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Written by: Shireen

Try to escape the rat race, only once out of the office, stress, into the traffic, stress, find a parking bay, stress, change into a flurry of pink, the doors open, piano music fills the air, and its adult ballet class time! Music introduction, counts 3 and 4 arm through 1st to 2nd and DESTRESS

Most adults whom venture back to this perfectionistic art form either attempted it as a child or werent allowed to attend classes. However, the intrigue, the passion, their heart song never subsided within their souls.

As a teacher you need to understand how a particular adult internalizes information and thereafter practice, practice, practice. This is the really hard part. As working individuals, time is a scarce resource and often the things that lift our spirits are often neglected. Classes are managed with blackberrys and make up lessons are discussed. But for a very few, the world could cease to exist and ballet and only ballet will make all the evils disappear. These are the special elite students, whom push their limits at every class. They want to know why they arent improving and when can they do their next exam and especially, when can I start pointe?

Pointe work, that which alludes to the ethereal and sets ballet apart from other dance genres. Can adults do it? Should they be doing it? The answer is mixed if you speak with other teachers, but I have found the answer to be a resounding YES.

As teachers, the concerns of pointe as pertaining to a pubescent are dispelled for adults, however different concerns do exist. If the basic technique is being applied correctly and assimilated then why not! Some take to like year old penguins at the waters-edge, and others are Mumble!

Now what was it that Einstein said about the brain and something about 10%?! Well, come to a ballet class, not only neurons and memory empowered, co-ordination, muscle tone is improved (in some cases weight loss is radical), musical appreciation is developed and a language is absorbed. Yes, French terminology as required by ballet is par for course. An aspect, which is impacted, is the adult dancers appreciation of dance. Professional performances are viewed with a new set of eyes. The eye of the beholder is adoring of the feats achieved by the performing dancers, but they are also critical and quickly dissect each movement and internalize how they can improve their own dancing.

Critical to the teacher of dance is for him/her to be honest with his/her students. Chances of being engaged to any dance troupe are non-existent and even less so are the chances of looking like Anja, Kitty or Iian. To quote Ramon either you got it or not. The love for dance and ballet in particular doesnt have to be abandoned because we may not achieve the ideal and it is for this very reason that my course has new recruits joining every 8 weeks.

For more information on Adult Ballet classes, contact Shireen on 071 232 6827


DanceDirectory (Written by Shireen for DanceDirectory)


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