I began ballet as an 18 year old, very old to start ballet. I walked into THE professional ballet company in Minnesota, Metropolitan Ballet Academy, and was immediately in love with the classical music playing, the chandelier hanging from the ceiling, bars full with girls wearing black leotards and pink tights. I never looked back, from my first leotard purchase to my role in the Nutcracker as a rat, and my first pair of pointe shoes, it has been one of my favorite life experiences.
I think the single most important thing to consider before beginning ballet is how far you want to go. Do you want to learn the absolute correct technique and be training at a professional level (you likely will find yourself dancing with very young children at first in these studios)?
If not, there are also many studios that aren't professional, but do have great beginner adult classes.
You can also try something such as Pure Barre if you are searching for the benefits of ballet, without the competition.
In this article I'm going to focus on 10 tips for your first ballet class at a professional studio or mid-level studio, since this is where I have the most experience!
1) Check out the studios website and find their dress code. Most studios require black leotards with either pink or black ballet tights and pink ballet slippers!
2) Wear your hair in a bun (if it's long enough). Even if it's not required, your hair WILL get in the way and be detrimental to your focus.
3) Buy ballet tights at an actual ballet store (online, such as Discount Dance or a brick and mortar store), they don't have the lines running up from the thighs like tights from target or any other clothing store will! Ballet tights are also thicker and more durable = less runs and more coverup.
4) You will be completely confused for your first…many…classes. Ballet changes your entire body, you now have to turn out, hold your arms different, remember a thousand different french words and what they mean, and learn to dance to classical music. Don't give up! Once you begin to "get it" you will be on top of the world, and remember no one ever reaches "perfection" in ballet, though we never stop striving for it.
5) If a leotard and tights is the uniform, don't wear underwear! It's impossible to avoid panty lines in leo's and people will see your underwear through your tights, avoid this at all costs!
6) Ballet class étiquette: Never talk to your peers during class, and raise your hand if you have a question. Ballet instructors are highly respected and the ballet world is a bit harsher than real world. At Metropolitan Ballet Academy there won't be a word muttered for the entire three hour class, only focus and intense concentration.
7) If you don't like feet, you're in for a struggle - get used to talking, looking, breathing, feet. Being a ballerina is painful and the pain is something that you grow to love.
8) Many ballet studios require certain types of ballet slippers, which should be listed on the website. However, if you have a choice, most ballerina's choose canvas vs. leather slippers. The canvas slippers show off your point better, and look nice for a longer period of time.
9) Never buy ballet shoes from Payless. Never.
10) Enjoy your class! Even if your overwhelmed, give it a few tries, ballet is an art that is absolutely beautiful and is extremely rewarding, physically and mentally!
I would love to know! Have you tried adult ballet? What tips would you add to this list? Leave a link to your blog with your tip and I'd love to include it in an upcoming adult ballet post!
Plus..a throwback to this old post on ballet from before I started ballet!