Adult Ballerina Profile: Emilee Ayers

10679831_10202366864563152_5848099646574163555_oThis week’s profile is of Emilee Ayers. Check out her blog, Everything I need to know about life, I learn in dance class, too!

When did you start doing ballet as an adult?

October of 2011 (I was 23)

Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

for two years at 6 and 7, then again at 10 and 11. But I was taught in correctly and ineffectively. (I didn’t know the names of any movement whatsoever save for an arabesque.

Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

Despite knowing the names of nothing, they said I could get on pointe in two years. (this studio let anyone on at a certain age. I’m glad I didn’t stay.) It had been my dream since I was a kid to dance on pointe, but my mom pulled me out of dance when I started gaining weight due to puberty and didn’t take me seriously when I wanted to go back.

Where do you take classes?

Munro Ballet Studios and I’m an apprentice with the Corpus Christi Ballet

What is your favorite part about ballet?

I absolutely love the history and tradition behind it. It blows my mind to know that so many people have done the same thing I’m doing and learned the same technique that i’m learning. I feel like I’m part of a special group of people that consists of people from all over the world. Ballet is a universal language. I also love how it makes me feel. I am most alive when I’m dancing.Continue Reading

Beginner Ballerina Profile: Jessica Bloxom

10885402_10102013620794694_2683103836041901678_nThis week’s profile is of Jessica Bloxom. Read on to hear why she picked up ballet in December!

When did you start doing ballet as an adult?

I’m 31, and I just started December 2014.

Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

I took ballet, tap, jazz, and gymnastics from ages 4-9. I had to stop because of what a huge commitment dance is.

Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

I always regretted stopping dance and got jealous when I saw dancers who were my age and still doing it. I honestly thought it was impossible to start again as an adult, but I googled “adult ballet class” one day and was surprised to find a class down the street from me. It seemed like fate. I read all the articles on this site before going to my first class, so I felt like I wasn’t alone.

Where do you take classes?

The Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance. Its in Wilmington, Delaware. My teacher also teaches a beginner class at our YMCA, so I take that once a week.

What is your favorite part about ballet?

All of it! I love wearing pink tights and a leo again. I slept with my ballet slippers the first night I bought them because I was so excited to have slippers again. I love stretching. I love petit allegro and the end of class reverence curtsies. I love how pretty it looks. I love that its in French. Ballet is unique in that you work diligently on all of these little details to perfect them: tucked in, thumbs down, heel presented, chin up etc, and the result is a beautiful without revealing the efforts. I love losing myself in concentration on the details and seeing the results.

What is your least favorite part?

Honestly, the cost. I wish I could afford to take a class every day. I also am not too keen on putting my leg on the bar and plie-ing my supporting leg.

Who/What is your ballet inspiration?

My teacher is inspiring because she started ballet again as an adult when she was 31 also. Again, its fate! My fellow students inspire me so much too.

What motivates you to keep dancing?

My fellow students. When I see one of the more advanced ones practicing double pirouettes or getting better extensions on her grand jete, I just can’t wait to get there! I also want to try en pointe so so so very much.

Do you take any other dance classes?

I took a jazzercise class for a couple years after my son was born, and that made me realize how much I really do love dance. I would really love to try jazz or lyrical.

What are your hobbies outside of ballet?

I am a runner too. I’ve been running since I was 13, and I run races with my husband. We just entered the lottery for the NYC marathon. I teach chemistry and fancy myself to a mad scientist, emphasis on mad. I love cooking and am an avid traveler. I lived in Germany for three years and spent a Summer volunteering with children in South Africa.

What advice would you like to give to those who want to start ballet or have just started?

If you want to do it, do it! There’s no substitution for the way dancing makes you feel! Also, if you just started, be kind and patient with yourself because your classmates should be kind and patient too. I’ve found my classes to be so hugely supportive of everyone who takes this courageous leap and tries a ballet class for the first time. The more the better, and everyone there had their first class horror stories. The more you mess up, the more you can learn. I appreciate hearing other dancers’ corrections too, so even if you’re the weakest link in class, you’re benefiting the class.

Beginner Ballerina Profile: Kilee

IMG_0056Kilee started taking dance classes as a college student after in college to fill her schedule, but didn’t take ballet right away. Once she did, she fell in love with it.
When did you start doing ballet as an adult?
I started in January 2011. I was 24.

Did you ever take lessons as a kid?
I took 1 year of ballet and tap but didn’t like going.

Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?
I needed extra hours in college to keep my status as a full-time student so I took a few dance classes. I didn’t take ballet at first because it didn’t fit my schedule. The following semester I did and I’ve loved it ever since.

Opus II Dance Studio

130 East Main Street
Ashland, Ohio 44805

http://www.opusdancestudio.com/

opusARB@zoominternet.net

419-289-3581

Classes offered: Ballet, pointe, Jazz, Modern, Tap

Description via website: “Opus II Dance Studio teaches dance as a performing art. Our curriculum is based upon a sound background in ballet technique, adding elective subjects for the purpose of expanding style and skill.”

 


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Houston Metropolitan Dance

2808 Caroline
Houston, TX 77004

http://www.houstonmetdance.org/

info@houstonmetdance.org

713.522.6375

Classes offered: Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Contemporary, Modern, Hip Hop, Broadway, Theater, Yoga

Description via Website: “Founded in 1995, the Houston Metropolitan Dance Center is arts and educational organization. Located in Midtown, the center is committed to the development of dance using movement as a learning tool. Through our training center, Educational outreach program, scholarship program, and Professional Company, Houston Met strives to contribute to the vitality and diversity of Houston’s dance community in order to enhance the quality of life of individuals as well as make significant contributions to our greater society.”


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Reviews:

Metropolitan Dance company moved into its new studio space this month (June 2013) and although there is still some dust and a few kinks need to be worked out, this place shows promise of being a 10-star studio once everything gets settled.

Conveniently located in Houston’s Midtown, the new facility includes four spacious studios with excellent lighting and drop floors that are friendly to a variety of shoes. There are two ample waiting areas for hanging out before and after class, and the large restrooms even have shower facilities.

This is a big improvement over their previous location, which was unique and quirky, but outdated and not up to handling the volume of students, which increases with each passing year. Space in the children’s classes is highly coveted, and promising students have a pipeline into the Met Too Youth Company. Adult classes include a cohort-based intro classes for beginners, and drop-in classes in ballet, jazz, modern, tap, and hip-hop. The atmosphere is friendly and supportive, with all ages, backgrounds and dance goals welcome.

Anyone who loves to dance can find their niche at the Houston Met!

8 out of 10

–Ann