Ballerina Profile: Kat H.

11248074_801941201893_3359701117220624683_nWhen did you start doing ballet as an adult?

3 weeks ago!

Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

Yes. I started when I was 2.5 and danced up until I was 21.

Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

I missed it terribly! I have been trying to be better about taking care of myself, and dance feels natural. The local studio started having adult ballet classes and I jumped at the chance!

Where do you take classes?

Lotus Studio in Salem Oregon

What is your favorite part about ballet?

The way my brain still remembers how to do it (even though my body isn’t listening yet) and how fast I’m seeing results. My posture is improving, my flexibility has already increased, and my stamina is getting better every day.

What is your least favorite part?

That my brain remembers how to do everything but my body isn’t listening yet. 🙂 It’s so frustrating to set up for a pirouette and then lose my balance half way through. My body isn’t the same as it was 9 years ago.  Also I’m not happy with the current selection of larger sized dancewear. That needs to change.

Who/What is your ballet inspiration?

Wayne Sleep is an inspiration. His documentary Big Ballet helped me get over the fact that I’m not built “like a dancer” anymore. It really doesn’t matter.

What motivates you to keep dancing?

How happy I am when I have my ballet slippers on. It’s like a drug. I just want to keep dancing once I start. I’m already seeing results too!

Do you take any other dance classes?

Not at the moment. I used to take jazz, tap, lyrical, ballroom, and I’ve taken a Zumba class or two. I’m hoping to start taking ballroom again this year. There aren’t many adult dance classes in my area…yet.

What are your hobbies outside of ballet?

I ride motorcycles, play golf, and remodel my house.

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

If you want to do ballet, then go try a class! Don’t worry about how silly you look, because you don’t look nearly as silly as you think you do. As adult dancers, we aren’t all going to be tall lean size 0’s with 180 degree turnout. If a size 12, 190 lb, big cheasted (I’m talking 34GG’s here…)30 year, with 90 degree turnout can dance around in a leotard and tights so can you! Everyone else in that class is so focused on themselves that they don’t have an ounce of thought left to worry about you. 🙂

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’d love to see more adults be empowered and get into ballet. The dance world won’t change itself. Ballet isn’t just for little girls and skinny bitches for goodness sake! (Note: I’m NOT skinny shaming…I love all dancers equally.)

Adult Ballerina Profile: Pinky

When did you start doing ballet as an adult?

I started ballet Fall 2014.

Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

No, I [and my two sisters] was so involved with sports that there was no extra time to take dance. We did gymnastics so we received a lil dance training for floor exercise, but other than that all dancing in our home was self taught.

Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

I’ve always wanted to take ballet and a friend of mine, who grew up dancing, mentioned she still attends dance class as an adult. That got me thinking, “Hey, I bet I can find a beginners class somewhere”. I also found this blog and it made me realize I wasn’t the only person interested in adult ballet.

Where do you take classes?

Adagio Ballet

What is your favorite part about ballet?

The clothes. Haha, just kidding. I mean, I love my tights, leotard and skirt, but there is so much that I enjoy about ballet. I love the beautiful lines in a simple plie or in a jete, ballet is just so clean and precise. However, my favorite part of ballet is mastering a new move and knowing you’ve nailed a combination that’s previously given you trouble.

What is your least favorite part?

The flexibility and foot control. I have bad ankles from years of soccer and it makes releves hard to master. My balance normally is pretty stellar, but on releve I’m extremely wobbly. I am also incredibly INFLEXIBLE so my movements aren’t nearly as beautiful as I’d like them. Oh and my tight hips, yeah they don’t really help either.

Who/What is your ballet inspiration?

This blog was a big inspiration. Adult ballet was on my mind for awhile and when I stumbled across this blog it was like the go ahead I needed to try a class. The Nutcracker and Swan Lake are my other inspirations. I’ll never get tired of watching either ballet.

What motivates you to keep dancing?

The desire to get better and the high of nailing a new combination or receiving praise from my teacher. Sometimes I’m dragging at the beginning of class and my plies are just blah. But, by the end when we’re going across the floor I find myself wishing for a longer class because I’m having so much fun. I enjoy the challenge of something new every class.

Do you take any other dance classes?

No, unless you count the occasional Zumba class. I took beginners modern, jazz and ballroom dancing in college and those were some of my favorite courses.

What are your hobbies outside of ballet?

I still play coed soccer, am on multiple kickball teams, run, play tennis, workout at the gym and sporadically attend yoga classes. [Squats don’t really come in handy when I’m trying to plie, my teacher calls me out all the time for an untucked tush]. I also love to read, blog and cook in my spare time.

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

Take the plunge and just do it. Even if you’re scared you’ll look silly, in a beginners class everyone is new. Remember to take each class at a time and that Rome wasn’t built in a day. You’ll have good classes and challenging class but don’t give up.


Anything else you’d like to add?

I’m just really happy I took the plunge and attended a class. It is such a fun activity and I love ‘playing ballerina’ once a week. I’m not very good and I have so much to work on, but I truly enjoy the challenge.

Do you have a blog?

Yes, my lil piece of the internet is http://pinkypersistence.blogspot.com

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