Adult Ballet Classes Are A Thing. And Surprisingly Body Positive!
When you think of ballet, what comes to your mind? If you instantly picture pink tutus and five year olds practicing at the barre, I would say you are part of a majority. The truth is that – for God knows how long – there has been a misconception about ballet being strictly for young girls. We are taught to believe that there is no way you can dance ballet unless you start as a child.
Until I started taking adult ballet classes for beginners (yep, those exist) I thought the same. Yet, if I have learned anything over the past two years, it’s that ballet is for everyone. I’ve learned that adult ballet is a way to be surrounded by supportive women while learning to love your body and care for it. Amazing.
5 ways in which adult ballet can change your life for good
1. You will feel invincible
Let’s cut to the chase. Once you start practicing ballet, you might not feel very confident. In my first class, I pretty much felt like a 90 year old, because everything hurt and nothing was beautiful. Trust me, it gets better! The discipline that ballet involves and the grace that you learn to acquire in every movement will make you feel like you can conquer the world.
2. You will learn to love every inch of your body
Body positivity and ballet are not usually associated. In fact, at first, you might feel exposed in your adult ballet classes: am I too chubby, too thin, too tall, too something for this?
You will learn to put these harmful thoughts away. It is no secret that ballet makes you use your body in ways that are challenging (to put it lightly), but that does not have to be a terrible thing. You will come to realize that you only have one body and if you want to be able to make progress, you need to take care of it and love it just the way it is.
3. You will get “that ballerina posture”
Everyone recognizes a ballet dancer when they see one: the perfect posture and penguin-like feet give it away. Of the numerous impacts that ballet has on one’s health, the posture acquired over time has to be one of the most rewarding ones. It is easy to adopt an incorrect back position when you spend hours at a desk working on your
computer. Fortunately, ballet forces you to be more aware of the way you stand, seat and walk in your daily life.
4. You will be surrounded by incredible women
Another popular myth is that ballet dancers are super competitive and mean to each other. That might be true to some extent for professional dancers, but still, not everyone is like Natalie Portman’s character in Black Swan. Someone who enrols at a dance school usually wants to dance for the pleasure of it, not compete with the other students.
Adult ballerinas really support each other. After all, they know the challenges that come alongside “forming your joints” when you are no longer a child and have a busy life outside the studio. It is tiresome, but we somehow manage to do it. Women united!
5. You will feel more relaxed
I know what you are thinking: if ballet is so hard a task, how will I be able to relax? Let me tell you! During a ballet class, regardless of how easy an exercise may look, you need to be completely focused on your body and co-ordinated with the music. This means that while dancing you cannot afford to be thinking about anything else. The stress of everyday life stays outside the door, and you just immerse yourself in the moment.
Ballet wasn’t something I expected to take on as an adult, but I find it so rewarding and empowering – and didn’t have to study ballet as a child to give it a try.