‘Yoga is not an Olympic contest – we’re not here to prove what we can do, we’re here to improve what we can’t do…’
— Guru Singh
Although the above quote is by a yogi, I think it really resonates with those that practise ballet. Let’s just replace ‘yoga’ with ‘ballet’…
We constantly need to remind ourselves to be gentle. Be patient. To stop and enjoy the process of learning, improving and challenging ourselves.
That’s what the intention of this blog is. A constant reminder.
I recently had someone say something quite rude to me. The only positive thing that came from the comment was that it reminded me about how fiercely protective I am of our adult ballet community…
“Your adult classes seem to attract a lot of people, but isn’t it just a bunch of washed up ballerinas all showing off in front of one another?”
You don’t even want to know how I responded.
Let’s just say I was incredibly offended by the comment from someone who clearly doesn’t understand the atmosphere in any ballet class.
So we’ll excuse their ignorance. This time.
Firstly, ‘showing-off’ is probably the furtherest thing from anyones mind in class. Ballet dancers are more critical about themselves than anyone I know. Even when people perform a perfect pirouette in class and I do a little happy dance for them, they turn around and say something along the lines of, “I probably won’t be able to do it again…” or “The last rotation wasn’t on full demi-pointe…”
There’s definitely no ‘showing off’ going on. And to be honest, even if there was – is that such a bad thing?
Since when did being proud of what your body can do become a negative? Speaking of, have you ever seen a pregnant ballerina pull off a triple pirouette or balance? Amazing. I often post these things on our Facebook…
Secondly, as everyone already knows… I truly believe that ballet is for everyone, if they want it.
Just like the fluidity of a sun salutation in yoga or the accurate swish of a golf swing, ballet is also an amazing form of meditation that helps you develop into a better human.
The media is constantly writing articles about the benefits of ballet classes for adults general health, posture, flexibility, cognitive function and even the curing (or improvement) of some diseases.
So, no. Adult ballet classes – worldwide – aren’t full of ex-dancers looking to show everyone what they can do…
You’re much more likely to find someone quietly kicking small goals or working diligently on themselves for an hour when they can forget about the loads of washing waiting at home, parent-teacher interview later that day or fight you just had with your daughter in the car…
Adult ballet for the win.