ADULT BALLET DANCERS

Get to know some of the adult ballet community dancers and their inspiring stories!

ALLIE
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Im 30 years old and I live in Ohio. I started ballet when I was about 3 and continued through part of high school. I then took classes on and off for the next 10 years. At about 26, I decided to restart and really give Ballet my all. I was very alone living in a a new city and ballet helped wake me back up and made me feel alive again! Unfortunately I soon realized all the years of ballet I did in the past weren’t very helpful because I had been horribly trained and now had to unlearn a LOT of bad habits. I’m still working on those 4 years later and I’ve had to stop classes right now with my budget but I still dance at home and keep up my Instagram page as best I can. I can’t wait for the day when I get to meet and dance with all of my new adult ballet community friends!
VERONIKA
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I am 39 years old, and I’ve been dancing now for about 11 years. I have had 3 surgeries on my left knee and had to stop dancing as much for about 2 years, and I am still struggling with it.
I started to dance ballet when I was 26. I never had the idea before, because I thought, I am too fat for it and I would never be graceful and talented enough for this high art…those were my thoughts… and the first 6 months of trying it, I missed many classes because of not feeling well with all that new stuff, I first danced 1,5 year in a t-shirt and sports pants. But after 1,5 years I totally begun to love it.
I realized that I am able to learn it, to understand the steps and express feelings with my movements to classical music. Now I love dancing ballet so so much for the following reasons:
1. Express feelings to classical music with my own interpretation (head, eyes, arms, legs, body language)
2. Class is always challenging because there is ALWAYS a way to do it better and better and better
3. In balllet everything is so pure, you can’t hide from the teacher, the students or yourself
4. I love the feeling of getting my muscles toned, tired and worked out
5. You do stretching and strength work at the same time
6. For me ballet is an art, not a sport or something else, it’s technically and expressive in both ways
7. Ballet is a life philosophy, an attitude of life, its hard work, its joy ,its love, its ME, it’s MY LIFE
IRMAK
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I am Irmak. I started ballet at a very early age in the first place, at 4 years old, and left the classes just because I could not watch my favourite cartoon which was aired during that time. My whole life spent with regretting that choice. Then, I told myself to stop regretting and do something about it. I searched through all of the courses I could go, I found an adult ballet course. I started at my 18. People really made fun of me, and some worried about me getting injured. Well, I actually injured myself but not because I was doing ballet but because of my genetic disorder called hyper-flexibility. I injured myself a couple times, before learning how to do the ballet accurately. Now I can do it without injuring myself, and even the doctor said it’s good to exercise my legs and make them stronger to not get injured. Even if he did not say that, neither my injuries nor the other people’s thoughts would have changed my mind about ballet. It is something that I need in my life, to get to know myself better, to have a peaceful mind. I don’t know how far I can go by starting as an adult, but that does not matter because now I know I am doing it for myself with passion, and I don’t want to spend more time regretting and complaining of what I am not capable of doing, but I embrace myself with anything I can achieve. I praise myself with being able to do what I actually wanted to do. I actually do not know how far I can go with ballet, however, ballet is now part of my life, and that’s what matters. I learned that if something makes me happy I will hold on with it regardless of any obstacles.

@irma_chan

 

NANCY

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My name is Nancy and I live in São Paulo Brazil. I’m a 49 year old ballerina doing classes for the first time since 2012 and with pointe shoes for almost 2 years. I always wanted to do ballet but didn’t have opportunity in childhood so it’s a lovely dream and great happiness for me! In this end of year show we are going to dance on pointe so it’s a mix of fear and excitement. If I do it with all my heart certainly it will be wonderful!

JULIE

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I started ballet at the age of 17. I was finishing up high school and really just wanted to do something really challenging, and different than music, which I had been doing my whole life. I was very uncoordinated and not athletic or graceful in the least, so I thought ballet would be the hardest thing I could try. Plus, I had gone to a couple of ballets with my mom over the years and remembered being mesmerized by the beauty of it all. After my first class, I was obsessed! I didn’t know where ballet would take me, but I just knew I had to keep doing it. It was the ultimate escape and an all-consuming mental exercise in striving for perfection. Over a decade later, and now I own my own ballet studio just for adults so I can serve the community that I love the most and have been so grateful to be a part of!
LUKE
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I am Luke, I am 27 and in recent years have become quite immersed in the world of Ballet. I began dancing rather late at the age of 22 after a family trip to see Northern Ballet’s Beauty and The Beast which inspired me to give Ballet a try and I have never looked back since. Ballet was the first dance style I tried and although it has led to me dancing other styles, it is still my favourite and is the style of dance I feel most comfortable dancing. I truly believe that Ballet is one of the most beautiful art forms and I am repeatedly mesmerised by its graceful appearance. As an Adult Dancer, the social element of being able to dance with like-minded people is very important to me and Ballet has given me numerous opportunities do just that. In what has been a reasonably short time, Ballet has enabled me to build confidence whilst also helping me to keep fit and although I wish I had started dancing when I was much younger, opportunities like those created through the Adult Ballet Community make me look forward too many more happy years of Ballet!
NINA
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My name is Nina, I am 29 and I never even imagined that I’d dance ballet, taking part in performances and that this art form will become a huge part of my life. But that’s what has happened over the last 5 years. And I think that I have found myself again. It feels like “you can’t be a professional but you must do your best” and I love all the challenging lessons and pushing myself. It’s addictive! I wish everyone one day can find something so special and live a more colorful life!
JAMIE
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I am forty-four years old and and have been formally taking ballet for over a year. My interest in ballet started in December of 2017 when I went to see the local company’s version of The Nutcracker and was instantly captivated. Ever since, I’ve maintained that I didn’t choose ballet; ballet chose me. Soon afterward, I tried to find a beginner adult class I could join, but started learning on my own in the mean time. I started taking class in August of 2017 and then later transitioned to private lessons with an instructor when the class I was taking dissolved due to lack of interest. What makes my perspective a bit different is that I have been blind since birth. I have faced a few challenges in learning ballet, but they have not been nearly as formidable as one might think. I have been blessed with two wonderful instructors who are open-minded and flexible but also hold me to the same level of expectation that they have for their other students. I have had three opportunities to perform for an audience thus far and look forward to the possibility for others in the future. One of my dream goals is to have a role in a performance of the Nutcracker since this is the ballet that first kindled my love for the art form.
ELISABETTA
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I’m an adult ballerina from Italy, I’m 26 years old and I started ballet 13 years ago. I love the adult ballet community because I think that our passion for this art is a great way to meet new people and have new ballet experiences!

NIKKI

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Hello Dancers! I’m Nikki from @BalletForAdults. My first career was as a professional dancer. Today, I am a family first, freelance artist in Chicagoland. I’ve been taking adult ballet classes for twelve years, and I teach workshops specifically designed for adults in ballet. I was first drawn to ballet because of its beauty. The older I get the more I want to express what connects ballet to fine art – my own journey as an artist and unexplored ways to highlight the creative aspect of ballet; what makes it art beyond exercise. For the adult ballet community, I want to help see that adult ballet dancers are respected and valued for their experience and their stories as individuals.

One thought on “ADULT BALLET DANCERS

  1. Jojo

    Absolutely loved reading all these stories about adult ballerinas all around the world! It’s so lovely to hear that there is such a vibrant and supportive community out there! xx

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