I started taking ballet when I was five. I gradually added tap and jazz, but ballet was always my favorite. Going to the dance studio throughout grade school, high school, college and even when I got a nine to five job was a great way to clear my head and de-stress.
Now that I’m an adult with a family, that still holds true. I make going to ballet class a priority for a number of reasons. Going to ballet class sets a good example for my kids. It shows them that when you grow up you still need exercise and that taking time for yourself is healthy.
In addition to setting a good example, taking ballet class also helps me to do the steps I ask my students to do. I’ve been teaching for about 30 years now and I find it very important to take class myself and be able to demonstrate the positions and combinations for my students. I may not have the same stamina I used to have or be able to leap as high as I used to, but I try to improve in other areas, such as turnout, extension and pointe.
On a good day, it takes me a half an hour to get to Suzanne’s ballet class. Some days, when it’s snowy or the tights seem a bit too tight, I think about skipping a week, but then I remember why I go – to stay limber, to teach, to keep my mind sharp. It’s like medicine. And after class is done, I always feel like I’ve accomplished something and I’m glad I went. When I do have to miss, I am not happy. And if I have to miss two or three weeks in a row, I get downright cranky. Luckily, Suzanne offers several options for adults to get their “ballet therapy.”
Going to ballet class as an adult is also a great social outlet. There is a certain camaraderie dancers, ballet dancers in particular, share and a certain craving for sweat and sore muscles that can be satiated no where else but at the barre and understood by no one else but by another dancer.
Ballet – it’s good medicine!