Feature: Ballet / Ballet - Adult Dancers

Get the Pointe #38: Special Issue Adult Ballet Dancers (featuring Brubie)
By smileywomanmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Aug 05, 2010 05:40 PM
Edited by smileywoman (141214) on 2010-08-05 17:43:49 ..
Edited by smileywoman (141214) on 2010-08-05 17:44:44 fix codes
Edited by smileywoman (141214) on 2010-08-05 17:45:52 add #38 to title
Edited by webheadmaster (251) on 2010-08-05 18:07:10 Make feature

Get the Pointe: Special Issue – Adult Ballet Dancers
By Maria aka smileywoman a 50 year old ballet dancer and long time DDN member.

DDNer – Brubie
On DDN I’m known as Brubie. I’m an adult dancer who has been dancing on and off for 25 years started with ballet, the modern jazz & tap, and now pretty much all ballet including basic pointe.

BEGINNING
Q: What was the spark that keyed your interest in dance, and where / when did you begin to study?
A: I started at a small studio in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, moved to Philadelphia, took some classes at Temple University, and have been taking classes at Koresh Dance Center since the studio opened 16 years ago.

Q: Were you a "natural"?
A: No way - I work(ed) hard to get the technique I have now.

Q: Have you danced all along? Or did you start / stop / re-start like many of us adult dancers?
A: Definitely started and stopped, but all as an adult, never danced as child.

Q: Has ballet continued to be a lifelong passion?
A: Absolutely.

ROUTINE
Q: What motivates you at 8 a.m. on a Monday morning?
A: The thought of my 6:00 ballet class and of course the students in my freshman writing classes.

Q: What is your daily routine?
A: Class 6 days a week in the summer, multiple classes 3 of those days, and one day off.

Q: Ballet is a never ending quest for perfection. What parts of your technique are you most satisfied with? What parts are you least satisfied with and how do you work on your technique to improve it?
A: It is the never ending search for perfection that I love about ballet. I am okay with my technique at the barre (although certain things need to be faster). Turns and jumping are a continuing learning experience. I take private lessons to work on specifics like turning, petite allegro, and pointe.

Q: Do you workout in a gym? Or have other forms of exercise/condition besides ballet?
A: I love to walk and of course other dance classes.

Q: How do you prepare your pointe shoes?
A: I'm still pretty new at this and generally get my teacher help me "break them" but I'm getting better at sewing the ribbons and elastics.

Q: Do you have a ‘signature step’ – one that comes naturally to you?
A: Not yet, but I love waltz steps.

INFLUENCES
Q: Do you dance any other style other than ballet? If so, how does the other dance discipline influence your ballet dancing? [Please elaborate on type, differences, why you do?
A: Ballet helps my jazz dancing, it gives me strength, helps me feel my center more, and in general makes me more aware physically.

PERFORMANCE
Q: When did you go onstage for the first time? Can you tell us about it?
A: The year I turned 50 I participated in a workshop performance, the performance was the culmination of a 2 week jazz workshop, it was the biggest thrill I've had dancing up until I started working on a variation in my private lessons.

Q: What roles have you danced and what are your favorite roles? Why?
A: Still learning about this aspect of ballet. Of course Juliet is a favorite of mine to watch.

Q: Was there a role that you danced or will dance this year that you are looking forward to?
A: Alas none.

Q: What thoughts or feelings do you have when you perform?
A: I generally enjoy the process almost more than the actual performance.

Q: What does your warm-up consist of before a performance? Other preparations?
A: Tons of stretching and pacing.

Q: Is performing different as an adult than when you were younger? Explain.
A: I appreciate the opportunities more.

Q: Do you do pas de deux? If so, what do you like in a partner?
A: Haven't done this yet, maybe someday at Dance Camp.

Q: What kind of dance do you respond to most strongly now?
A: Ballet and modern jazz.

Q: How do you think ballet (uniquely) communicate as an art?
A: It is unique in that it is universal, appeals to or shall I write, can speak to everyone.

Q: What professional dancer would you most like to dance with (why?) and what would you dance?
A: I ‘heart’ Baryshnikov! I saw him with White Oak Dance Project, awesome!

Q: If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance?
A: Bolshoi

INSPIRATION
Q: Who inspired you to dance?
A: Melissa and Natalia.

Q: Who are the three people in dance that have inspired you most?
A: Melissa, Natalia, Roni - all people at the studio I attend.

Q: What has been the high point of your ‘career’ as a dancer, so far?
A: Workshop performance when I turned 50 and working on my pointe technique.

Q: What is your best piece of advice?
A: Do it because you love it.

CHALLENGES
Q: Can you tell me about any challenges that you have faced as an older dancer and what you have done to overcome them?
A: Just the usual aches and pains. I take care to stretch, soak, and occasionally take an Ibuprofen. My biggest challenge is not to push too hard.

FUTURE
Q: What is your feeling/thinking about your future as an adult ballet dancer? [Goals? Retiring? etc.]
A: I will keep on going as long as I can. My goals are to learn more variations (next summer after I learn the one I'm working on) and to work on my pointe technique. My goals are modest I think: to learn the variation this summer, to be able to do the barre in my beginner class en pointe ( right now I mainly do things facing the barre), and then next year I'd love to be able to do the variation on pointe.

Q: How do you see the future of the world of dance?
A: Complicated due to money but thriving/surviving due to those of us who love it enough to give our time.

Q: Are there changes you would like to make or that you see happening?
A: Have older dancers more accepted - I'm lucky in that at my studio I'm treated as a serious student.

Q: What advice do you have for younger dancers?
A: Balance and stay true to who you are.

FOR FUN
Q: If you were asked to design your own ballet costume, what would you create?
A: Something flowy and pink.

Q: You can ask six famous people to dinner - who would you invite and why?
A: 1) Hillary Clinton because she is fascinating. 2) Barbara Streisand because I've been a fan since I was 15 years old. 3) Mikhail Baryshnikov just because. 4) Simon Cowell because he is generally right on the money with his comments (whether you like him or not). 5) Donovan McNabb because I love football and he is superb player. 6) Natalia/Alexei, the two ballet teacher at my studio…I love and appreciate their honest opinions and their talking about their lives in Russia prior to coming to the US.

Q: What would surprise people about you?
A: That I dance ballet.

Q: How do you feel about being interviewed for this special issue of Get the Pointe?
A: An honor to share my thought and feelings about something I love.

12 Replies to Get the Pointe #38: Special Issue Adult Ballet Dancers (featuring Brubie)

re: Get the Pointe #38: Special Issue Adult Ballet Dancers (featuring Brubie)
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Aug 05, 2010 06:20 PM
Brubie!!

How cool, Maria, to feature Brubie. And Brubie how wonderful of you to impart wisdom.

Favorite question/answer is:


Q: What advice do you have for younger dancers?
A: Balance and stay true to who you are.


Great advice for anyone!!

Can't wait for the rest of these interviews. They're a fabulous idea and excellent addition to DDN.

I gotta tell you that I'm dying for Odile53 to give an interview and show some pics of those infamous summer-sore tooties!!

Again, thank you to both of you.

XOXOOXOXOXXOXOXOXOXO
re: Get the Pointe #38: Special Issue Adult Ballet Dancers (featuring Brubie)
By cmsnifermember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Aug 05, 2010 08:57 PM
Great interview Brubie! So nice to learn more about you. :)

Thanks Maria for all of your hard work putting together these interviews!
re: Get the Pointe #38: Special Issue Adult Ballet Dancers (featuring Brubie)
By miraclefrmheavnmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:14 AM
Congratulations Brubie! So nice to learn more about you. Keep up the great work dancing as well!
re: Get the Pointe #38: Special Issue Adult Ballet Dancers (featuring Brubie)
By enlair89
On Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:07 PM
It is nice to read about those of us who've embraced dance later in life! I really enjoyed reading this.
re: Get the Pointe #38: Special Issue Adult Ballet Dancers (featuring Brubie)
By hannicamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:59 AM
very inspirational!
re: Get the Pointe #38: Special Issue Adult Ballet Dancers (featuring Brubie)
By hannahgil
On Fri Aug 27, 2010 07:48 AM
Great article!You are definitely an inspiration to all of us older dancers and what can be accomplished with a lot of work and maybe more importantly a lot of passion.I am an adult starting ballet again and my goal is advance to the point of going en pointe.
re: Get the Pointe #38: Special Issue Adult Ballet Dancers (featuring Brubie)
By hannahgil
On Sat Aug 28, 2010 02:05 PM
VERY INSPIRATIONAL!!!especially for adults wanting to go en pointe!
re: Get the Pointe #38: Special Issue Adult Ballet Dancers (featuring Brubie)
By SpanishPointe
On Tue Aug 31, 2010 07:08 PM
Lovely interview, Brubie, thank you for sharing your insights and efforts with all of us. Kudos to you for getting on pointe as an adult and staying with it!

Thank you, Maria, for the effort in putting the interview together and bringing it to all of us.
re: Get the Pointe #38: Special Issue Adult Ballet Dancers (featuring Brubie)
By wendyann1
On Thu Oct 28, 2010 09:47 AM
Very inspiring!!! It's wonderful to hear the passion and sense of commitment.
re: Get the Pointe #38: Special Issue Adult Ballet Dancers (featuring Brubie)
By Annemarie11
On Tue Dec 21, 2010 07:28 PM
I personally love Ballet Dancing.Actually, it is one of my hobby. As a ballet dancer,you need to have a balance and you should always stay true to your self.Most of all ballet dancers are young at age, but I am proud of those adult ones. You inspires us a lot. I owe you for that.
re: Get the Pointe #38: Special Issue Adult Ballet Dancers (featuring Brubie)
By TidalWhale
On Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:15 PM
This is really funny, I started off in a small studio in Lancaster, PA(that I now teach at) and haved since started taking classes at Koresh! I am sure that we have met just didn't know it!! :)
re: Get the Pointe #38: Special Issue Adult Ballet Dancers (featuring Brubie)
By smileywomanmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Dec 27, 2010 05:07 PM
Get the Pointe #40 will be published soon on this forum, featuring another DDN adult ballet dancer interviewed.

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