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Adult ballet: Begin ballet as an adult

Learn ballet at any age.
Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Is it too late to begin ballet if you are an adult? It is never too late learn ballet. Adults of all ages and fitness levels are discovering the benefits of ballet exercise for overall health and fitness. Adult ballet classes are growing in popularity as an exercise option. Taking a ballet class can be a fun way to exercise and improve flexibility.

Many people think there are age restrictions to starting ballet or that you need a certain level of physical fitness to pursue it. You can learn ballet at any age and fitness level. You don't need to be naturally flexible to participate either. The dance movements will improve your flexibility. Ballet can be a lifelong activity.

Types of Adult Ballet Classes

There are two types of adult ballet classes - workout and technique. The trend for ballet exercise to gain a dancer fit body has led to many ballet barre workout classes for adults. If you truly want to learn ballet technique, inquire about the class curriculum before enrolling to make sure you are in a technique-focused class rather than a ballet workout one.

Adult ballet classes are sometimes hard to find. Some studios invite adult students to join their teen beginner and intermediate classes. Other studios offer true adult ballet classes for people over 18. Many of the adult ballet classes are mixed level, with students ranging from beginner to intermediate. Sometimes, the mixed level adult classes may also include advanced dancers. Teachers of mixed level classes are mindful of teaching to each level in the class. Mixed level classes may seem intimidating at first to a beginner, but they can also be inspiring because you can learn from the more advanced dancers dancing beside you. You may even learn more than you would in an all beginner class.

Dance studios may offer adult ballet classes in an open recreational program or as a regular part of their season with an option to participate in their recital. In open recreational programs, the tuition is often less than the child/teen rate, and may be offered in a punch card system. Punch card systems typically allow you to purchase 10 classes per card, and give you greater flexibility in case you can't commit to an entire semester. Most adult ballet classes are 60 minutes (one hour) long, but some studios offer 75 or 90 minute classes.

Adult Ballet Classes in Grand Rapids

If you live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Greater Grand Rapids area has a number of options for adult ballet classes. Grand Rapids studios offering adult ballet classes include:

  • Balletmore Dance Studio: Balletmore offers adult ballet classes that teach ballet technique twice a week during the fall/winter season, and also has a 6-week summer adult ballet workshop. Equal time is given to both barre and center work. The Saturday 9 am class is taught by Balletmore Artistic Director Melanie Anderson Brossiet, a former Grand Rapids Ballet principal dancer and former Grand Rapids Ballet School faculty member. Classes are small and friendly in a mixed level environment. Each level is given equal attention and time. The tuition is a punch card system. Balletmore is located at 2335 Burton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506, across the street from Breton Village Mall. For information on the current adult ballet class schedule, visit the Balletmore website or call 616-307-3561.
  • Care Conservatory of Ballet: The Creative Arts Repertoire Ensemble (CARE) Conservatory of Ballet, founded by former Grand Rapids Civic Ballet principal dancer, Judy Genson, has adult ballet classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced students during the fall/winter season. Care Ballet has a 12 class punch card system for adult students. Care Ballet is located at 2661 29th Street SE, Suite 1 Grand Rapids, MI 49512, near the 28th Street Schuler's Books & Music. Call 616-464-3682 or visit the Care Ballet website to learn about the current adult ballet class schedule.
  • Dance Dimensions: Dance Dimensions offers teen ballet classes that are open to adults. The classes are offered twice a week during the fall/winter season. The ballet classes are mixed level and the teachers teach to each level in the class. Adult students enroll in a class for an entire season and pay tuition in monthly installments. Dance Dimensions is on the Northeast side at 5175 Plainfield NE, Suite C, Grand Rapids, MI 49525, near Sweetland Fine Homemade Candies. Call 616-363-0888 or visit the Dance Dimensions website to find out the current schedule for adult ballet classes.

Call dance studios in your area to find out if they offer adult ballet classes or allow adults to enroll in teen beginner ballet classes. Even if a studio doesn't currently offer an adult class, express your interest in one and they may consider adding one in the future. Some studios may also offer private lessons to adult ballet students even if classes aren't available.

Succeeding in Adult Ballet Class

You can learn ballet and learn it well whether you can barely touch your toes, or have almost achieved your splits when you first enter a ballet class. Ballet exercise can offer health benefits, such as improved muscle strength and greater flexibility, to people of all fitness levels and ages. Attending each class, listening to the teacher, putting forth your best effort, and practicing at home will help you progress. Everyone progresses in ballet at different rates, but any progress is a success. Celebrate each success and keep working. If you work hard and keep attending ballet classes regularly, you will be amazed at how much you will learn over time.

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