New Feature: Submit Your Personal Ballet Story or Guest Blog Post!

abp-submit-postWe’re now piloting a new feature here at Adult Ballerina Project –you can now submit your own personal ballet stories directly to ABP to be published!

At ABP, we frequently like to feature writing by others about their triumphs as well as struggles in ballet, including  personal stories, too! We also welcome guest articles, interviews, how-tos, and more!

You can submit using the form below, or e-mail guest post ideas or articles to I look forward to reading your ideas and submissions!

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Ballerina Profile: Suzanne Kadinger

Interview PhotoWhen did you start doing ballet as an adult?

I started taking ballet classes when I was 26, and I went en pointe at age 30.

Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

I took dance lessons as a child, including ballet, but it wasn’t strong training in classical ballet technique. While a small amount of the movement was familiar to me when I started back up, it was really like starting from scratch. I had some bad habits to discard, and I definitely had some terminology to learn!

Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

My daughter had already begun taking a creative dance class at the studio when she was five, so I was familiar with Muncie Ballet and their program. I was looking for a way to unwind after work, and I set out looking for a yoga class with a coworker. We couldn’t find a local yoga class that suited our schedule, but we did happen upon the studio’s adult class. My coworker wasn’t able to keep up classes after she moved away, but I’m still there after more than 12 years.

Where do you take classes?

Muncie Ballet under Lisa Love.

What is your favorite part about ballet?

I love that when I am dancing, I’m not thinking about anything else. The stress of the day melts away during those hours in the studio. Now, as my daughter prepares to graduate from high school and head off to college, we can both say that dancing together and sharing a stage has been one of the best experiences either of us has had. It’s pretty special to experience something so meaningful with your daughter. Every special dancer memory is a shared memory for us.

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My Favorite (Ballet) Things with Johanna of Pointe Til You Drop

If you’re in the adult ballet community online, you’ve no doubt heard of the blog Pointe Til You Drop written by Johanna Aurava of Finland. We’re delighted she was able to talk to ABP about some of her favorite ballet things…

PTYD Johanna


6 Favorite Ballet Dancers?

Sylvie Guillem, Darcey Bussell, Elisabeth Platel, Sofiane Sylve, Isabelle Ciaravola, Mathilde Froustey, Sara Mearns, Tiler Peck, Evgenia Obraztsova, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Friedemann Vogel, Manuel Legris… Sorry, it’s impossible to narrow down to six! There are so many amazing dancers around the world, each with their own unique qualities. And I have seen only a fraction, live even less. I also want to give a shout-out to my fave dancers at The Finnish National Ballet: Michal Krčmář, Eun-Ji Ha, Tiina Myllymäki.

5 Favorite Ballet Steps?

Any steps that glide, bounce, soar, rebound, balance and suspend. Also pirouettes, even on a bad turn day.

4 Favorite Ballet DVDs ?

The first Paris Opéra Ballet School documentary which was made in the early 90s had a huge impact on me. I had all 4 episodes recorded on video, and watched it over and over. It’s been fascinating to follow some of the young students (Aurélie Dupont, Nicolas Le Riche) rising to the rank of étoile, and then retiring. Makes me feel a bit old though 😉 . Other favorite DVDs include: “Etoiles – Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet” (2001), “La Danse” (2009), “Dancer’s Dream: The Great Ballets of Rudolf Nureyev: Sleeping Beauty” (with Elisabeth Platel narrating and dancing the role of Aurora).

3 Favorite Memes You’ve Created for Pointe Til You Drop?

PTYD Memes
2 Favorite Personal Dance Strengths?

Picking up corrections, as I’m always eager to learn and to improve. I’ve been told that I have a natural jump, and I do like to bounce…

#1 Dream Ballet Role?

I would love to learn choreography from Balanchine, or anything from Kylian, Wheeldon, Elo, Ratmansky. Neo-classical or contemporary ballet. Some parts that would not be entirely impossible to dance, even if it’s just a short sequence of steps or port de bras. But if we’re talking dreams, I’d pick Tatiana (Onegin). Now, there’s a strong character to portray!

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Ballerina Profile: Laura of Surf and Hydrangeas

unnamedWhen did you start doing ballet as an adult?

February 2014, at 34 years old!?!

Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

No. My mom tried to sign me up for a session and I hated every second of it. All I wanted to do was jump around and I don’t think I even finished the classes – I was a kid with ants in my pants!

Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

I was looking for something to add to my strength training routine to mix it up a bit and I had been curious about ballet for a while. I wanted to see what real ballet training was like – it seemed like it would be a great challenge for me. {Being graceful has not historically been one of my strong suits! :-)}

Where do you take classes?

I take classes at Align Ballet Method in Los Angeles.

What is your favorite part about ballet?

I feel like the answer to this question changes every day! I’ve written a post about some of what I love, but so many times I come out of class and say “I loved that barre or combination today!” In general I think adagios and anything “pique” are my favorite parts of class.

What is your least favorite part?

I’m a pretty Type-A person and I get frustrated when things don’t come easily but I’m not a huge fan of frappes – they get me every time.

Who/What is your ballet inspiration?

I’m obviously in awe of pretty much every professional ballet dancer out there, but I find most of my inspiration closer to home. The Align Ballet Method teachers each bring their own style to class that inspires me to work on different parts of my dancing. I’m also constantly inspired by my classmates as well. They all have their own strengths that I’m in awe of and it pushes me to work harder.

What motivates you to keep dancing?

The constant challenge and my continued progress are what keep me motivated. It is amazing, and so much fun, to realize that I can do things I initially struggled with and to see how my dancing has developed over time. I also love that no matter how much I figure out there is ALWAYS something new to work on.

Do you take any other dance classes?

I only take ballet. But whenever I’m traveling for work or fun, I try to find studio to take a class in that city.  So far I’ve taken classes in New York at a few studios, {Broadway Dance Center was by far my favorite} and Toronto at the National Ballet of Canada.  Toronto was very cool since you are in the same building as the professional company!

What are your hobbies outside of ballet?

Ballet has definitely become #1 on my list in the last year but I also like photography and exploring LA. I try to go somewhere new once a week.

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

Keep at it! It is frustrating, difficult and sometimes a little painful {I STILL get sore!} but don’t let a bad class discourage you. Everyone learns at their own speed and when things start to come together, it is totally worth it.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I was fortunate to be able to share my ballet experience on video not long ago and I hope that if anyone is nervous or not sure about taking ballet as an adult, my story helps them feel like this is something they can take on. It’s also really cool to have a record of my dancing so that next year {and beyond} I’ll be able to see my continued growth.

Do you have a blog?

Yes – Surf and Hydrangeas. It is more of a lifestyle blog, and not all about ballet, but I do write ballet related posts a couple times a month.

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