I remember when I had expressed that I wanted to learn ballet as an adult to my friends a few years ago. Comically, the initial response was this universal blank stare, as if telepathically asking, ‘aren’t you too old for ballet?’ And they would be right of course if I’d wanted to become a professional ballerina at age 32. As long as the goals are realistic, ballet can be a great alternative to those who are not a fan of the gym. And it shouldn’t be any more odd than if I had said Pilates or golf.
So why ballet? Ballet offers a total-body, low-impact, resistance-based strength training. It can improve flexibility and coordination over time, as well as promote the use of our brains when learning new combinations (which coincidentally has been affectionately dubbed ‘brain-teaser’). And frankly, there’s just something magically appealing to learn to execute those intricate movements with a certain fluidity. Although I’m fairly certain that my fluidity exists only within my mind.
Convinced that you want to come to the side of the bun heads? Here are some tips to get you started:
- Dance Attire: Most adult ballet classes don’t require any specific dance wear. Some form-fitting yoga pants or bike shorts with a t-shirt would be fine. The clothes should be form-fitting so that the instructor can offer proper corrections.
- Footwear: You can save a little money by trying 1 class in socks. Ballet slippers prices ranges from $12 – $32 and a leather pair tends to last longer than canvas.
- Studio Space: There should be some form of dance floor and either wall-mounted and/or stand-alone ballet barres in the space. (I have it all! From vinyl flooring over cement foundation to homemade flimsy PVC barre. If you see either of these, turn around and run!)
- Instructor: Have had a professional career certainly lends itself to credibility. However, an instructor who haven’t danced professionally shouldn’t automatically be discounted either. Just remember, former professional dancers may be breath-taking to watch but not necessarily good teachers.
- Price : Some beginner adult classes are 60 minutes, the average is 90-minutes long & the price ranges from $12 – $15 ± $2. Some studios offers a flex card which is a bulk number of classes purchased at a time. It allows folks to drop-in as it fits into their schedule. The more classes you buy, the less per class. Some smaller studios may be tuition based but should still average the $12 – $15 ± $2 if not less (divide the tuition rate by the number of classes in the session).
- Do Your Research: Not all studios who advertises adult ballet classes can deliver the quality instruction that you deserve. So do your research, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to visit would-be studio or teacher to observe a class or even attend a trial class. Any reputable studio or instructor should welcome the inquiry. And if it doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to walk away.