Adult ballet is an extremely satisfying way to exercise the body and the brain, whilst developing new skills and learning a new language. But is it available to everyone? Are men welcome at an adult ballet class? At Elancé Adult Ballet School the answer is a resounding yes!
There have been plenty of male dancers throughout the ages in different dance styles. From Fred Astaire to Michael Jackson, these names are recognisable as some of the greats. But if you ask Joe Blogs from down the road if he is comfortable dancing then the answer is likely to be no. This could be due to low self-confidence or a lack of understanding on how to move well. Or perhaps there has been no opportunity to learn. In an adult ballet class, style and rhythm are taught as well as strength and technique. With a few adult ballet classes under your belt, taking a spin around any dance floor won’t seem so daunting!
Dance, in particular ballet, is frequently thought of as a female-only event. Consider the often-seen advertising for children’s dance schools with their rows of little girls in fluffy pink tutus. From an early age we may be conditioned to believe that dance, particularly ballet, can only be for girls. However, in a ballet performance men and women are on the stage in equal numbers, with equal opportunity to showcase their abilities, and male ballet dancers are truly spectacular to watch with their strength and athleticism.
The thought of wearing tights can send a shiver down the spine of even the most open minded man. Some men are comfortable wearing tights, but many are not. For an adult ballet class men can opt to wear tights, but may choose to wear mid-length sports shorts. Some men prefer to wear sports shorts over tights and any of these options are fine. The aim is simply to wear appropriate attire that allows your teacher to see how your body is moving.
Whilst all beginners start with the basics, there are subtle differences for men right from the get-go. Men stand differently, they use their arms with strength over softness in positions that support their masculinity. A good ballet teacher will understand these differences and will teach you how to imbue all movements with a sense of strength and power. As your ballet training progresses, the differences for men and women become more obvious with steps taught that promote elevation in jumps and strength in turns. Ballet will not rob you of your masculinity, but rather give you an understanding of how your body moves through space with strength and control.
At Elancé Adult Ballet School we appreciate the effort and courage that goes into walking through the front door for any of our beginners. Remember that stepping outside your comfort zone can be equally daunting and thrilling. For men, it can have the assumed layer of stigma from friends and family, though this attitude is changing, with men no longer feeling the need to keep ballet hidden from their day-to-day lives. Our studio environment supports and encourages our male students in their ballet journey in the same way that we support all of our students. We offer the freedom to explore ballet without judgment. There is no fluffing about – just pure hard work!