Russian Classical Ballet Academy

Adult Ballet Classes

Beginner Adult Ballet Class:

When stepping into the adult ballet class you are starting your journey with basic ballet training. Through the beginning you will gain knowledge of fundamental movements, basic positions of the feet and arms and proper posture. As your training begins you will start with first position, second, third, fourth and fifth position for both feet and arms. You will gain an understanding of how all those positions are the foundations for ballet.

Every class starts with barre training where we warm up our bodies using plies, tondues, jete , ronde de jambe to ease our joints and muscles into more rigorous exercises such as fondu and grande battement. From there the class moves into the centre were we test balance and evolve our barre practise into the centre.

Everyone has different body structure and we help you find the best way to understand your body and how to train it in a safe and healthy way. As we move further along we build on our exercises to increase the difficulty level and push you to your fullest potential. During class we find balance between strength and letting go. We build our strength while working on elegance. In the studio you will be surrounded by others who are on the same path of learning as you and we create a safe, encouraging environment. With dedication and consistency you will notice change within yourself not only physically but mentally. Giving yourself a goal and achieving it is the best thing you can give yourself.

It’s never too late to try

At first, this idea seemed to me a bit absurd, I should admit. Me, in my age (and shape), and classical adult ballet? Dancing myself and not admiring someone else’s dancing? When Natalia Ebner, who used to teach my daughter Russian classical ballet, casually mentioned one day that she also teaches adult classes and that I am welcome to experience them, I quickly panicked and surrendered to scepticism. The very image of a middle-aged woman without any previous dancing experience (and I mean not a single pirouette or arabesque experienced as a child), wearing a tutu, and, let’s face it, a few extra pounds, standing in front of the unforgiving mirror and trying to place her left leg, while keeping it perfectly straight, on a horizontal bar located somewhere near her nose? This idea seemed to me inconceivable. It took me several years to come to terms with it, to battle with my anxieties and fears projected by my self-image and stereotypical attitudes that classical adult ballet is something that can be only mastered in early childhood. Until one day I simply consulted with my inner child and she told me shyly that classical ballet was something she always wanted to do. For a change, I decided to listen to this little girl still living inside me and to give her what she missed in her childhood.

The fact of the matter was that I never had the opportunity to learn how to dance, and never took a single ballet class as a child. But the truth was that I wore point shoes in most of my childhood dreams. Classical ballet was something that I simply was dying to try for many years, but was unable to because of my circumstances as a child, and too shy and busy to try as an adult. And when I finally took a first lesson at Natalia’s adult class, my joy and general feeling of accomplishment were bountiful.

Natalia’s ballet class for adults is a relatively small and intimate group of women, who probably come there for the same reasons I do. Natalia’s teaching style is supportive, encouraging, positive, and easy-to-follow. Despite the fun of her lessons, Natalia is also a well-trained professional and a classical ballet dancer herself, and she knows far too well that no result can be attained without an effort. That is why she observes your strengths and weaknesses, and tactfully helps you develop new skills you never suspected you had an aptitude towards. Just by following her recommendations after several lessons you will improve your posture and start discovering in your body the new little muscles (instead of little pouches of something less desirable).

During the class, while leading the group Natalia manages to give everyone her full attention individually – she gently straightens your shoulders, taps on your neck and suddenly you see how your reflection in a mirror changes into a more graceful one. Thus, for example, with me, it was her finding the balance between the strength and flexibility I lacked, because being overly flexible I never bothered to develop enough strength, which eventually skewed my posture and was causing some muscle pain. However, within a few lessons and with Natalia’s help I was able to better strengthen my muscles and develop a degree of self-awareness needed to adjust my posture.

The major benefits of the classical ballet classes for the adults lay in the fact that it is a strenuous physical activity but at the same time it addresses the most basic human aesthetical need, the need for self-expression, thus, awarding a practitioner both pleasure and satisfaction. Doing ballet routine with an accompaniment of the classical music is therapeutic not only for one’s body but also for one’s soul.

The classical ballet routine itself has evolved throughout two and half centuries as a science of movement and as an art, and left a legacy of healthy beautiful bodies and clear and graceful minds. It is a known fact that people, who practiced classical ballet in their childhood and keep exercising as adults, retain their physical strength and agility until very advanced age. Following this long-lasting tradition, Natalia is very adamant about her students being able to remember the exercise sequence, because ballet class aims to improve one’s kinaesthetic memory.

Remembering a sequence of the traditional ballet routine requires attention and focus. It also improves one’s memory in general through learning French – most of the ballet terms were coined in French and they are still preserved as such in a ballet world. Those secondary skills that one develops while practicing classical ballet in their turn help stimulating one’s brain and are especially welcome for the adults as they help fighting any unwanted effects of aging. And in general, coordination of movement and a surgeon-like precision of the body alignment are very important for any age as they condition one to always keep a straight back and to move with self-awareness. In a long run, such alignment of one’s posture helps preventing one from pain and injury. Those are just few of the well-documented benefits of the classical ballet, but there are also the emotional ones.

So if you are still not sure, as I was, whether or not to try Natalia’s adult ballet class, do not hesitate and indulge yourself. You will be surprised how quickly in Natalia’s capable hands you will transform from whatever-age, appearance and degree of gracefulness woman into a light and elegant fairy, charmingly gliding from one flower to another. And after several lessons of pointing your toes in a famous “swallow-tail” fashion, one day looking at yourself in a mirror and doing your routine under the accompaniment of Tchaikovsky’s music, you will suddenly notice your inner child standing beside you. And she will be smiling, happy and free because she will be doing what she always dreamed to do - dancing classical ballet. At least that’s what happened to me when finally, after some deliberation, I decided to let my inner child to learn how to dance classical ballet. Come to Natalia’s class once and I am sure you will also experience this exhilarating feeling - unleashing your inner child and giving her an opportunity to thrive.