Who are Ballet pupils? Big, skinny, tall, short, young, old, it could be anybody.
So let's try to give you a rough idea of who else is likely to be in a Ballet class with you...
The best class for adult beginner Ballet pupils is one in which most of you are at roughly the same level.
Now that may sound incredibly obvious, but you might be surprised by the spread of ability amongst pupils in a beginners Ballet class. It's another question that is worth asking the studio or class organizer before you go:
"Are all the Ballet pupils in the class going to be about the same level?"
You may be returning to Ballet after a long break. Perhaps you learnt it as a child and now, several decades and a few dress sizes later, you'd like to return and have another go.
Does that put you in a completely different class from someone who has never attended a class at all? Not necessarily.
You both need to take a very slow class and go through the basics, step by step. What you really need to know is if the class is going to be used as a warm up or a practise class by anyone who is currently of a significantly higher level.
Beware of the adult Ballet class that is really just put on a
dance studio's timetable to look like they cater for everyone. We've
come across many of these.
When you go in, expecting to be with a bunch of learners (or at the most, very rusty returnees), you find that the class is full of much younger and more experienced Ballet pupils using it as a practise class.
You feel a fool and also feel that you can't ask questions - or make any mistakes, as you stand out like a sore thumb.
Very intimidating and definitely not recommended.
This is unfortunately all too common. Particularly in classes in the large dance studio complexes.
It is puzzling, as it is a bit of a loser on both sides.
Firstly, how satisfying are these very slow, basic classes to experienced dancers anyway? Why would a dancer get so desperate for a class that she has to join the beginners? She should really be managing her class schedule better.
But most importantly, it is terrible for a class of
newbies to be confronted with an experienced dancer who will swan in and
start warming up at the barre, expertly disdained and frighteningly
This type of class seems to simply emphasize the
difference between dancers and non-dancers, and rather than make the
newbies feel that they have made progress, it usually just makes them
feel clumsy and self conscious.
You will have made progress at the end of your first Ballet lesson, if it is taught well. But trying to do what you've learned next to an expert dancer will make you feel useless.
To stuff a class full, regardless of ability is terrible.
It seems to be an ugly grab for as much money as possible. If a studio offers a beginners class, it should be just that.
How would the
expert dancers feel in their level of class if a bunch of complete
newbies sauntered in and danced all the moves at their own inexperienced
level. Not good, right? So why put up with the reverse?
There is no adequate explanation from a teacher for why this is allowed to happen. That's probably because there isn't one.
Make sure your class is
Anyone can get a great deal out of learning Ballet.
A good beginners class will have a very wide range of Ballet pupils of all ages, shapes and sizes. And as it should take things at a very slow pace, be suitable for everyone.
Female Ballet pupils usually outnumber males by a fairly hefty ratio, but men are catching onto the idea that Ballet is one of the most physically demanding things you can do and there's kudos to being that strong, right?
And elegance and grace are not just the preserve of the young and beautiful.
possible to see fit, slim twenty-something's looking about as graceful
as string puppets, and an overweight seventy-something dance
Ballet has something to offer everyone. Sometimes, it can be as simple as being able to execute a gorgeous hand movement.
Ballet really can be as inclusive as it is exclusive.
You just need to give it a go...