So, first off, I am no authority on Ballet. In fact, I’m the complete opposite – a beginner.

But that means I know what you’re going through. If you’re just about to start Ballet (especially if you’re a guy) then I know a lot of the questions, concerns and fears going through your head – because the same ones went through my head before my first class.

So here is a list of posts on this site that I think will help:

  • First off, check out Why I’m Trying Ballet – this will let you know all about why I’m trying Ballet, and hopefully make you think about why you’re doing it too.
  • Next up, if you’re a guy, check out Buying Ballet Apparel - this is about my first trip to buy some Ballet apparel, and hopefully give you the courage to go out and buy some yourself.
  • Before you take your first class I recommend Questions You Wish You Had Asked… - where some of my readers talk about the stuff they wish they had asked before their first ever class.
  • And finally, read all about my First Day Of Class - how I found it, what I learned, and what I did next.

After that – have a browse through my site, there’s posts about classes I’ve taken (and the different teaching styles I’ve encountered), there’s reviews of Ballets, there’s video clips of dancers I admire, there’s lists of Ballet items you might want to purchase – and if you leave me a comment I can do a post on a topic of your request! Maybe you want to know more about a certain aspect of class, what to do in certain situations, or something else entirely; if you ask, I will try my best to write about it!

As always, if you have any questions you can reach me at and good luck (or as they say in the Ballet world: Merde!) on your journey into Ballet. Hope you have as much fun as I’m having!



  1. Hi Dave,

    I’ve just turned 40 and decided that I need to take up a challenge that: A) takes me out of my comfort zone. B) keeps me fit and focused and C) Something that I’ll enjoy.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s ballet that I’d really like to give a go as I’ve always had an admiration of the strength, agility and grace of male dancers. In my research into looking for a class I came across your site and have found it inspiring to say the least!!

    So my question to you is this: Am I being a complete loon in wanting to give it a go at my age and will I find myself looking like I’m in the throws of a midlife crisis by other class members? I’m finding it exciting and scary at the same time but nervous that I’ll end up making a tit of myself once I start! I take it that this is normal?

    Do you also have any schools in London that you could recommend?

    Anyway, keep up the good work mate, you’re doing a cracking job!


    • Hi Ricky!

      Thanks for you comment – in short, my advice is to give it a go! You certainly won’t find yourself out of place at whatever age! (I’ve been in classes where the age has, quite literally, ranged from 10 to 90 plus everything in between!). It’s completely normal to feel a little apprehensive about making a fool of yourself in a class (I’ll let you into a secret – I still feel like that before quite a lot of classes!). Best thing to do is to try and find a beginner’s course at a studio – try talking to places like DanceWorks or Pineapple to see if they offer any series of classes. That way you can slowly get up to speed and know that most people in the class will also be complete beginners.

      Good luck and let me know how it goes!


      • Aright Dave,

        Thanks for your words of wisdom – I’ve signed up for a two week introduction course at Morley College in July and will see how it goes! Tights, dance belt and slippers are all on order and just started reading a copy of Ballet for Dummies!
        I’m really looking forward to it now. Is there anything else you’d advise preparation wise that I could do in the lead up to the start of the course?

        Rickster x

  2. Hi Dave,

    I am 57 and in good shape. I just signed up for a beginner ballet class at the Y. The class begins in about 6 weeks. Any advise on what exercises to do before the 1st class? I enjoy your site.


    • Hi Stewart,

      Congrats on signing up for your first set of ballet classes! My main advice to prepare for them is to not really prepare :) I would do a bit of basic stretching (especially things like your hamstrings) but otherwise I’d just go and enjoy the class! Any fitness work will be beneficial for the class, but you needn’t feel like you need to ‘prepare’. You can check out my “Where to Start?” post for some more pointers on starting ballet as an adult:

      Good luck and let me know how it goes!


      • Hi Dave,
        I have attended 2 classes so far and I really enjoyed them. It is an adult class at the Y with 2 women and me. We went through so much stuff that my head was spinning. The instructor is a very patient woman and spends time with us going through things slowly. We spend the first half of the class doing barre work and other stretching. The second half of the class is spent on actual dance moves. After class I am tired but feel like I had a good workout. When I went to go to sleep after claws
        I felt a tingling in my legs. It wasn’t painful it was more of a I never used those muscles type of feeling. After the second class I felt it but not as much. I try and practice and stretch at home as much as I can. I am so glad I took the class and feel welcomed by the instructor and the others in the class. After the first class my wife got me a bouquet of flowers. My only regret is that it took me so long to finally do it. I hope other men will follow their interests. My advice is don’t be a male ballet dancer wannabe. Be a male ballet dancer.

        One question for you and anyone else nice enough to answer. What is a good stretch to do for lifting your leg higher in the rear as in arabesques? Enjoying my start as a male ballet dancer.

        • Thanks for the update Stewart! I’m so glad you seems to be enjoying class so much – keep up the good work!

          As for arabesques – this is something I’ve struggled with a lot. One of the best exercises I find is to face the barre, tendu behind (away from the barre) making sure to concentrate on good turnout and technique. Then simply raise your leg as high as possible until you start to really feel a stretch. Repeat a few times on either side, and then I put one of my lower legs and knee flat on the barre and lean forward (like a pigeon stretch in yoga) to release my muscles. Apart from that I’m not sure what other stretches are particularly good – hopefully another reader might be able to help!

  3. I start the Fall Semester next week. Very excited about that. The class has 4-7 participants on any given day of which I am the only male. I can’t complain as the instructor and the women in the class are very accomadating. I wear glasses and do the class with a safety strap on. Normally do most students in ballet leave their glasses in the locker room? Just curious.

  4. Just started my second semester of ballet class. I have to get the terms down pat. I enjoy practicing at home and really do get a good feeling when I know I got it right. I wish I had started ballet lessons earlier.

  5. Hi Dave. I mentioned a few years back that I had taken up ballet and aerobics at the age of 57. Well those thinking of doing ballet later in life may be interested to know that not only have I danced ballet on stage, this year at the age of 60 I took my first ever ballet examination and gained a Distinction at ISTD Classical Ballet Standard 5. The examiner thought I was probably the oldest candidate ever to be examined for classical ballet by ISTD and I’m now lined up to take Standard 6. It’s never too late.

  6. Dave, Welcome to the SF Bay Area dance world! Bravo to you and all the dancers who are starting ballet as adults! I hope you don’t mind a female posting here. I began classical ballet three years ago at 55, and have been on pointe now for a year. I was thrilled to perform as a party adult in our studio’s Nutcracker this month. I take class in Santa Clara.
    As for the arabesque, Stewart, always go for length of the leg and good turn out and alignment rather than height. The yoga pose swan stretch is good to help loosen up the back and the height will come in time. Core strength (abs, obliques and back) is key in holding arabesque (or anything really!). If you can find a floor barre class it can help build all of this correctly. And I love that your wife gave you flowers after your first class. So sweet!


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