Twinkle Toes

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:

Lil Ballerina Lil Ballerina

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.

backstage at a ballet recital

ballet ballet

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.

room to move studio

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. 

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12 Comments on “Twinkle Toes”

  1. I took pre-ballet as a little kid for a year – I had tons of fun! I think i was in pre-K or kindergarten. I’d be interested in trying it again, although I know that I haven’t loved cardio-dance type classes because I’m slow to pick up on the moves & sequences.

  2. That’s so cool! I took a lot of dance classes growing up for skating and loved them. Also, I always surprise myself how much I remember when I step on the ice. It’s amazing what your body remembers!

  3. This looks like so much fun. I think I’d get just as excited for the outfits, too. I take barre classes, but there’s definitely less dance involved. I remember my PT mentioning that barre work (stretching, glutes, etc) is so amazing for runners. Can’t wait to hear more!

  4. That’s so cool you got back into ballet! How fun…I remember taking classes as a youngster- always loved them (and I still wish I could be a ballerina in another life…but until then, I just settle with vicariously living through the characters in Center Stage!) I took an adult hip hop class with a friend once…we had a BLAST!
    -Valerie
    http://www.the-style-files.com

  5. Very cool! I would love to try this, as I am super uncoordinated, but if you say any BODY can do it…. 🙂

    Interesting about the spinning as you get older! I guess that is why I felt so sick on the rollies this summer!

    1. I find rollercoasters harder to handle as I get older. I gave up on carnival-style rides that spin a long time ago, and I’ve come to HATE being upside down, so I’m over most of them. I can still handle the drops though. I think. It’s been awhile.

  6. I love everything about this! So jealous you are taking ballet classes 🙂 I’ve been looking into classes around here to take- wish your sisters studio was closer. I took ballet- jazz- tap from age 4-14. Then I quit to join the band. I really wish I had stuck with ballet because I enjoyed it so much.

    1. Have you looked into the Joffrey’s classes for non-professionals? I wonder how they are. I should take just one drop-in class, just so I can get a sort of inside look at the Joffrey!

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