So in my last post I asked for responses about what you wished you had asked before your first Ballet class. I got some really useful responses from you all and I decided to post some up in a post here. I’ve highlighted some of the points that seemed the most useful to me pre-lesson.
James (aka DancingGeek)
Q: Do we get to have fun? A: YES!
Q: Does it matter what I wear? A: Not for the first few weeks.
Q: Will people judge me? A: Anyone who is, isn’t paying attention to themselves, so you are automatically a better dancer than them – cause you’ll be concentrating on your own stuff, right?
Q: Can I hurt myself? A: Yes. So listen to your body and your teacher.
Q: Where should I get changed (as a guy)? A: Wherever, let other people deal with what they do and don’t want to see.
Q: What if I need the toilet? A: Just discretely walk out, you’re an adult. And try to remember to go beforehand next time.
Q: What if I kick someone? A: Don’t try and stop yourself, seriously, you’ll end up causing yourself a nasty injury. It doesn’t really hurt them that much. Just don’t do it on purpose, m’kay?
Q: Will it hurt? A: If it hurts during an exercise – stop and ask the teacher. If it hurts the following day, celebrate the happy pain!
I’m not sure what I would have asked but I know what I wish someone would have told me:
1. Embrace being a beginner. Everyone had to start sometime. Being a beginner is okay.
2. Yes, everyone is looking & no, nobody cares. Every one else is just as self-conscious as you are, even the people acting cool – probably them most of all.
3. Dance is not a spectator sport. Even when you are positive that you cannot get into a position even remotely close to correct, do it anyway. It’s the only way to get remotely close to doing it correctly.
4. Everyone learns differently. Don’t be afraid to take an amount of initiative and figure out what works for you. Make your learning a partnership with your teacher.
Most of all, relax & enjoy the journey!
Try to remember that as an adult beginner, your mind is capable of grasping far more than a child or teen beginner, but that does not mean that mechanical maturity follows. Be patient with yourself if the ability of your mind and body do not coincide for a while. You may be able to do something in your head, but not physically at first. Take your time and don’t get down on yourself. Mastery will come with time and repetition. Repetition is your friend. Repetition = muscle memory
jorrdanlewiss (on Twitter)
Review ballet terms it will help WONDERS if you know what tendu, ronde de jambe are. Also if/when you go over glissades and sissoants I HIGHLY recommend if you don’t get it to ASK ASK ASK it will only confuse you.
Thanks again to everyone who responded – it certainly did help, and if anyone wants to add anything to the post feel free to comment below! Also, after having my first lesson yesterday I’m hoping to post about it later today so keep an eye out!
Until next time, keep dancing!