep coming back!
Be patient & kind to yourself! Ballet is a slow journey, and we must each make our own way carrying our "baggage" whether that's an old recurring injury, forever-tight-hamstrings, or insecurities about our body. Each of us starts further ahead on some things and further behind on others. That's why you shouldn't hop in and immediately start comparing yourself to others, or beating yourself up for not getting things immediately that others might already have figured out. In the end, you might end up being a natural turner, but struggle with jumping; whereas another dancer has incredible flexibility but struggles to balance in a slow combination; and yet another has amazing turnout but can't touch their toes. Be patient with the process, and be kind to yourself along the way. It's a long road, and you might as well be a good companion to yourself along the way.
We hope you found this blog as inspiring as we did :) And here is a shout out to all the other incredible adult ballet dancers I come across on Instagram daily - thank you for sharing your stories with us!