Like many little girls, I took ballet when I was younger. I don’t remember taking it for very long, or ever being in a recital. I took classes through the local park district, with Miss Carol. I’m in the red leotard:
My sister-in-law also took ballet when she was young, and started taking classes with Miss Carol when we were older (in our 20s). She did it for quite a few years, eventually got my brother to take classes too, and eventually I joined them with some of our friends (including my other sis-in-law and my huband’s best friend’s now wife). We were all in Miss Carol’s summer recital in 2007 (which was 20 years after the photos above were taken, FYI). It was a lot of fun … even if I wasn’t a professional ballerina, I could sort of live out my ballet fantasy on stage in a tutu.
If you’re bored, you can watch the videos of the adult numbers during the recital. Please excuse the video quality, we basically set a camcorder on a tripod in the back of the auditorium and let it record. If you do watch the videos, please remember that we are not professionals, not even close.
My sis-in-law started teaching ballet, and eventually started a ballet program at someone else’s studio, which later closed. So, she and my brother opened their own studio, Room To Move, literally a couple blocks from their home. After a couple years, the studio was doing well enough that they could move into a much nicer space down the road. Then last year, they opened up a dancewear store, Dressed To Groove, right next to her studio.
Recently, I started thinking about taking ballet again, and then my sis-in-law asked if I could help her with marketing. So in exchange for my marketing services, I’m now taking classes.
During our various moves over the past few years, I gave away all of my dance clothes, or packed it away so well I can’t find it. (Although I am positive I saved my costumes … no girl would ever get rid of a tutu.) Luckily I could fashion together an acceptable outfit with tights from Target and other workout clothes … those are running shorts, also seen here.
Today I took Ballet Fit and Ballet I/II for teens and adults. Ballet Fit is a fitness class, but geared toward dancers. You are doing moves similar to what you might do at the barre, but laying on your back, so you get a core workout. (This is also referred to as floor barre.) There is also a lot of stretching. This class might prove to be very beneficial for my running! The muscles that are important to dancers (core, hips, glutes) are also important to runners. (Hint hint to my local runner friends … it’s a $12 drop-in class, so you don’t have to sign up for a whole session.)
Ballet I/II is a traditional ballet class. If you’ve never taken one, class starts with a warm-up of repetitive moves at the barre, stretching, and then floor work. This, but we’re not quite as technically proficient. If we were preparing for a recital, the floor work would be mostly choreography and rehearsal.
I was actually surprised by how much I remembered during today’s class – there is something to be said for muscle memory! However, doing turns makes me even dizzier than before (even if I spot during the turn). Ugh. I’ve heard from other dancers that that comes with age. Other than that, I’m looking forward to getting back into being a pretty little ballerina. Once I buy a pair of ballet slippers that fit. I borrowed a pair today and there were snug, and now my big toenails are sore.
Have you ever taken ballet? Or another dance class? If you never have but want to, look into adult beginner classes. It’s a lot of fun! My sis-in-law’s motto is any BODY can do ballet.