Ballet for late starters
20th January 2017
You find out it is something they have always wanted to do. They then ask if you would fund the ballet school as their pocket money will not be enough to pay for it. Ballet classes! You think why would my busy teen want to suddenly take up ballet? Where do I send her or him to do this? It is not unheard of for a boy to harbour a love of ballet and not sure how to approach and ask his parents if they would let him go to ballet dance classes.
Some children may take a few lessons when they are small and somehow lose interest quickly and decide it is not for them only to decide to take it up again when they are pre adolescent or teen. They then have the idea that they can join in a few classes and master the art of ballet dancing in a terms lessons. Also dreaming of wearing the lovely satin pointe shoes where they can stand en pointe and appear on stage . It is not easy and for some it is a big disappointment when they realise they will not become an accomplished ballet dancer in a few months. It takes many years of practise and constant repetition.
Firstly finding the right school for you is key. If you are only going to dance ballet for a once a week hobby and get together with teen friends, then maybe an adult ballet class is the fun way to go about this, but do not expect to be allowed en point unless you want a broken ankle! Pointe work for ballet dancing takes years to build up with a lot of strengthening exercises.
If you aspire to at least go on to take some of the Graded ballet exams in I.S.T.D syllabus, then maybe our classes would suit you. It is hard work but many teens have chosen ballet at our school and achieved promising results. If you are wandering if you can become a professional ballet dancer one day, never rule it out as there are a few famous names that began late, Darcy Bussell is just one and there are others, but you would need an intensive training and be the right classical build.
There are many benefits of learning ballet as a teenager, as it can be a wonderful way to take away the stress of school exams and it can be a welcome break while they are studying at school, especially dancing to classical music and even learning the art of ballet itself is a stress reliever.
As well as it’s many health benefits and as an all round exercise, it exerts the body helping to keep muscles supple and as an alternative to the gym, it builds cardiovascular fitness also making the brain think quickly whilst learning ballet steps.
Those students studying for GCSE dance, will find that ballet is of great help and can bring fresh ideas into their work. Also ballet is really the key to all dance methods and will give the students greater depth and understanding of how they move and interpret dance quality.
My approach with teen beginner ballet dancers, is to ask them what they wish to achieve from it. I then let them dance the lower grades so that they can prepare and enter the exams at their own pace. I rarely get a young teenage beginner that asks to be put in a high ballet grade as the usual story is that they found it too hard and just lost interest never wanting to dance again.
I love the challenge of teaching new ballet students that are older and have enough enthusiasm to throw themselves into their new hobby with tenacity and a shared love of ballet.