Beginner Ballerina Profile: Jaime Hughes

jaimeballetAnd beginner ballerina profiles are back! This week’s profile is of Jaime Hughes, who began ballet two years ago by taking private lessons and then followed along in an older girls’ pointe class–talk about dedication!
When did you start doing ballet as an adult?

2 Years ago in January of 2011.

Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

No, but I always wanted to, but there was no money for me to.

Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

I always thought that ballet was beautiful and I loved the artistry behind it.  And I think it was one of those things where everyone has it on their bucket list but I finally just said, “hey, I can try that!”  But at the same time, I had NO idea what to expect and I was terrified to go to that first class.  I’ve never been very coordinated, flexible or athletic.  The only thing I had going for me was being thin.  Which doesn’t really mean anything except that I didn’t mind wearing a leotard.. I loved that part actually!  haha.

Where do you take classes?

I started with private lessons at Muncie Ballet in Muncie, Indiana.  There are no adult classes within an hour of me unfortunately.  I took private lessons for about 2 months and then moved into the older girls pointe class and kind of just followed along with them (not en pointe obviously!)  The lovely director of Muncie Ballet knew my financial situation and worked with me so that I could afford to attend classes on top of the 40 minute drive from my house.  Then my hubby and I moved to Marion, Indiana and I found Community School of the Arts which is only 4 minutes from my house!  I’ve been taking ballet with them for a year now.

What is your favorite part about ballet?

I LOVE the discipline. My favorite part is barre.  And barre is all I’m doing currently because I just started my first year teaching art.  I so look forward to going to ballet and focusing.  I can stop thinking about everything that is stressing me out and I can zone out into something beautiful and disciplined.  With each centimeter I gain with my extension, I am filled with joy!  I am having a hard time expressing, in words, how ballet makes me feel!  It’s almost spiritual in a way!  And there is always something to work toward..  There will never be a point in my dancing where there isn’t another goal.  And that makes it so worth it!  I can count on ballet to always challenge me!

What is your least favorite part?

I have a love-hate relationship with center… I have a really hard time learning the steps… It has to be broken down into tiny bite sized pieces for me to “get it”… I remember it took about 30 minutes for me to learn a pas de chat… PATHETIC, I know.  I still can’t spot at all when doing chaines or pirouettes… I’m working on it!  I think I also am frustrated quite often at the limitations of my adult body…

Who/What is your ballet inspiration?

Well, there are quite a few adult ballerinas who I look up to and admire.  I aspire to have as much dedication as those who started late and are now in their 40s and 50s, en pointe and able to do multiple fouettes in a row!  That’s my long term goal!

What motivates you to keep dancing?

The fact that it feels so rewarding… And in my group of friends, it’s MY thing.  It is something I have, that no one else can touch.  (Maybe my control issues are coming out there!  haha)  But really, I feel like I can’t STOP…  I get very sad when thinking about having to take a break for having kids or something.  I hope that I can find a way to never stop doing ballet.

Do you take any other dance classes?

No, but I have thought about attending some zumba classes.

What are your hobbies outside of ballet?

I’m an art teacher.. So that’s pretty much my whole life right now!  But other than that, I LOVE to watch tv shows.. I’m currently on season 3 of Dexter.  I have 2 parrots and 2 lakeland terriers.  I love decorating my home.

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

Don’t be discouraged early on!  It will be hardest at first.  But be aware that an adult body is only capable of so much, so fast.  And that is ok!  It doesn’t mean you can’t achieve whatever it is, it will just take longer and more work.


 Do you have a blog?

I do, and I hope to update it more often, unfortunately it’s been a while!  😉

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