ballet dancers in studio

A Great Primer for First Time Adult Ballet Students

It is normal to feel nervous about getting into a new hobby as an adult. But you have nothing to worry about because we have covered everything you should know beforehand.

Anyone can dance ballet

We are not just saying this for the sake of it. We mean it. Your age, skill level, gender, or height is not a barrier. Ballet is not for five-year-olds in frilly tutus and tiaras. Unless that is what you want to wear. In which case, more power to you.

Pick your classes

Learn everything you can about ballet, the classes you want to join, and the instructors you want to use. The right instructors will help you dance with minimal risk of injuries. At Ballet for Women, we offer various classes for different levels, all designed to help adult ballet students to reach their potential, but also feel comfortable before, during and after every class. Depending on your age, weight, and fitness levels, you may want to work on the basics for a while before going on to a faster-paced class.

Hair and clothes for ballet class

To be clear, you do not need to wear a tutu, leotard, or even tights. T-shirts and leggings are good enough. You can also wear sports tops to ballet class. You can still go with a more traditional ballet look and wear leotards. It is all up to you. We advise students to tie their hair up and keep it out of their faces. The ‘ballet bun’ is commonly associated with ballet, but you will find many of our students and instructors wearing braids and ponytails. As long as your hair is tied up, you will be fine.

Ballet shoes

Can you dance ballet without ballet shoes?  Some of our clients prefer socks or bare feet. Socks can be risky depending on the kind of floor you are using. You do not want to risk falling on a slippery floor and incurring unnecessary injuries. Try dancing barefoot before you splurge on ballet shoes. You may find that you do not need them anyway. Try them on before committing to a purchase.

How to prepare for a ballet class

Especially in colder weather, our clients wear shrugs, cardigans, leg warmers, and wrap cardigans before class and at the start of class. These are ‘warm-up’ clothes that they wear before/during warm-up exercises. The warm-up exercises include calf stretches, head rolls, and jogging on the spot, etc. These exercises help prepare the body for the class itself. Tracksuits and sweatshirts are good too but without a hood.

What to bring to your ballet class

Hydration is what keeps you going in ballet class. Have a bottle at hand before you log into Zoom. Most ballet classes include strength and core work that often requires a yoga mat or exercise mat. Invest in one and come with it to class.

You’ll also need a barre to do the first portion of class. Here are some great options. Alternatively, a countertop or sturdy chair at hand will double as the ballet barre.

Other tips

You don’t need to know any fancy vocabulary, but if you want to prepare, you can avoid getting ballet terminology mixed up by brushing up on terms and steps that you can find on YouTube, for example. Still, remember that your teachers is available at any time in the lesson to answer your questions.

Never hesitate to ask a question when you need clarification. Never feel intimidated by more experienced dancers. Everyone had to start somewhere. Practice makes perfect. You must be kind and patient with yourself. We aim to provide a warm and welcome atmosphere for beginners to dance comfortably.