Hi and welcome to my blog! At age 37, I was admittedly a little late to the whole ballet party…fast-forward to four years later, I started stage- and street performing on pointe. And here is where I share my story! Find out how you can fast-track your progress, too, and create your own ballerina adventure. Ready to take it up a notch?
The Limiting Messages About Adult Ballet
I more or less stumbled upon ballet, but very quickly couldn’t get enough. I see that with a lot of late ballet learners - you get started, and then suddenly it becomes such a big passion, something that gives you so much vitality! At the same time, I hear all these limiting messages and assumptions about adult ballet: Like, that you can only get that far, you shouldn’t expect to achieve too much, you should just see it as a nice hobby, you will never perform on stage or become a ballerina, you will never be able to do this or that once you are past a certain age.
You can achieve anything you want as an adult ballet dancer. Have the courage to follow your urges. Learn what to do. Trust your work.
— My Conclusion, After Performing on The Street
The Party is Not Over Yet
Through my son’s disability, I had learned a ton about how the brain works, and what you need for effective motor learning, independent of age. My physics background gave me an intuitive understanding of the biomechanics relevant for ballet. And since I had worked as a strength and conditioning coach in many different sports, I knew how to prepare ANY body for any specific activity. So while I understood where all the limited adult ballet messaging came from (basically from a time when science still believed the brain to be fixed after childhood), I knew that it wouldn’t hold when challenged.
Still, I know that progressing in a setting that does not necessarily expect you to progress too high can be challenging. Also, let’s face it, once you are 35+ years old (or even before), nobody cares whether you make it on stage, or even if you get significantly better. You don’t have parents, teachers, trainers, schools actively developing you all day, and there are just not as many ready-made opportunities to perform. As a result, I regularly see adult ballet students struggling with their progress, despite taking several classes per week.
So it’s really comes down to YOU getting in charge. Do you have the will and desire to improve significantly?
I have created this blog because I want to encourage you to go for it. Keep setting your barre high, face your desires and fears, and claim your space. Here, I am sharing the tools, tips, tricks, failures and successes, training approaches, mindset changes, pointe shoe hacks and whatever else I have - all which have helped me to continously get better, perform on stage and on the street (and get paid for it!).
I say it again: Nobody cares if you get better, how much you love ballet, or if you will ever perform on stage. But you owe it yourself to explore your potential and let yourself be surprised by what you will achieve. Let’s do this!
Everything I am sharing is owed to many. I stand on the shoulders of wonderful teachers and studio owners that have taught me everything I know about ballet so far, and who have encouraged me and all their other adult students to keep pursuing our ambitions!
Special thanks go out to:
Thierry Paré, Performing Arts Studios / Munich (Germany)
Hanna O'Dwyer, Performing Arts Studios / Munich (Germany)
Alexandra Ben Karaa, Performing Arts Studios / Munich (Germany)
Anna and Nunzio Lombardo, the founders and owners of the Performing Arts Studios
Simon Sylvain Lalonde, Xing Dance Theatre / Toronto (Canada)
Avi Silverman, City Dance Corps / Toronto (Canada)
Sarah Koekkoek, City Dance Corps / Toronto (Canada)
Kate Karnaghan, In Studio at the National Ballet of Canada / Toronto (Canada)
Iain Rowe, Metro Movement / Toronto (Canada)
And of course many more - I owe you all big time!!