The Rehearsal by Edgar Degas

I take an adult beginner’s ballet class twice a week.  A lot of the students have taken ballet as teenagers or young children so they’re all really quite good.  I, on the other hand, came into ballet for the first time at age 32 and still struggle with my natural sense of clumsiness and lack of coordination.  Since I’ve moved to San Diego, I’ve only recently gotten back into it and it’s really hard.

One of the students in the class is a man.  Not only is he the only guy in our class, he’s also 60 years old and this is his first time doing ballet.  He’s amazingly flexible and has great natural turnout.  When I feel like I can’t motivate myself to pull on tights and a leotard and drive over to the studio, I remind myself that someone my dad’s age is hauling himself over to the class and is willing to struggle through it.

Another admirable man who’s taken up ballet is John Lowe.  He’s Britain’s oldest ballet dancer at 90 who is currently dancing with a professional dance company.  This grandfather of 11 starting taking lessons at 79, and after 9 years of classes, he auditioned and successfully landed a part in a production of Prokofiev’s The Stone Flower for the Lantern Dance Theatre Company.  He still practices three times a week in the studio and has installed a trapeze in his home to build up his strength.  It just goes to show you, you’re never too old to start something new.  Here’s a link to an article about his achievement.


4 responses to “Admirable

  1. Thank you for this posting. I took ballet as a little girl. I have always wanted to do it again. I actually never wanted to stop, so I don’t know why my parents pulled the plug; I’m going to ask my mom…I’m sure that she’ll have no answers. There are ballet for adults nearby me; one of these days I’ll actually go.

  2. I think you should get back into ballet. It’s an amazing workout for strengthening your body (I’m always really sore afterward) and for improving your balance.

    People who took ballet as young children definitely have an edge over someone who’s coming into it as an adult. I think you’ll find it a really rewarding experience.

  3. Next year I turn 30, actually I turn 30 in 3 months. My 30’s are going to be about facing things that intimidate me and ballet class is definitely one of those things. I have ballet shoes at home…so it’s just this mental block that I have.

  4. When I hit 30, I made it a goal to try all these hobbies I never got to try as a kid. I took ice skating lessons and ballet classes. The ballet stuck and I’m hoping to try horseback riding lessons soon.

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