Ballerina Profile: Linmayu Appavu

lin in la esmeralda 2014When did you start doing ballet as an adult?

I made my final decision to return to ballet at age 35, and will never quit dancing again.

Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

Yes, a lot of lessons. From age 6 to 25. I was the worst student in class and got yelled at a LOT, until I finally learned the difference between my right and left foot. I think I was 16 by then.

Because I had danced for so many years in the past, I thought it would be easy to come back and wow everyone, but no! I had to start over from square one. My mind knew what to do, but all my ballet muscles had disappeared into the ether from lack of use.

Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

During the years I wasn’t dancing, I couldn’t even go to a show and watch other people dance–any kind of dance–without feeling like I was being stabbed in the heart. Then I read all the magazines and all the articles that say people over age 20 who have boobs and butts shouldn’t do ballet. But you know what, I decided I don’t care about that. We each have just one life on this Earth, and I couldn’t imagine living out the rest of mine without taking myself to the absolute limits of my ability in dance. With God all things are possible. I’m just getting started.

Where do you take classes?

Currently, I take most of my classes with University Ballet of Chicago, a student group affiliated with University of Chicago. (That’s a tip for budding adult dancers: find a local college or university group that is open to non-students! You’re more likely to find performing opportunities, and it’s easier on the psyche to go to class with college kids than with high schoolers.) If I can’t get to UB, then I take class at the Joffrey Academy or Lou Conte Studio of Dance. Both have great adult classes at all levels, from basic to advanced/professional.

What is your favorite part about ballet?

Where do I begin? I think first and foremost, I love the beauty of the art form and the fact that it carries hundreds of years of human history. I love to move my body. I love to challenge my body, to do something today I couldn’t do yesterday. I love to land a perfect pirouette. I love jumping (a little bit too much; I tend to get crazy and then get injured). I love character dances. I love the music. I love the costumes (most of the time). I love performing, and feel very fortunate that I actually get to do that right now!

Continue Reading

Ballerina Profile: Ashley Daily

Ashley and DrueWhen did you start doing ballet as an adult?

I started taking ballet class just 2 months ago.

Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

I *think* I took ballet for a single class when I was around 5 years old. The only reason I have to suspect this happened is a single picture of me in a basic ballet leotard, tights and slippers. But I might also have been just “dressing up”. So, I honestly don’t know.

Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

This is such a great question! I wanted to try taking ballet when I was around 10-12 but my sister was trying out ballet and I didn’t want to encroach on her territory, so I did gymnastics instead. I am friends with a whole bunch of dancers and I’ve always admired their grace and poise. After having my third child, I desperately needed something to DO that would get me out of the house, away from my duties for just a moment and allow me to become the floaty-beautiful-perfect-ballerina-princess I have always wanted to try to be. I thought at first that I was too old. Surely, I thought, my time has come and gone. There certainly cannot be a class that will take me as I am: still fluffy from being pregnant, bad hips, endless ambition, no fear, and no experience. Yet, amazingly, a good dancer friend of mine pointed me in the right direction and I’ve absolutely loved every single minute of it!

Where do you take classes?

I take class in Lincoln Nebraska at Studio 2 under the very capable tutelage of Lindsay Fischer. It’s a small studio but the hard wood floors, exposed bricks and stone, and soaring ceilings give the studio such a unique character!

What is your favorite part about ballet?

My favorite part about Ballet is the finesse required. The solid determination to pursue a single movement to perfection. I love the discipline required. I am a classical pianist and I am amazed at the parallels between the two disciplines. Each finger has to be under control at all times, thought put into every note, knowing when, where and how to make the music your own while simultaneously belonging to everyone else. This lazer-focus on perfection appeals to me and so Ballet is a natural fit! The same principles apply: control, articulation, accentuation, dynamic, phrasing, performance. Attainable perfection! What a heady drug.

Continue Reading

Ballerina Profile: Tricia Romanishen

IMG_5812When did you start doing ballet as an adult?

I started doing ballet when I was 39 🙂
Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

No I never took any ballet lessons when I was younger. I don’t really really even remembering asking to take any. I did take at least 2 seasons of Highland dancing when I was 5 or 6, until I convinced my parents to let me quit.

Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

My youngest daughter has been taking ballet and jazz lessons for the past 2 years. After watching her classes, her practicing at home, I thought I might like it. After watching her school’s end of year recital, I decided I really wanted to try and learn.

Where do you take classes?

I take classes twice a week at different studios. One studio is called Academy of Performing Arts, which is RAD based and my other studio is called Dixon’s Dance and Fitness Centre, which is Cecchetti based.

Continue Reading

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

Adult Ballerina Profile: Meghan of Wellies and Pearls and Ballet Shoes

DSC_0624This week’s profile is of Meghan. Check out her blog: Wellies and Pearls and Ballet Shoes.

When did you start doing ballet as an adult?

I returned to ballet in 2014 so I’ve only been back for a short while.

Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

I took classes for a year or so when I was 6 to 7 and then my family moved overseas so my early ballet career was short lived. I’ve always loved ballet, but it made it difficult to stick to anything as a military brat. Thankfully, I discovered musical theater when I was about 11-years-old so I had plenty of opportunities while growing up to sing and dance and ham it up! Later, I took ballet in college which was a great experience, and also after graduation when I was an intern working in D.C. … then I took a decade-long break!

Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

The short answer is that I love ballet and found I really missed it! It was something I always said I would come back to when I had a good work and life balance so that I could fully commit.

Where do you take classes?

I take classes in the adult program at the School of the Richmond Ballet and feel so fortunate to be able to dance there.  I especially love that that the SRB has such a wonderful program geared at adults. I also take classes at a small studio near my work a couple of times a week.

What is your favorite part about ballet?

I love the whole ballet environment – the structure, the discipline, the combination of athleticism and artistry required, and especially, I love the challenge.Continue Reading

Skip to toolbar