Guest post: 5 tips for starting ballet as an adult

I’m thrilled to have my first guest blogger. One #Elf4Health challenge is to share your expertise and we decided to do blog swapss. Kristen blogs at Adult Ballerina Project and is sharing tips for adults who are just starting or just getting back into ballet. (Check out my post with running tips over on her blog, as well!)

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Back in March 2011, I had the crazy idea that I wanted to start doing ballet. Living in a city, I had roughly a dozen options for dance classes–but admittedly, they all terrified me. I avoided committing to a class for a while until, one day, my boyfriend and I stopped by a dance store in Center City Philadelphia and ended up buying a pair of ballet slippers. Now that I had bought ballet slippers, I knew I had to go to class.

Fast-forward to a few months later when I committed to a regular schedule of classes at my current dance studio, Major Moment. I then started my blog, Adult Ballerina Project, to document my experiences as well as the experiences of others. While I’m by no means a ballet expert, I know a fair amount about beginning ballet as an adult as well as finding ballet studios that are right for you and working out using ballet at home. Here’s some tips I’ve learned over the past two years:

  1. Don’t Be Afraid: Find a studio that offers beginner ballet classes, and don’t be terrified or nervous. You probably won’t get everything at first, but it’s okay, everyone started out as a beginner. It helps if you find a ballet teacher that’s especially kind to beginners as well. Barre classes (which are rising in popularity) can also be a good way to get introduced into ballet-like movements if ballet isn’t available in your area.
  2. Try Different Studios: If you have the opportunity to try a few different ballet studios, go for it. I tried out a few different ones before I finally found one that worked with my schedule and my budget that was close to my home!
  3. Strengthen at Home: Ballet is tough, no doubt about it. I like to either do at home strengthening exercises (calf-raises, plie squats, ab exercises) or alternatively, Barre3 workouts or Ballet Beautiful workouts. All three are great for getting in ballet-shape!
  4. Build Your Own Barre: Even if you’re not going to be heading to a studio anytime soon, building your own barre can be extremely helpful for any at-home barre workout (like Barre3). Mine only cost me about $20 dollars and it’s about 100x better than using a chair for barre exercises at home. Plus, when your injured (like I currently am)–it makes a great makeshift clothes drying rack. I followed this guide.
  5. Be Patient: As with any new activity, be patient with yourself. Results aren’t going to come instaneously, and you’re not going to become a ballerina overnight. Give it a little bit of time and you’ll be amazed at how far you’ll progress!

Feel free to reach out to me anytime about ballet via my blog if you have any questions about starting ballet!

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