Part 2 of this series on ‘starting ballet as an adult’, covered the the third step, which was all about preparing to start.
In the third and final part, we’ll guide you on how to actually get started, including:
- your first class
- setting aside time to review and practice
- how it can help to start a ballet journal.
Step 4: Get started
It’s a good idea to arrive at least 10-15 minutes early in case you have to fill out any forms. It also gives you the chance to meet the teacher and other students. It doesn’t feel like a great start when you rush in just on-time or once the class has started.
To make sure you arrive early enough, map out the route and add an extra 5-10 minutes to the expected travel time. Also ask the studio about parking. Find out if there parking at the venue, or might it take some time to find a park and then walk.
Set aside time to review and practice
If you don’t set aside some time, you’ll probably find the week has passed and you can’t remember anything you did in the last class. It doesn’t need to be a lot of time. Even half an hour to an hour will help. I recommend making it soon after your class, rather than later, while things are still fresh in your mind. Even just going through things in your mind when you leave the class can help significantly.
If you have trouble remembering how to do all the different movements, or how to remember the ballet terminology, consider online learning to support your training in class. There are plenty of websites that provide the names of common ballet movements and lots of Youtube videos for beginner ballet as well. One tip though is that it’s not uncommon for a movement to be labelled a beginner ballet step, when it really is more advanced. The steps that I think are most important for absolute beginners are:
- Demi plié
- Battement tendu
- Elevé and relevé
- Grand battement
- Port de bras
- Petit jeté
These steps form the foundation of everything else you do in ballet. Please note, a pirouette is NOT a beginner ballet step, so if it is included, you’ll know this may be assuming more skill than a complete beginner has. It requires knowledge of demi plié, retire, relevé, and port de bras.
Start a ballet journal
A ballet journal is a really useful tool to help you get the most out of your instudio time. It’s really common when you first start ballet to feel like you can’t remember what you did in class, let alone how to do it.
You can use your journal to write:
- your dance goals
- develop a practice schedule or plan for how to achieve your goals
- how you are tracking against your goals, or how you are progressing
- a list of the exercises you did in class as soon as possible after class so you can at least remember what to practice
- things you want to focus on, such as remembering a particular exercise
- any tips the teacher has given you
- terminology, so you can get better at remembering it.
Would you like to get some more practical tips that can help you get started with ballet as an adult?
If so, subscribe to our free ‘ballet starter mini course’. We’ll send you an email every day for the next week to give you something else that will be useful in your journey, including:
- Ballet posture – how to stand for ballet and how to access your ‘turnout’
- How to use your feet correctly
- How to hold your arms and hands
- Basic positions of feet and arms, and directions
- Three fundamental building blocks for all ballet steps
- Class etiquette
- What to wear, including footwear
- Understanding the discipline of ballet
- Use of breath in ballet
Before you leave, why not join the Move Through Life closed Facebook group and start connecting now with other adult dancers.
Move Through Life Dance Studio offers dance classes to adults of all ages in ballet, contemporary, jazz, and tap. We pride ourselves on offering you a place to indulge your love of dance, whether you’re a complete beginner, had a long break from dance, or danced all your life. Our classes have a broad mix of ages, and our philosophy is that you are never too old to dance, it is never too late to start, and you can dance forever!
If you have any questions, get in touch with Anne on 0408 240 772 or email@example.com
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