With the start of another season of Adult Ballet Club just around the corner, our instructor Andrew Blight has compiled 5 tips for anyone interested in learning the art of ballet. Adult Ballet Club is a 9-week class geared towards beginner and intermediate dancers. Andrew takes students through the basics and more! Each class ends with 30 minutes of learning choreography for the Adult Ballet Club Showcase held at the end of the 9 weeks. Class begins Thursday, January 18. Sign up here!
Without further ado, here are Andrew's Five Tips for Beginning Adult Ballet!
1. Stay positive!
Some amount of frustration is to be expected in any ballet class. Feeling frustrated is not an indication that there is a fundamental problem or that you're just not cut out for ballet. Remember that failure is a step on the road to success, and even the best ballet dancer in the world experienced the same frustration you'refeeling (probably worse).
2. Focus on yourself
Comparing yourself to other dancers in the class is not helpful, and when you do that you're not being fair to yourself. All students in an adult ballet class are at different levels, some have had years of ballet experience as children and are just getting back into it, or maybe they're regulars in yoga or pilates classes. No two people are coming in on an equal footing. The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were the week before.
3. Cultivate selective amnesia
We do a lot of different things in a ballet class, some easy, some challenging, some fun. If you carry the frustration from a challenging exercise into one that's supposed to be fun, no fun will be had. It can become a downward spiral. If you have a hard time with a particular exercise, don't worry, it'll be over soon. When it's over, you should forget it like it never happened. You'll get another chance at it in a week.
4. Go for it!
In ballet class you learn by doing. There's really no other way. If you don't have something, if you're not ready and you're not even sure what leg to start on -- do it anyway! Just get out there, it's never as bad as you think it's going to be. Doing something poorly is the prerequisite to doing it well.
5. Have Fun!
We have set aside this time, in this place, to dance. We're listening to music, we're moving through space, and we're together. A ballet class is like a party with a purpose. There's fun to be had so let's have it!
About Andrew Blight
Andrew received his early ballet training in Los Angeles, his hometown. His first teachers were Cynthia Young, and Charles and Phillip Fuller, at Le Studio, school of the Pasadena Dance Theatre. He also received full scholarships to study with the Pacific Northwest Ballet School, San Francisco Ballet School, and Houston Ballet Academy. His professional career began at the Louisville Ballet, where he was noted for his portrayal of Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, and the pas de deux Little Improvisations by Antony Tudor. In 1996 he was invited by Patricia Wilde to join the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre where he danced until 1999 when he founded The Move, a company dedicated to bringing new and contemporary works to the stage.