Ballerina Profile: Joie of Some Assemblé Required

This week’s Ballerina Profile is Joie from Some Assemblé Required. She’s been dancing for an impressive 7 years now, since she was 21. Enjoy!

Adult Ballerina Project: When did you start doing ballet as an adult?

Joie Brown: Age 21– I’ve been dancing just about seven years now!

ABP: Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

JB: I took tap dancing for awhile, but no ballet.

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

JB: When I was a kid, someone told me I was “too big” to be a ballerina, and I took it to heart. I steadfastly refused to take up my mother’s offer for ballet classes, even though I desperately wanted to do it. Many years later, I decided, “Aw, what the heck! Why NOT? You only live once.” I then promptly signed up with the Atlanta Ballet Adult Division.

ABP: Where do you take classes?

JB: I currently take classes at City Dance Studios with Carla Escoda from Ballet to the People here in San Francisco. I’m about to move to Los Angeles though, and will be on the lookout for a great new studio there!

ABP: What is your favorite part about ballet?

JB: Getting to look graceful– it’s a nice change from my everyday clumsy clonking about. I also really enjoy performing even though I don’t get many chances to do it. Also, learning to dance in pointe shoes is totally a girlhood dream come true.

ABP: What is your least favorite part?

JB: The fact that adult bodies have limitations. There’s only so much flexibility and extension a 27 year old body can give. (Now, if I could just get up to 3+ classes a week, maybe it COULD change…)

ABP: Who/What is your ballet inspiration?

JB: Anyone that does it better than me. Which is just about everyone! Hehe, in all seriousness, watching any ballet performance gets me inspired to dance!

ABP: What motivates you to keep dancing?

JB: I’m a visual artist, and my brain is constantly crowded out with noise/creativity/excitement. Ballet gives me a good 1.5 hours of mental silence– if you think about anything other than what you’re doing, then you are NOT doing it correctly!

ABP: Do you take any other dance classes?

JB: I don’t at the moment, but have taken Hip Hop, Lyrical, Modern, and Musical Theater before! (Plus the aforementioned tap when I was 6…) I would like to try a jazz class!

ABP: What are your hobbies outside of ballet?

JB: I’m an illustrator by trade, but I also draw in my spare time (for fun! I must really love my job). I also like playing video games, going on walks, baking, and reading voraciously!

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

JB: It’s gonna be tough, but remember to have FUN with it. That’s the whole point, after all! What helps me is imagining that I am dancing better than I am, and that I am wearing a giant pretty tutu with a tiara and sparkles, et al. On a stage. With lights. And people throwing roses at me! … thank goodness my other classmates can’t see inside my head!

ABP: Anything else you’d like to add?

JB: I have a ballet blog that I update occasionally at: www.blondieballet.wordpress.com. It contains my experiences in classes, random pictures and videos, and ballet-related drawings that I do. I’m also slowly adding in past entries from a journal I kept about ballet when I first started… so think of it as a blog that grows both forward and backward!

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