22nd March 2018

Classical ballet is for any age, and can be started in your late teens or even as an adult for whoever wants to enjoy a fitness hobby.

Our school offers classes for pre teens and teens on a Saturday afternoon and a Tuesday evening. They are specifically for this age group and although they are structured they are artistic and there is no pressure to take exams. They are open classes where the teacher introduces the students to the basic ballet steps in a more grown up way making it more interesting for the students.

The question often arises in regard to the ISTD ballet exams, of which I do sometimes get asked by a potential older student, “Can I take exams or am I too old?” The answer is yes you can take exams, as the ISTD exam body does allow adults to enter the grade exams, which is great for those who are happy to work that bit extra and pass a ballet exam. It has been well publicised that adults have achieved a good result in their graded ballet exam. Some have even continued successfully to work their way through to grade 6. Which is no mean feat. Imaging the sense of achievement they get when the certificate arrives and you discover you have passed.

I have always thought that music is a sure way of capturing the hearts and inspiration of any potential dancer, or the older dancer who is coming to class once a week for a hobby. That one class a week can be a wonderful experience or a tedious effort if they do not have inspiring music to dance to. I have spent many hours searching for beautiful music for ballet class which does not require set exam pieces. Classes where there is freedom to use whatever we think is suitable. I adore David Plumpton’s piano music, as he often plays well known tunes , from musicals and pop tunes, and converts them to inspiring piano pieces. Some adult ballet classes are often kept alive by the music and I have sometimes used these lovely piano tunes to give the one a week adult a reason for turning up to class.