Watching my fellow adult dancers in class is a good reminder of why I dance. Ballet is about constantly striving for improvement, and it can easy to get bogged down in the negatives: my turnout isn’t good enough, I can’t remember that combination, my alignment is wrong, my body isn’t thin or tall or muscular or petite enough. Sometimes it frustrates me when I don’t seem to be improving. But then I look at my friends in class: we laugh and learn, groan cheerfully about the steps we mess up or our occasional lack of coordination. We’re doing something we enjoy. And that, right there, is the reason why we dance.
The Ballet Body Guide tees were an idea that came about after my friend, C&V Lady Jeanette Kakareka, had a discussion about body issues in the ballet world. So I thought it was only fitting I asked some of my adult dancer friends to model the tees. Because like my friends, these tees are a reminder that you don’t have to be good enough for ballet. Whether you’re dancing in the grandest theatres in the world or taking your first few pliés in class, whether you’re tall or tiny, lean or stocky, as long as you have a body, you can dance ballet.
Grace used to be a serious ballet student when she was younger. Now she’s a teacher and a proud momma to 2 children. For her, ballet is a bit of personal getaway time after spending all week taking care of her little ones.
Deep in discussion about Roberto Bolle’s abs.
Like myself, Diana is a bosslady and an entrepreneur: she and her husband make custom pocket squares and neckties for men. It’s great to be able to talk to someone who understands the ups and downs of running your own business while we’re stretching out our muscles after class (must keep lactic acid from pooling!).
She quit ballet as a child after her teacher called her “chubby”. “But now that I’m older and wiser, I won’t let anyone tell me I can’t do ballet for some nonsensical reason!” She told me. “Ballet challenges me mentally and physically. I love it!”
You can always tell when someone used to dance when they were younger – you can see the form and technique come instinctively back to them. I love watching Grace work in class. Her epaulement and quality of movement is far more finessed than the rest of us, and it’s something I can learn from.
She says ballet helps her reminisce about her older dancing days. “And get a little bit of exercise in as well”
We are very serious and professional ballet students.