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 Post subject: What do I need to start out in ballet??
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2003 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 04, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 2
Location: mcalester
I am 18 yrs. old. I have always loved ballet. I have always had a wish to do it someday. I am thinking about taking some classes soon I was wondering what I might need to prepare myself for this. Material wise and mentally. And Also I was looking for encouragement. I Know I dont have a chance in a career. But I want to do it for myslef for the prue passion of it.If anyone could help it would be great.


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 Post subject: Re: What do I need to start out in ballet??
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2003 7:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Virginia, USA
Hi! I know what you are feeling! I danced as a child, took classes again in high school (only a year), then at 28 I decided to start taking classes again just because I loved it so much. I wouldn't want to change a thing! I think you will find a lot of people your age start taking classes. I know there are a lot of first time students in college classes...that is a good place to start. There are also a lot of facilities that have "Adult" classes. You will see people in them from 18 to 80...they are a lot of fun! From my own experience I would suggest looking into a variety of studios in your area...take a class at each and see where you feel the best. I was surprised to see the difference you get in different classes. Some classes have people in them that have danced forever, some are for just true beginners (even though they say beginning or Level I ballet). I went to about 5 studio's before I narrowed down to two that I really like. You can have a lot of fun as an adult taking ballet, I had classes 4 nights a week and even went en pointe last year!!! It is such a wonderful feeling. You will see people in your classes in all shapes, ages and sizes. I'm 5'10...145 lbs...by far the tallest and obviously not "tiny" figured...I fit in just as much as anyone else. Go for it!!!! Things that have helped me are working out...I go to the gym 4 days a week...get in some weights and cardio so that I have better stamina. Also take time to stretch...it does wonders! My final advise...after your class (at least in the beginning)...take a nice hot shower and then stretch some more. HAVE FUN!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: What do I need to start out in ballet??
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2003 10:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 688
Location: Seattle, WA. USA
Tavshot has posted an excellent reply! I'd underscore what was said and would only add the suggestion of trying to see as much ballet and to read about it. Seeing ballet (on stage live and on tapes) will help give you a better sense of what it is you are trying to do and what some of the possibilities are. Reading can teach you historical and technical knowledge. All a bonus package!

Try setting some goals for yourself. After you've learned some of the basics, you'll get a sense for what goals might be in sight in the near- and long-term. For example, you might challenge yourself to learn patterns more quickly or get a handle on the French vocabulary. Or to remember and try to apply each correct as quickly and as strongly as you can.

I hope you start researching and taking your first ballet classes soon! Best wishes for happy dancing.

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ballet@u.washington.edu


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 Post subject: Re: What do I need to start out in ballet??
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2003 7:07 am 
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Joined: Sun May 04, 2003 11:01 pm
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Location: mcalester
Thank you so much your advice. I am so excited. I can't wait!! Thanks again. :D


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 Post subject: Re: What do I need to start out in ballet??
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2003 8:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1949
Location: New England
I think one of the most important things --- unfortunately also most difficult --- is to tell the good training apart from the bad training. The more you know about ballet, the easier this is. As a beginner, it's hard to tell.

You can try to look at the school's track record and reputation; this is a good but not perfect indicator. Also, try to watch the advanced students at different schools, see if you can tell differences in how they dance, and how much you would want to watch them. If you study at a school, your best chance is to end up dancing like the advanced students.

Also, the general atmosphere of the place is important. Are they overly pretentious? Will they give you the time of day?


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 Post subject: Re: What do I need to start out in ballet??
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2003 12:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Virginia, USA
Yes, make sure they will give you the time of day. I went to some classes where they crammed you in like cattle...no room to dance...they just wanted the $$$. Figured we were too "old" to do anything so they just let us fumble around. I really focused on how schools that would treat me "like an adult", but still as a serious student (depending on what you like). I prefer smaller schools...where if I miss a day the teacher will call to make sure I'm coming back...or where they will walk around and give you personal corrections. I also love places that feel comfortable telling you that you should be in a higher class...not that you are destined to stay in ballet I forever. Now that I've experience various studios, I focus on the class size, the teachers attitude, get responses from the people in the class after you take a trial class to make sure they feel it is truly a good class, approach the teacher with your quesitons/initial goals and see how they receive them (see if they give you suggestions or positive/negative responses)...don't be afraid to say that "this school isn't for me".
I got a few books that I enjoy. I HIGHLY recommend "The Joffrey Ballet School's Ballet-Fit" by Dena Moss. It has a lot of information for beginners (at any level) and adults. Info from what to expect, stretching, questions and termology, how to prepare/improve...very motivating! I also have "The dancers body" which talks about good nutrition..how to fuel your body and stay in shape for ballet, and there are many good books out there that had terminology and the movements outlined. I just got a new one called Classic Ballet (don't remember the author) that shows you a movement, how to get your body to get into these moves (rotation of the hip, knees, angles, etc). Some of that has helped me really understand how I can get moves down that I am having trouble with. I also have the NYC Ballet workout video. Of course you should not do ballet moves on your own because you may do them incorrectly and develop bad habits...but it also has about 50 good stretches on it to help you achieve better flexability. Very relaxing (if you skip over some of the advance stuff).
Sorry for the book...I'm just really excited to hear of more adults giving ballet a try!!!!

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