Indulging My Inner Little Girl; Adult Ballet Class

A new Soul Cycle went in near me and of course I love my Pelaton for spinning at home.  But one day recently, I decided to go out on a limb and try something new.  I really made a leap, no pun intended, and tried an adult ballet class.

Before you start laughing, you have to know that besides Mary Tyler Moore, as referenced in my blog How and Why I started blogging, I always wanted to be a ballerina growing up.

adult-ballet-ballerina

So, I found this place (thank you google) and I drove ridiculously far on a Sunday afternoon using my GPS to finally find this little spot in Katy, Texas.  I was wearing what the lady on the phone told me…..some workout leggings and a loose top and carrying my swell bottle.

When I got there, ladies of all ages were already changing from street shoes to ballet slippers and donning sheer wrap around skirts.

adult-ballet-feet-on-point

Two former Houston Ballet ballerinas were manning the front desk where I filled out a form and paid for one lesson ($20)

One tall and perfectly straight girl working at the front offered me information about class subscription packages but I told her I was just going to “see how it goes.”  I moved to a bench and took off my shoes to socks and followed the ladies into the class.  All of them took spots along the wall or in the center of the room holding a bar.

I copied them.

Our teacher introduced herself and asked if there were any new students.  I shyly put my hand up in the back of the room.

At first, we were doing things that didn’t take much concentration, just tapping our firm leg in a point out front and then to the side and then behind while holding our backs stiff and heads high.  It is much easier to keep your tummy in while standing this way and I felt instantly taller.

Adult Ballet Class

Her rhythmic voice calling out the exercises and the classical music was meditative and my mind began to wander.  “She is so tall and strong,” I thought, “I wonder how long she’s done ballet? Does she like teaching these classes or is this where all washed up ballerinas end up some day?  Gosh, I’d like to have legs like that.  She’s like a muscle-y stick!”

“AND done”  she chimed out louder, “Good everybody, ok now lets work on our dance.  We are going to add some steps today. ”

Panic.  Add steps, oh gosh should I run now?  Say I stubbed my toe? or need to go to the bathroom and just take my whole handbag with me? Yikes!

Too late.  They moved the portable bars out of the center of the room and now the room was cleared for a dance floor and everybody was spreading out.  I was suddenly aware of how athletic my clothes looked next to these women in their “ballet kit” but who cares.  Right?

Anyway, I tried to keep up while we bent and flowed in an open toe version of a pretty squat with arms sweeping to the classical music.  It was clear that everyone knew what to do but I just followed as best as I could.  We stepped and twirled and followed our lovely muscle-y stick teacher to the violins like we were a cast onstage together.

adult-ballet-ballerinas-on-stage

Older, younger, all shapes of bodies and yet…the ladies looked suddenly graceful and truly beautiful as they met and merged with the dance.  My legs were burning and my arms were more exhausted than when I had had to hold them out straight in first grade by the window when I got in trouble for talking.

We worked on our dance over and over while she added steps each time.  By the time class was done, I had some familiarity with the whole thing.

adult-ballet-girls-in-class

Ballet doesn’t take weights but my muscles and brain were exhausted and I patted my face like the others from the lady like version of sweat.

I truly had fun and in a wave of enthusiasm, spent $25 on actual ballet slippers at the front desk but declined the packages once again.  I said goodbye to my new ballet class friends as though we were leaving a show for the night.

The truth is I haven’t been back and the slippers are still in the box but if I could pull that class just a little closer to my house, I would be there indulging my inner little girl every week!  I was sore for days!  Thank you Ballet and Pilates by Victoria !  Actually, I think I’m going to go get those slippers out of the box to wear around my house.

adult-ballet-girls-in-blue

Anyone else have a secret love of ballet besides me?  Have you gone out on a limb lately?  How do you indulge your inner little girl?  Share in the Comment box at the bottom of this page.

Best,

Ivy

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12 thoughts on “Indulging My Inner Little Girl; Adult Ballet Class”

  1. Hi Ivy,
    I loved reading about your “indulgence” and encourage you to go back. If you find something inside the beltway please share! I wish there were more dance classes for women our age. Dancing is not just for fitness, posture, and toning, but also for balance (see https://www1.udel.edu/PT/PT%20Clinical%20Services/journalclub/noajc/09_10/May10/litreviewdance.pdf). Balance training can help lower the risk of falling, which in general we should try to avoid (see https://nihseniorhealth.gov/falls/aboutfalls/01.html). So whether it be ballet, ballroom, flamenco, or salsa, Let’s Dance!

  2. Ivy,
    Your blog is brilliant! You’re the inner voice for so many of us going through the same seasons in life right now. Thanks for your inspiration, creative ideas, encouraging others to find their passion and calming words of wisdom! I too remember you when you were a London Girl! You’ve always worn your heart on your sleeve and that’s what makes you so special!

    1. Thank you Julie! I’m so grateful for the encouragement. Writing a blog, going to ballet, I think it’s my era of exploration. Arent we all still growing and learning? Thank you for joining us and for your thoughts!

  3. I had no idea this existed! I did ballet for many years (age 3 through college), but haven’t donned ballet slippers and a leotard in quite some time. I’ve thought about trying to find something like this through the years, but now that my ballet dancer figure is gone, I’ve been afraid I would be the only non-muscley stick in the room. 😀 How nice to see that there are women of all shapes and sizes. Must investigate!

  4. Hi Ivy,

    A friend sent me this post. How wonderful you went to an adult ballet class! I’m a former professional dancer, But I stopped in my late 20s to focus on other stuff. Finally, in my early 40’s made my way back to ballet and fell in love all over again. It’s the best exercise in the world, for body, mind and soul!

    Now, at 60, I don’t go as often as I’d like, but when I do, feel reborn each time.

    BTW, I often just take the barre. It’s okay to leave at that point.

    1. Laurel!! I love your blog! I’m so thrilled to hear from you on mine. Thank you for reaching out and telling me your back story. I know my readers will love connecting with you too.

  5. Thank you dearest Ivy,
    I too went out on a limb and enrolled in a creative writing class as I have always wanted to write children’s books. I am so excited and can’t wait for my first class. I am beginning to do now what I have always been waiting to do, always waiting for the right time, right moment. I have decided the right time is going to be the now time. Wohoo!

  6. Loved your ballet blog today! Made me smile. I just finished watching an amazing documentary called “Dancer” about a Ukrainian born dancer named Sergei Polunin who became the youngest principle dancer for the Royal Ballet in London. His life story of how he became a top dancer and all that his family sacrificed and what he went through was very compelling. He’s probably the best male dancer I have ever seen. Just wanted to pass along…

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