Beginner Ballerina Profile: Marlene

Profiles are back this week with a profile of Marlene, a ballet dancer who takes classes at Irene Dance Hub in Centurion after she was never motivated to go to the gym and decided to try ballet instead!
When did you start doing ballet as an adult?

Marlene: January 2013.

Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

Marlene: No, never. When I stepped into the ballet class beginning of this year, I was a true “absolute beginner”.

Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

Marlene: Well, I desperately needed to start exercising! But I didn’t want to go to a gym – been a member once, but because it bored me and there was no fixed times that I had to go there, I soon quit. At the end of last year, the word “dance” just jumped out everywhere. Mmm, what about starting to dance? I already love music and rhythm, so I just had to start moving with it! 🙂  I hoped that dance classes would be on fixed times during the week, and I knew I probably wouldn’t get bored because there will always be something new to learn. OK then, but where in the world do you get adult dance classes? Uhm, ask Google. And so I found…

Where do you take classes?

Marlene: Irene Dance Hub in Centurion, with passionate dancer Susan Attfield as the owner, and Louina Prinsloo – our no-nonsense, “stop moaning”, teacher 🙂  We love you both!

What is your favorite part about ballet?

Marlene: Believe it or not, when my muscles are shaking and burning – that means something is working! 🙂  Other than that, I love the “jumps” we do.  It is then that I feel freedom.

What is your least favorite part?

Marlene: I hate to miss a class, or when a class ends… more, more!  Also when my mind messes with my feet and arms 😉

Who/What is your ballet inspiration?

Marlene: I love watching Miko Fogarty.  She not only loves ballet, but in the way she dances, she makes sure the audience enjoys it just as much as she does.  One of my favorite videos of her is:

(I just wish there was a better “non-stretched” recording available).

What motivates you to keep dancing?

Marlene: When I get discouraged I watch a few ballet movies on youtube or read the good stuff on the Irene Dance Hub’s facebook page, and soon I’m out of my pit 🙂  Also doing a few plies and easy moves in front of the mirror keeps me going as it helps me to remember that a few months ago I didn’t even know what a plie was, never mind do one!

Do you take any other dance classes?

Marlene: No, not at the moment.

What are your hobbies outside of ballet?

Marlene: Music, books, outdoors, gardening.

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

Marlene: The only dancer you should compare yourself to is the one you used to be.

Marlene is on the far left!

Marlene is on the far left!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Marlene: Thank you for your blog, Kristen.  It is such an encouragement to read about other adult ballet dancers and their experiences.  We need that 🙂

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