Ballet is the foundation of all dance — which makes it pretty darn important! Every tendu, port de bras, and battement builds a dancer’s core strength that’s used for other forms of dance and physical activity.
And though ballet is the foundation of all dance, it doesn’t mean you can’t start with other types of dance; nor does it mean you can only enroll in your first ballet class as a child. No matter if you’re interested in enrolling your kindergartner in their first ballet class, or if you are looking for a new way to get some exercise at the age of 30, there are benefits to starting ballet at any age.
This article is the first in our series about what to expect when you start dancing ballet at every stage of life, and we’re going to start in reverse by focusing first on adults who want to take the leap into the world of ballet.
When You Start Dancing Ballet as an Adult
While it may seem daunting to step into the dance studio for the first time, beginning adult ballet classes are actually quite easy-going and provide a no-judgment zone for learning. No matter if you’re 18 or 48 (or older!), in-shape or looking for an exercise outlet, starting ballet as an adult is a lot easier than it may seem on paper … and provides some hidden gem benefits.
Experience Your “Nutcracker Fantasy”
Few dancers are lucky enough to get the opportunity to perform in The Nutcracker or other professionally choreographed ballets. And not everyone has had the opportunity to see a live ballet. The age of the internet and streaming media services has awarded us the gift of being able to easily watch dancers perform the “Waltz of the Sugar Plum Fairy” right in our living rooms or from the palm of our hands — sometimes instilling a need in us to flounce right along with them.
If you’ve ever felt the need to live out your own “Nutcracker fantasy,” then you should definitely give an adult ballet class a try. While our instructors won’t teach specific passes from this long-standing holiday tradition, they will give you the same experience all ballet dancers have: A full barre, center barre, petite and grande allegros, and at least two stage performance opportunities each year.
Get Low-Impact, Heart-Healthy Exercise
While it’s true that pointe is hard on feet, ankles, and knees, soft shoe ballet actually provides excellent exercise that’s both great for joints and your heart. Ballet — and especially beginner adult ballet classes – will get your heart rate up enough for you to feel it, but it won’t leave you gasping for air.
The time spent at the barre not only works through technique, but also ensures your entire body is stretched and ready to dance to help prevent injury. Unlike popular group fitness classes such as HIIT, ballet (when danced in soft shoes) is low-impact and won’t put a lot of pressure on aging joints; additional benefits of any low-impact exercise include lower risk of diabetes, stronger bones, and even a healthier heart.
Increase Energy Levels
Our adult ballet students have expressed having more energy overall, as well as finding daily movements (like getting off the floor, bending down to pick things up, and going up the stairs) much easier than before dancing ballet.
Taking dance (at any age) stretches and lengthens muscles, which makes way for great flexibility. As we get older, our flexibility wanes and is difficult to recoup; dancing ballet as an adult will give you weekly opportunity to not only learn how to find your flexibility again, but also practice it and reap the benefits.
Make New Friends
One thing the older adults in your life never told you is: Making friends as an adult is hard. Many of us grownups work 40+ hours each week and spend the rest of our time taking care of other obligations and sleeping. That leaves very little time to keep up with friends, or start new relationships with other adults we choose to spend time with. So when you enroll in an adult ballet class, you know you’re among like-minded people who share a curiosity — if not a passion — with you; you’re setting aside time to make new friends.
Don’t know where to start? We have ballet classes near you!
Only at Omaha School of Music & Dance will you find ballet classes for every age and skill level — literally. Our rockstar dance teachers are trained in both classical and modern ballet styles, so every ballet class level is designed to give our dance students a well-rounded experience and thorough ballet education.
Our kids’ ballet classes start at age two, so if you have a kiddo with ants in their pants or has expressed an interest in ballet, consider enrolling them in dance! And did you know OSMD has one of the largest adult dance programs in the Omaha Metro? We offer both beginner adult ballet (for those of you who have always wanted to try it!) and advanced adult ballet for dancers with previous ballet experience.
Come dance with us! We’re now enrolling for ballet and our other dance classes. Here’s how to learn more and register: