Im 15 years old, want to start ballet- help!!
By canadiandancer
On 03/17/2004 12:45:04
Hey everyone!

Alright, so heres the deal.

Im 15 right now and have never done any form of dance in my life. Im in good shape (slim) although not all that healthy. Im VERY unflexible (cant touch my toes/get my back flat when bending down). Its been such a dream of mine to do ballet and eventually if I could, pointe.

Currently I attend an arts high school in the drama programme which in the next two years (11/12) will take up a lot of time after school. I am willing to give up the program to be able to dance.

Can you tell me anything that might be of help, or how many classes I would eventually have to take. Id probably be starting in september since semesters have already started and I need to get organized. Would I ever be able to go on pointe? how many years would it take? is there a chance I would be able to get en pointe before the end of high school (in 10 right now) considering my unflexibility, fact that I currently have no turnout and that I have no training in any form of dance right now? next year Ill be doing co-op at a vet clinic and be taking a lot of crazy science courses, will probably have a part time job to pay for the classes AND the drama programme. As Ive said, Im willing to drop that. Im so passionate about dance.

Until I came here and read about 20, 30, 40+ year olds starting dance I was completely discouraged. You've all given me new hope.

Anything that you can tell me would be greatly apppreciated, thanks you all soooo much in advance!!:):)
re: Im 15 years old, want to start ballet- help!!
By Valeria
On 03/17/2004 14:18:29
Yes, you can start dance now. I am not sure if you want to be a professional dancer - that could be a problem but in general yes, you can start dance ballet this late and get en pointe. It will depend on how hard you work and what are your goals. Start stretching now! You can increase your flexibility way before your first class and your turn out as well. Just make sure you don't injure yourslf. Go buy some books, browse internet, take pilates (a very good help for stretching, turn-out and strength). Hope this helps. And go and talk to someone in the studio before hand to find out what they think about your abilities.
re: Im 15 years old, want to start ballet- help!!
By Babygirl_luvsya
On 03/20/2004 00:41:28
I was in your same position at your age. I really wanted to dance and would be willing to give up all other activities. I'm now 18 and will be starting classes this summer. I have been dancing and choreographing for a long time in talent shows and school groups and such, but with little formal training.

I recommend that you get involved with ANY dance organizations at your school. even if you don't prefer the dance genre, you should still get involved to learn. Also, start taking dance classes as soon as possible. I would not rush into taking 15 hours of dance per week. Start slow. If possible, take a Stretching class and an introductory technique class. Rather than shooting for Pointe by the end of high school, set smaller goals for yourself. Like, be able to do touch your toes by the 2nd month of class, etc. Also, do your own stretches at home. Search websites and books for stretches and make a list of the stretches you need to do every night. Remember, this wont be easy, but stick with it! Good Luck!
re: Im 15 years old, want to start ballet- help!!
By RainbowStarz
On 03/20/2004 05:43:54
i too am 15, and thought i was too old to start ballet. ( i also do a lot of extra curricular stuff, i take an extra after school drama course 2 days a week, act a lot, i am on the stage crew at my school and i also do duke of edinburgh (british activities award thingy)) this takes up a lot of my time. however,i decided i wanted to do ballet, and after ringing around some of the studios in my area, i have been put in a grade 5 (ISTD) class and i start on Wednesday! so don't get discouraged. :)

linz xxx
re: Im 15 years old, want to start ballet- help!!
By pinkballerina88
On 03/20/2004 10:33:54
once again i'll say, you are NEVER to old to start ballet :) i began taking formal ballet and jazz lessons (i had always danced, but never taken lessons) at age 14 at a local studio. well i am 15 now, going en pointe and have been encouraged by my teachers that i have the potential for a professional career in ballet. so no it is definitely not to late... see some of my other posts on here, most of them address this issue.
good luck and GO FOR IT, you seem to show the kind of commitment to dance that is so important.
re: Im 15 years old, want to start ballet- help!!
By pharmadancer
On 03/20/2004 14:51:25
Hi Canadiandancer (I'm canadian too!) :)

I was in your exact position when I was 15. I had never taken a dance class and loved it when I started taking a jazz class for fun. Start out slow to make sure this is what you really want to do (you said you've never taken any type of dance - so i'm wondering how you know it's really your passion?). Take classes on the weekends - stretch everyday a little bit - and see if this is really for you! I was super unflexible when I started, and I was able to increase it quite a bit. I was also able to get onto pointe and into my studio's dance company before the end of high school! So don't worry! If this is really meant to be, it'll happen, just be open to the possibilities!

~*~ pharmadancer ~*~
re: Im 15 years old, want to start ballet- help!!
By canadiandancer
On 03/20/2004 16:10:56
thanks! all of you're comments are very helpful and appreciated!

umm, a few questions, I mean, I know that there are obviously the grade levels for ballet classes, but how did you (babygurl) get into grade 5 (ISTD)without any formal training?? thats crazy, but amazing :)

also, pink ballerina, exactly how long have you danced ballet? cause if you started at 14 and are going en pointe at 15 now, thats like a year..:S

ooh, also, how often do you guys take classes a week? because id want to take it more than once a week but for 'intermediate foundations ballet' (which is the class Id be taking) its only offered once a week and I dont want to go to different studios..

-and to pharmadancer, I appreciate your encouragement and yes, I realize I cant technically know if its what I want to do without having taken ballet yet but, when I see a dance piece I light up, I just know. It sounds crazy but Im sure some of you understand where Im coming from!

anyways, thanks a bunch~! xoxo
re: Im 15 years old, want to start ballet- help!!
By pinkballerina88
On 03/20/2004 18:13:24
i can completely understand how you know you want to dance... oh yeah and i'm almost going on 16 so it's abou tmy 2nd year
re: Im 15 years old, want to start ballet- help!!
By canadiandancer
On 03/20/2004 18:18:26
wow! thats crazy to be able to do it in 2 years!! good job, inspiration really..

but did you already have like really strong legs and feet and, well, everything..just cause..ah I dont know! its so great but Im wondering if I have a chance of doing it in 2 years! also, how many dance classes do you take a week? sorry to be pestering :P
re: Im 15 years old, want to start ballet- help!!
By kersa
On 03/21/2004 12:20:30

I'm so glad you have decided to dance!

If you want to advance, you should probably take 3-6 classes a week. If you work hard (take your classes seriosly, stretch at home etc.) you may be able to begin pointe after 2 years. The time is needed to strengthen your ankles and improving your balance.

You can begin the work at home already! Do some stretching a couple of times a week (see the stretching board), and do releves, too.

PS. I'm taking 5-6 classes a week: 2 is too few and 7 is too much
re: Im 15 years old, want to start ballet- help!!
By canadiandancer
On 03/21/2004 12:25:55
alright, thx!
I would want to take a lot of classes a week but for my level my studio only offers one a week! what can I do?
re: Im 15 years old, want to start ballet- help!!
By canadiandancer
On 03/21/2004 15:49:37
okay, so I just looked on the site to see if there were classes I could take and theres is an adult ballet class, would that work?
theres also Primary Ballet I (1), what age group/level is that? could it work for me?
re: Im 15 years old, want to start ballet- help!!
By pinkballerina88
On 03/24/2004 14:15:37
well i was naturally turned out and my teacher told me i had natural talent... my legs were fairly strong but they've improved a lot.... i'll be taking 4 classes a week sooo... that's about it...
re: Im 15 years old, want to start ballet- help!!
By SilveryRhythm
On 03/25/2004 18:24:03
Primary Ballet 1? What ballet syllabus are you doing? It depends because the levels have different names in different syllabi, so find out from the school first, because we dont really have an idea whether or not Primary means for a younger age group than you are in.

You could probably take the adult class, that's fine. I'm 17, but I started ballet a few years ago in a class with people only slightly younger than I am, but as it turns out after two years I was told apparently to be better than they were. There's nothing wrong with starting old ;) and late starters often learn fast anyway, which is great!

As for the classes, ask the school about what class would suit you. Just tell them how old you are and that you've never done ballet before. Then the teacher will put you in a suitable class with similar students who are in your age group but have approximately the same amount of experience, and you can then start ballet!

For the moment I think you should just settle with one class a week, if you want to go to that school. Work hard this year and you can ask to be moved up next year if you're not automatically moved up, and that way you can probably take more classes. Ballet made me so sore that I couldn't take more than one class a week, but I'd liked to take tap more than once a week because it's my main dance. I actually found a solution to that: take both private AND shared classes! :D So ask your parents for more pocket money and you can take private classes- that way you'll have more than one class a week, and it'll probably be the same amount of money as if you take a lot of shared classes anyway.

Good luck, and tell me how your ballet's going!

Best wishes and keep dancin',
re: Im 15 years old, want to start ballet- help!!
By pointefreek
On 03/31/2004 10:16:07
You aren't too old to start ballet, but your post should probably be sent to the ballet section.

And as for late starters, there are many adults who are with professional companies who started in their teenage years. You really don't start dancing professionally until about 23-24 anyway. You still have time and you are still young. The only reason they start children young is so that ballet will be instilled in them at a young age and so that they will be flexible enough when they get older.

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