What springs to mind when you hear the word ballet? Little girls in pink tutus doing something cute – that’s ballet right? Well, not exactly. There is a false perception that ballet is something only for children and that as an adult you’re too old to enjoy what ballet has to offer. The reality is that there are thousands of people who are discovering the joys of ballet in their adult years. At Elancé Adult Ballet School we believe that everybody deserves the opportunity to learn and love what ballet has to offer.
The short answer here is no! Age is not a barrier for learning ballet. If you have a willingness to learn and a desire to challenge yourself mentally as well as physically, then anything is possible. Ballet requires a sharp mind; it’s not about prancing around the studio, but considering how your body needs to move to execute the correct steps and sequences with the music. Adults often have a better ability to focus on the task at hand and can stay present in the moment, which is a must for learning ballet.
Again the answer here is no! All bodies are able to learn ballet. The essence of ballet is line created through the body, whether it is held still in an arabesque or moving across the floor in a series of grand jétés. It is true that physical limitations increase with age, but there is more beauty in well-placed lines of the body than being able to extend your leg up past your ear. Turning yourself inside out is not a requirement for learning adult ballet! Dancing as an adult is about the feeling. No one is training to become a professional ballet dancer and so the expectations are different. Your teacher will expect you to work hard but it is for the pure joy and personal achievement that you’ll gain, rather than an external driving force.
Learning ballet is not only about memorising steps and sequences; it is also about learning how to hear music. Music is vital to ballet; it is like the air for ballet to breathe. The music informs us how to feel and how to execute our ballet movements. In your adult ballet class your teacher will help you to understand different rhythms and dynamics, and will teach you how the movements fit with the music. This becomes easier with practice.
Learning ballet is a wonderful journey and finding the right place to learn is crucial to prolonging your ballet experience. There are many places where you can take a ballet class, but this should not be confused with learning correct technique. It’s important to look for a school where you will be taught how to execute steps properly rather than be expected to just follow along as best you can. At Elancé Adult Ballet School we have a tailored adult beginners program as well as an array of levels to suit any range of experience. The beginners program is a steady, accumulative process where you learn how to execute the movements as well as the thinking behind it. The caring, supportive environment is designed specifically for adults, allowing you to get the most out of your learning experience.
Learning ballet as an adult is a rewarding journey and is something that can be enjoyed by all. The secret is finding the right place to learn, where you’ll be supported and encouraged. Ballet is not discriminatory; it can be danced by anyone at any age. The only barrier to learning ballet as an adult is the one that you create for yourself.