Adventures in Adulthood: Beginners' Ballet Rachel Hastings

For whatever reason, my parents didn’t force me into activities when I was a kid. Of course, I’m happy they didn’t because the entire concept seems miserable. Nonetheless, from time to time, I still get that “well what if I’d started playing piano when I was 5?” or “what if I had to read one book a week or no dessert?” feeling. Those are awful examples but like I said, I was never forced to do anything so I don’t have any actual incidents to draw from, okay? If I ever have kids, by the way, they’re going to be great.

So now, as an adult with a full time job, car insurance and health benefits (which I was VERY excited about), I’ve decided to try some of the things that I’ve “what if”-ed about throughout the years. Adventure #1 was learning ballet.

In preparation, I went through the process of finding a suitable dance studio – DanceColab in Burbank, CA (which is awesome!) and tracking down a place to buy a leotard and shoes. I was happy to see that there were other adults in the store before I realized that they all had small children with them. Small children who were just starting to take ballet classes. After a brief consideration of ‘fight or flight’, I decided to fight and/or stay there and shop for a leotard and shoes amongst girls who were probably seventeen or so years younger than me, give or take a year.

Obviously, this did not do much to deter suspicions that I might end up walking into a class where all of the girls were also seventeen years younger than me. Frankly, shopping around them is one thing, being an educational equal with them is another. Sorry, (tiny) ladies.

Luckily, the class ended up consisting of me, a wonderful teacher and four other adult women, one of whom was also a beginner. They welcomed me in with open – and perfectly posed – arms, and I’ve been going to class once a week for about four months now. And I don’t want to brag but I’m not awful at it! Pretty good for someone who can barely get through a day without spilling something.

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  1. This is so inspirational! I have wanted to do an adult ballet class for quite a few years and just reading about someone else taking that step gives me the confidence to do it myself :) thank-you!

  2. Ahhh! I had to stop taking ballet when I was 17 because my longtime studio closed down and I was too afraid to start somewhere new. I’ve wanted to re-take it up for years now!

  3. Are you reading my diary or what? haha

  4. I did dance through high school but stopped ballet when I was young – since about my soph. year in college I’ve been dying to get back into it! Thanks for the inspiration – I’m not the only one! Maybe I’ll enroll in a class soon too :)

  5. My sister got to take ballet and dance, but I didn’t. I took my first belly dance class about a year and a half ago, and I’ve loved every minute since. Granted, it’s not ballet–but it’s dance, and I love how it makes me feel. I love reading about everyone else finding their groove. :)

  6. This is a great post! I didn’t start dance classes until I was 16, but then I discovered that I loved it and did it for 5 years. Then recently I found a studio near here that has adult classes in jazz and tap so I’m excited to start dancing again (well, I did a 5-week summer class, but it wasn’t exactly the same). I wish they had adult ballet though because that’s my favorite! I can’t seem to find a place that has all 3, plus decent prices and fits in my schedule, lol.

  7. Hey, I take Bar Method classes at the Bubank Dance Co Lab! Perhaps I will see you there one day and stare like you’re supposed to know who I am somehow.

  8. i was forced into intstruments and singing and acting… but never dance. i have taken up adult beginner ballet to compensate.

  9. yay you <3 my 4 year old does ballet and tap she beeged me for 2 years before i could i finally find a local class for her and she loves it, now everytime i watch her i am a bit jealous and wishi had done it when i was younger, i have been seriously considering signingup for an adult tap class myself, as there is one on at the same time as her class but am very nervous about it, i think having heard your wonderful story i may just have to cave and do it :)

  10. My parents also did not force me to do things that I now kind of wish they had:
    go to sleepaway camp
    go to Hebrew school
    do something on a team
    get braces

    These were all things that my young shy self couldn’t deal with, but now I recognize how they could have been very beneficial to my life.
    Oh well.

    However, my parents did encourage me to take dance classes for many years–I took jazz & tap through the end of high school and ballroom in college (I also audited a beginner ballet class for fun–and it was!).

    My dad actually still tells me that I should take dance classes because he knows how much I enjoyed it, especially compared to how much I enjoy going to the gym these days.

  11. I’m a ballet instructor and it’s really one of the best forms of exercise you can take. Can build stamina, strength, flexibility and it’s beautiful! Plus tutus are just too darn fun! ;-) Awesome article! Good luck to everyone who’s new to ballet! Keep up the awesome work!

  12. My parents also never forced me into activities so I have always had the what ifs. This is a great article! It’s never too late to learn and try something new. That’s awesome that you’ve tried it and stuck with it! Congratulations!

  13. This post is wonderful. I was one of those little girls who wasn’t forced into dance classes but put in as an experiment by my parents when I was 3. Eighteen years later and not only am I still taking classes, but majoring in dance for college & teaching classes as well. I’ve been encouraging people my age and older to come back to class. It’s a wonderful way to spend an hour a week, working on something that is exercise & may bring you back to your childhood years. Major kudos to you, Rachel!!

  14. Yay! I actually just started taking ballet once a week too! Isn’t it great!

  15. Ummm…I’m so glad I’m not the only adult woman that still wants to be a ballerina.

  16. There is a dance studio by my house, literally on the same street, and I’ve been considering it. My biggest fear was being the ONLY adult amongst lots of tiny, talented girls, but this, this has given me the courage! THANKS (:

  17. I was just googling adult ballet classes the other day! I’m exactly in your boat–other than some misguided piano lessons, my parents never forced me into activities, and now I’m older and uncoordinated and looking for some new hobbies. Back to googling I go!

  18. I have also suffered “what if’s” and my parents even forced me into activities (such as softball, where I caught the ball exactly one time and either struck out or walked every time I was up to bat). I was in ballet when I was 6, but they kicked me out because I couldn’t go to the recital. I’ve always thought, “what if I’d been allowed to stay? How would my life be different?” I might check into adult dance classes, but they would definitely have to be beginner because I’m athletically challenged (see softball note). :)

  19. After having to quit my dance classes at the age of like 11 b/c they conflicted with my summer baseball team, I have been quite eager to get back into it. I took a semester each of ballet and jazz in college and have just begun taking ballet again at an awesome local dance studio in Atlanta. It’s tough to get back into it, but I’m so glad that I have. I’m even planning to buy tap shoes so that I can start that back up. Glad to hear that your experiences have been great as well!

  20. I want to get back into ballet, but at the same time not going intensive like i did back when i was a ballerina. I finally found an adult only ballet studio a bit far from where I live, but I would like to try it once a week. Perhaps I want to try it when I have more time since the time are so unconvenient with my work and school schedule. Hopefully soon i can go to this studio, even for one class only.

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