Beginner Ballerina Profile: Carina Perry

Here’s another great profile of Carina Perry, who takes classes at the Dance Hub in South Africa. Susan, who owns the studio, wrote a guest post for ABP a few months ago here.

IMG_7162When did you start doing ballet as an adult?

January 2012

Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

Yes I had lessons for plus/minus 2 years when I was 9.

Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

I knew I had to do some exercise but don’t like the gym. So I was looking for adult tap dance classes and couldn’t find, And then I discover Dance Hub and that was a new exciting phase in my life.

Where do you take classes?

Not that far from home at a gym.

What is your favorite part about ballet?

Discipline in another fun way, lots of laughing and meeting new people. Good exercise and toning of the body. Last year I did a pilates class also and that helped a lot to becoming more fit.

What is your least favorite part?

When I miss a class due to guests, illness or work.

Who/What is your ballet inspiration?

I always loved ballet, don’t need inspiration, enjoy all of it.

What motivates you to keep dancing?

It changed my way of thinking, in the beginning I couldn’t concentrate on nothing, just thinking of work. Therefore its good for body and mind.

IMG_7172Do you take any other dance classes?

Currently I’m doing one absolute beginners class and two beginners classes during the week.

What are your hobbies outside of ballet?

Photography, gardening, crocheting and knitting

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

Never give up, you don’t feel on top of the world the first couple of months. I struggled so much in the beginning, nothing make sense. And after 4 months I started feeling more comfortable. I’m 42 years old and did no exercises except from running and smoked 30 cigarettes a day, I stop smoking in my forth month of ballet and still going strong. I gain a lot of weight after stopped smoking but still I’m proud of myself.

Anything else you’d like to add?

An extra bonus is Susan, (owner of the dance school) allows me to take photos of the more advance dancers and there shows and that is so great. I’m privilege to combine two hobbies and grateful that my health is still good to do ballet. Susan is the actual soul of the ballet school, she is such an inspiration, she started with no experience and is a great adult ballet dancer today. She is good fun and put a lot of effort into the school. I’m privilege to be part of Dance Hub 2013.


One of the photos taken by Carina.

One of the photos taken by Carina.

Dancing in the Street?



I don’t usually ever dance in public. Even practicing in an empty studio felt weird (A local studio was renting during the daytime for super cheap rates– so me and the boyfriend decided to get some extra practice in as well as some photos).


Sapporo subway platform


But recently, I’ve found myself marking out combinations (or other moves) while waiting for the subway to come. While occasionally I’ve done this while walking somewhere with the boyfriend or in my apartment, I felt the need to do it right after class on Monday while waiting for the subway–otherwise I was never going to get the beginning of the combination–a sequence of balances en tournant–into my brain. I often find that if I spend time thinking about the moves after class I can sometimes figure out the ones I couldn’t get in class. Bu, I can’t wait too long after the class has ended or I just won’t be able to remember the moves.  Maybe not the execution, exactly, but I can figure out how a step was supposed to be performed if I didn’t get it when it was first explained.


I looked like an idiot on the subway platform, but hey, I think I finally may have figured it out.


Do you dance in public? What tricks do you use to memorize tricky combinations?


Submit Your Dance Studio and Instructor Reviews

"corner", he said.  and they went.

When I posted my survey a couple of weeks ago someone had an awesome suggestion: include reviews of teachers and studios to make it easier for beginners to find a teacher in their area that was the best for them.

I had thought of it before, but it’s physically impossible for me (especially as a broke college student) to review every possible dance studio everywhere. In addition, I’m one person, with set opinions of what I like, so I figured it would be helpful if we could get multiple views up all in one place.

So, I’d like you to submit your reviews, and I’ll sort them by state (within the United States) and by country alphabetically. You can use the form below to submit it, and if you have any suggestions on how to make this better let me know. If you’d like to submit more than one review (studio or instructor) please leave a comment or send me an e-mail at

Use this form to submit reviews about studios only:

Studio Reviews

Use this form to submit reviews about instructors:

Instructor Reviews

Please share these links, if you don’t mind, so we can make this page as useful to future beginners as possible!

Ballerina Profile: David Chapman

studio03This week’s adult ballerina profile is of David Chapman, who bravely started ballet at the age of 57 two years ago. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!

Adult Ballerina Project: Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

David Chapman: No–dance wasn’t on the agenda for anyone in my grammar school let alone boys, I played cricket and rugby.

 ABP: Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

DC: My wife and I always followed Strictly Come Dancing on the television and I’ve always danced “freestyle” with enthusiasm. We thought about taking ballroom lessons but I wanted a real challenge that involved athleticism, acting and dancing which I could do on my own and with others – ballet ticked all the boxes and we go together (my wife took ballet class ino her teens and so did our daughters).

Continue Reading

Ballerina Profile: Kristen Gillette

Me “stretching” (the railing was low) by Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia.

That’s right, me. I’m still in the process of getting a few interviews back, so in the meantime, I figured I’d share some information about myself that I haven’t posted here before.

I started doing ballet in March of 2012. I took a class once a week at Philly Dance Fitness for a while before I was living in two places this summer (Allentown and Philadelphia) and could only manage the occasional class at Koresh Dance Studio. I started going two times a week (or more, I’m at 3 or 4 now) in the beginning of September.

I took classes for three years as a kid, at about age 4. I quit after year three because my parents moved us to dance classes held in the basement of a church and not a “real” dance studio. I wasn’t a fan of the move, and I quit.

I’ve wanted to take adult classes for over a year now. It wasn’t until my boyfriend helped push me into finally buying a pair of ballet shoes that I finally got over my fears of being the “new girl” in class and finally signed up.

I take classes at both Philly Dance Fitness and Koresh Dance Studio. I started at Philly Dance Fitness, and I love my instructor, Beverly, for being as welcoming as she is to new students. I started taking classes at Koresh to get more of a “real studio” feel, and I love both, although Koresh is super challenging sometimes for a newbie.

My favorite part of ballet is turns. Currently, I can only land en dedan pirouettes (which my instructors rarely seem to work on). But I love working on them, and turns are my favorite thing to work on at home.

My least favorite part is jumps. I was FINALLY getting a handle on them a while ago, but now they

On the Race Street Pier in Philly.

I want to take modern jazz classes. Otherwise, I’ve only taken one hiphop class (and the studio stopped offering them). Koresh offers a variety of classes, and I’ve meant to take modern jazz but the class is labeled “beginner” scares me. I take an intro to ballet class there and that is tough enough as it is.

My hobbies outside of ballet including writing, TV, and crocheting. I ran a TV blog when I was younger on Blogger.

My advice to new beginners is DON’T GIVE UP. Although your first experience in a dance studio can be nerve-racking and you might not do so hot, COME BACK anyway. You’ll get better. I’ve noticed that a lot of people  show up for their first class and never return. Just remember that everyone had to start at some point.

Anything else you’d like to know about me?


Skip to toolbar