Most ballet dancers start their training at a very young age. If you read through a program you will notice pretty much every single dancers’ bio starts with something along the lines of has been dancing since she was 4. I have always loved watching ballet, a prima ballerina is so graceful in the way she moves and everything she looks beautiful and effortless. Several years ago when I was in my late twenties I decided I wanted to take up ballet (a little late I know) I thought it would be a wonderful way to keep fit. I have tried gyms and other fitness classes and they really weren’t for me – I didn’t mind yoga though. After a bit of googling a found a few places that offered Adult Beginner classes and I thought it would be perfect. I attended a few weeks of classes at WA Ballet in their beginner classes and it was SO advanced, I was completely lost and very disappointed. I know what you’re going to say, you should have stuck with it, it will get easier. Well I didn’t, I didn’t feel like I was learning anything as I couldn’t keep up. Everyone else in the class had obviously trained as a child and knew all of the terminology and even if they didn’t have the technique they at least knew what the teacher was saying and for a beginner class it moved extremely fast. After a few weeks I decided to not go back. It was a sad day. My dreams of being a ballerina were shattered. Ok that might be slightly over dramatic, but I did feel really sad about it.
A few years had passed and during this time I looked into other ballet and dance companies but wasn’t confident to attend another beginner class, what I needed was a complete basic never ever studied ballet before class. It was like the WA Ballet read my mind, because I was on their site one day and I noticed they were offering new classes. This time it included a Ballet Basics Course. Well this had my name written all over it! I was so excited, I enrolled immediately and started googling where to buy ballet shoes from. Most little girls buy their first pair of ballet shoes (or more accurately mum buys them) when they are about 3 or 4. I bought my first pair of shoes in my 30s. I didn’t care how old I was, I was just so excited. Once I bought my shoes I couldn’t wait to get started. I got my shoes from Bloch
I was so nervous for my first class, I had no idea what to expect, even though it did say basic, I still didn’t know if I was going to be able to keep up. At the beginning of class the teacher asked if anyone had done ballet before, I think maybe 2 people raised their hands. The rest of us had never done any ballet training before. This was so wonderful to see, we were all starting from scratch together. A lot of people were there for similar reasons to me, they had always wanted to try ballet but had never had the chance or were interested in ballet as a form of exercise and to keep fit. I thought to myself, I think I’m going to like it here!
Fast forward almost 18months, I am still taking classes and I still love it. I started with just one class a week but for last 6months or so I have been taking 2 classes a week. In some exciting news, as of this week I will be taking 3 classes. I have been taking the ballet basics classes for over a year and they are great. It is so good as every 5 weeks the course starts again and you start right back at the beginning. I have found this so helpful, the first 2 weeks of classes generally move very slowly and even though I have been taking the basic classes for so long, I’m never bored. Each time the 5 week course starts again, I try and work on my turn out that little bit more or focus on my arms, making sure they are in the correct position. I still come out of classes feeling like I have worked my bottom off, but at the start of the year I thought it was time to challenge myself even more, so starting this week I will be taking 2 basic classes and 1 beginner class! Finally graduating to a beginners level. I have spoken to several other students and some of the teachers and they have all said that it is a bit of a jump going from basic to beginners, but I think I’m ready for the next challenge. Going to keep taking basic classes each week too as it’s a great class to work on turn out and technique. I have a feeling I might start to get a bit lost in the beginners class during the longer more complicated exercises and I’m sure my technique will suffer. Super happy to be able to keep up the basic classes to help my technique
So that’s my random little story about how I became a ballerina (of sorts)
It’s never too late to start something new