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Tips For The Adult Dancer

1. Be Patient

As an adult, our our bones and muscles are not going to be as malleable as a 10 year old. A common issue I see is that adults like to rush into buying and trying to dance on pointe shoes. Dancing on pointe is something that really requires adequate training on knowing how to lift your body weight, it also requires strength and flexibility. I started pointe shoes at 16, 10 years after I started learning Ballet, granted there are many who have managed to do so in a much shorter time but please do not rush. It is really dangerous to your body if you take on steps that you have not trained or prepared for.

Trust your teacher’s advice.

2. What To Expect In My First Class

Most first-time students are worried about their first class and what to expect. A general breakdown of a beginner class is Warm up at the barre (15mins), learning techniques at the barre (20mins), learning techniques in the centre (20mins), cool down (5mins).

For beginners, each exercise is 1-2mins, and the choreography is set by the teacher. Each choreography will be repetitive and follow a pattern. You will have to try to catch this pattern as best as you can, with the help of the teacher demonstrating and following your classmates. Do not panic if this is hard to grasp at the start, sometimes the brain needs some time for the muscles to react. Each lesson you will not only train your muscles, you will also get to sharpen your mind.

3. Take Classes Beyond Ballet

I cannot stress how important mobility is in Ballet. Mobility is the ability to use your muscles to their maximum range. If you are not mobile enough, the muscles that you use to achieve some ballet moves will not be the correct ones.

Invest time in stretching and strengthening, you will see yourself improve multiple folds, I call it leveling up. In our adulthood our flexibility deteriorates every year, our joints get stiffer, the elasticity in our muscles and joints decreases. Taking a ballet class once a week is not going to help you achieve your potential if you do not work on being able to rotate and extend your muscles. Engage in active stretching to minimise risk of injury so that your muscles are able to hold you in the stretch positions. 

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