I had my first ballet class yesterday. It was much harder than I thought it was going to be, but I absolutely loved it. The school, Ballet Academy East, is fantastic. They had a ton of classes going on, and it was really cool to see girls and women of all ages (literally, 3-year-olds to women in their 60s!) enjoying ballet.
I started at the “basic beginner” level, which was recommended for people who used to dance a long time ago and are just coming back. There’s an intro level before it, and then beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
I could do everything we did in class, but just barely. My teacher said that those of us who were dancing for the first time as adults may find that they have to re-learn everything for our adult bodies. That was definitely the case for me. Eleven years and 15 pounds have definitely changed things. I’m not nearly as flexible as I was. I was also the tallest in my class (which was has it was when I studio danced). My turnout makes Jody Sawyer look like Maureen Cummings. As I type this, I’m lying on my bed with my legs up against the wall, trying to stretch out and get my turnout back. I think it’ll happen.
Anyway, I absolutely loved the class. We had an actual pianist playing, and my teacher did a great job at explaining the exact positioning we needed to have to keep our balance and perfect our technique. We spent an entire hour at the barre, and then the last half hour learning a short combination. When I danced when I was younger, we’d only spend about 15 minutes at the barre and the rest of the class trying to learn our dance for the recital. I can already tell that the extra barre work is going to make a huge difference. I love it, even though it’s challenging.
I’m going to my next class on Wednesday. I’m going to take a few intro classes so I can catch up and re-learn the basics, but I’m going to keep going to the Sunday basic beginner class. I could definitely see myself continuing to go after my groupon is up, even if it’s just on Sundays.
Even though I’m incredibly sore right now, I can’t wait to go back! I’ve been kind of bored (in general) lately, and I think this is exactly what I needed.