Why should you take ballet classes as an adult?

Audrey Hepburn desperately wanted to be a ballerina. From Diablo Ballet‘s Facebook page.

So why should you be taking ballet classes? You’re probably not going to become an actual ballerina (although Dave from Dave Tries Ballet started ballet at the age of 23 and is now doing pretty well and performs–check out his blog!). But, there are still several reasons to start taking ballet classes as a beginner. Truth is, people do ballet for all sorts of reasons (and your never too old!), and I’m looking forward to interviewing a bunch of fellow adult ballerinas to find out why they do it, and hopefully draw inspiration from them, and add them to this list. But, for now, here’s some of my own:

1. Ballet is great exercise. You probably already knew that, but ballet is a lot tougher than it looks. I was sore for days after my first class.

2. Ballet is fun. Running on the treadmill is boring. Other forms of exercise are boring. Dance gets you moving, doing different movements, dancing, not standing in one place or lifting weights or doing crunches or lunges. (Yuck!)

3. You can pretend you’re a kid again. If you’re like me, you took ballet as a kid (I find that most people who show up to an intro ballet class did), and you wanted to get back to it.

4. Ballet means new clothes. Don’t worry. Everything like tights, leotards, legwarmers isn’t necessary when you’re just starting. But, buying new clothes is fun once you get in to ballet.

5. Ballet means new friends. You’ll meet new friends in class as well in the online community. Those I’ve met through my personal blog have been amazingly supportive.

6.. Doing ballet means you are a ballerina. While you may never get to perform on a stage (although I’d love to set up a showcase of adult ballerina work if I could find enough ballerinas in my area!), you still are taking ballet classes and doing really hard work. Don’t forget that.

7. Ballet makes you more graceful. (By Legal Ballerina)

8. Life is too short to say “What If?” “I started ballet (and continue with it), because I know that life is too short to squander on “what ifs”. As the saying goes, you usually regret the decisions you didn’t make as opposed to the ones you did. I want to seize the day and try to live my life to the fullest while I still have my health, strength, time and courage to do so! Let me tell you, I am so very happy that I took a chance on myself and started ballet. It has changed my life.” (Legal Ballerina)

So why do you want to do ballet? I really want to make this a never-finished list, so leave a comment and I’ll add your reason to the post! Or, post in the forum your reasons why you do ballet!

UPDATE: The old forum was too complicated, so I started a new one using a wordpress blog. Just shoot me an e-mail (your wordpress e-maill to connect accounts) and I’ll be sure I add you as a new author so you can post your own threads!

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  • I started ballet for a number of reasons. First, I have never been very graceful or elegant. Ballerina’s move so smoothly they practically glide. I used to stomp around like an elephant; I am much lighter on my feet now. Maybe some day I will glide too! Also, I L-O-V-E to perform. Ballet is an artistic outlet for me and I am proud to share it with the world. I could always sing and draw/paint; ballet isn’t natural to me so I thought it would be a fun challenge. Plus, I have always worked out, and quite frankly, I was sick of running and lifting weights. You said it Kristen – after 15 years of the same old routine, I needed a change of pace. I only do one day of cardio a week now. The rest is just ballet, ballet and more ballet! I am still strong and you would never know that I stopped running or lifting weights. In fact – my legs look phenomenal. Lastly, and more importantly, I started ballet (and continue with it), because I know that life is too short to squander on “what ifs”. As the saying goes, you usually regret the decisions you didn’t make as opposed to the ones you did. I want to seize the day and try to live my life to the fullest while I still have my health, strength, time and courage to do so! Let me tell you, I am so very happy that I took a chance on myself and started ballet. It has changed my life. 🙂

  • Reblogged this on The Legal Ballerina and commented:
    Thought I would put a shout out to this new blog to all of my loyal followers (the few I actually have). This blog will be a great way for us “mature” aspiring dancers to connect and vent!

  • I’m with you on #1 and 2. My old boss used to ask me all the time why I would take ballet, and I’d answer him that I don’t run unless I’m being chased (he’s an avid runner), and I’m not really wanting to be 300lbs.

  • My ballet life began when I competed in roller skating years ago. We took it for obvious reasons. I always had a natural talent for both. Now that my skating career is long over, and my search for the perfect and most fun workout was a bust (hula hooping, the gym, Zumba, biking, yoga, running), I had an epiffany one day. Ballet!! I started with workouts at home then braved the dreaded first class. The second that was over, I couldn’t wait for the next one! I’ve been taking classes for a while now and I am addicted. I should have made the decision sooner, but I was way too scared and insecure. I look forward to working in more classes during the week and losing more weight. I love the way it makes me feel before during and after. I love dancing into the kitchen to get water or doing a grand jete over the german shepard. It’s in my blood now and it’s not going away. They gottahold of me! And the shopping for it makes me quite happy and motivated!

  • Hello! I’m Legal Ballerina’s BFF and we take dance together! I danced when I was younger for about 10 years. I took ballet, tap, jazz, and started pointe when I was 12. I also then moved that year and gave up because I was too shy. I started taking ballet again last November 2011. I had tossed the idea around for a while about taking dance again as an adult for some exercise and mostly something to do. I’ve never really been outgoing by myself (hence why I quit when I was 12). Quitting dance when I was 12 is one of my biggest regrets. I know I would have never pursued it professionally (I have a shoulder injury that leaves my arm with less than full range of motion, I was born with it), but I still wish I would have stuck with it.

    I take ballet now because I’m finally confident enough in myself to do it. I know I may not ever be the best, but I go to class every week (I take 6 hours a week) and give it my all. I work hard because I want to improve and see myself succeed. And like my BFF Legal Ballerina said, life is too short. I’m dancing now while I can. I love the challenge and the friendships I make. I think any adult, no matter what age, should try ballet if they are interested. I’ve taken class with women, and men, who were well into their 60’s.

    Looking forward to more posts from you!! 🙂

  • Reblogged this on The Teeth Cleaning ~ Disney Loving ~ Ballerina and commented:
    This is a pretty amazing blog! Everyone should check it out!!

  • Pingback: Reasons to Dance « Under the Purple Magnolia Tree()

  • Love this! You inspired me to make my own version thinking about why I dance. It’s here http://purplemagnolia.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/reasons-to-dance/

  • Reblogged this on Brilliant Show Biz.

  • I agree with all eight and would add one more. It’s a great stress reliever. As a single parent who works in an industry that is going through an economically difficult time, ballet class is my refuge!

  • Teri Hofford

    This is awesome! As a 240lbs woman I started ballet last September and while it was the scariest thing to go to, it has now become the highlight of my week! I love slipping on my tights and leotard (which I have been known to sit around home in for a few hours!) and my little slippers. My posture has improved, my core strength has improved, and I conquered a HUGE fear! I guess we will have to wait until the recital in June to see how well I am doing 😛

    • Kristen Gillette

      So glad to hear it Teri!

  • Vince S

    This is so true! I first started taking ballet cause I wasn’t able to make it to classes as a child and is a passion for me. Second, I wanted to get back into shape after my car accident and the gym wasn’t doing it for me with the same routine. So taking ballet has not only got me back into shape, but gave me a better confidence with myself.