Boyfriend does Ballet

Last week I dragged my boyfriend, Hoai-Quoc (or HQ, as everyone calls him) along to my Intro to Ballet Class at Koresh Dance, since they offer $5 dollar classes to first time customers (if you’re in Philly, check them out–and don’t let those who are really good at ballet scare you!). Afterwards, I asked him a few questions about his experience. While he had some dance background from classes in high school (and he does hip hop now), he had never been in a formal studio dance class before. HQ is also doing the 30 day stretch challenge, see his picture from day 2 below!

My boyfriend and I at a wedding last year. I make the loveliest faces, I know.

Adult Ballerina Project: What did you expect about the class beforehand?

HQ: I wasn’t quite sure what to expect because while I know basic ballet techniques, I have never gone to a class that covers barre work, center work, and cross floor work. I was looking forward to getting the full studio experience to see if what I knew could hold up to it.

ABP: What ballet experience did you have beforehand?

HQ: I did ballet in high school through my theatre program. We covered basic jazz, ballet, tap, modern, and hip hop. I know things like my tendus, développés, rond de jambe, and the other types of basic moves as well as some leaps from necessity for the musicals we performed

ABP: What did you think about the barre portion of the class?

HQ: The barre portion was probably the most interesting for me since I have never done barre work….at a barre. I knew how to move my legs given prior experience but when it came to chaining the different things together as well as having to try to follow the arm positions, I got super confused. I ended up just keeping my arm in an open second and doing the leg movements.

ABP: What about center work?

HQ: The center work was fun because while I knew what to expect, I couldn’t necessarily follow along. The type of combinations that I did in high school were much simpler being things like a chasse to front attitude to arabesque to a layout (which isn’t correct, just example of the simple techniques we did) and that would be all. In the class I was instantly lost when the instructor named the combination of being pique -switch-arabesque-developpe-tombe-pas de bourree. I was overwhelmed from the combinations but thought it was a good look at what real ballet classes teach you.

HQ has also decided to do the #30daystretchchallenge with me. This is from Day 2 yesterday.

ABP: What did you think of the studio?

HQ: The studio I thought had a good environment. You were surrounded with people that obviously were there with a passion (some more than others) to learning ballet. The physical studio wasn’t quite as impressive due to the flooring not being kept up super well (not that it was bad, was just irritating stepping on the tape between mats and having a toe go half way in). In all though I thought the studio was successful in the atmosphere to learn dance as well as a space to learn dance.

ABP: Would you take a class there again?

HQ: I would take a class there again but I feel like I would take one once I have gained more experience in ballet. The class for a mostly beginner like me came across as very challenging and I felt as though I was struggling to keep up at times. So while yes, because I could tell that the quality of the class was rather good, for now I would say no until I get a little more experience under my belt.

ABP: Would you take a ballet class again?

HQ:  I would definitely take a ballet class again. I enjoy dancing and definitely enjoy expanding my knowledge in the different styles of dance that I learned in high school. I feel like ballet especially is great to keep taking because while the physical aspect is very strong and necessary, I enjoy the discipline that must be held by a person learning it to make the most of it. If you go in and just kinda go about the class as if it was a chore I feel like you essentially didn’t learn anything.

ABP: Anything else?

HQ: It was a great experience. I enjoyed being able to expose myself to taking studio classes and will definitely have to take more studio classes later on.

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