Crazy Guest-Posting Action from Henrik of Tights and Tiaras!

O.M.G. you guys.
I have here, for your edification and delight, a guest post from Henrik, a For Realz professional dancer, with the Maribor Ballet of Slovenia.
I know, right?!
Ok, when I found Henrik’s website a while back, I found it fascinating, funny, and kinda mean. Basically, just what I like in a blog. And, you know, written by a professional. So I was intimidated, I mean, why would a pro care what I have to say?
Eventually I worked up the courage to post a comment, and its a good thing, because it turns out Henrik is, like, really cool.
Read on, and visit his site.
Take it away, Henrik!

Newly discovered: Adult beginners. 

Most people wouldn’t think a professional dancer meets many adult beginners during their normal working day. In this case, most people are right. Now, that’s a shame!
Until recently, I had never talked with anyone that discovered their passion for ballet after finishing both their puberty and their university degree. I know professional dancers, retired dancers, aspiring ballet students, good dancers, and, I know some pretty bad dancers too. I even know a go-go dancer (long story), but as I said already, until recently, I never spoke to any adult beginners. 

Not so long ago, I found a guy on the internet (or actually, more true is, he found my blog, left a comment that again sent me to his blog) that was an adult man that just decided to start learning ballet. He was so inspired, he described the things I do every day with a contagious passion, I truly appreciated going to work the next morning a bit more than usually. And the guy never did a ballet-class. Today he has, and you should read about it on Anyway, this comment on my blog opened my eyes to a new breed in the grand zoo of ballet, the adult beginners. 

Ballet sucks! To become a professional ballet dancer, that is to dance ballet as your full-time job (I know, it makes it sound kinda strange, doesn’t it?), you need to start training way before you are old enough to decide if thats what you want to do with your life. Parents asks their seven year old kid, “would you like to take ballet classes?”, and the kids are like “naah, I’d rather play hide and seek”. And there it goes. Kid never becomes a professional ballet-dancer. 
Still, sometimes the kid grows up, and decides to learn ballet anyway. Those are the adult beginners. And let me tell you – they’ve got balls! Once adult, it takes a whole lot of guts to go into a ballet studio the first time. For us who started as kids, it was easy – we had no clue of what we were getting into, and wearing leotards and running around in circles “picking flowers” probably seemed like a great way to spend the afternoon. For adult beginners the song has a different tune – when did you last show yourself in a tights in front of a crowd? And were you doing something totally unfamiliar, quite hard, not very comfortable and possibly humiliating at the time? This is what any adult beginner faces when they go into that ballet studio the first time. 

Since you’re reading this, I will take it for granted that you are already familiar with ms. Adultbeginner and her more-than-awesome posts. If you are not, don’t even finish reading this. Hit the “archive” button right now, and read up! You can thank me later. You still here? Shoos, already.
For you already familiar, I don’t have to tell you about all the wonders of a ballet studio, and what it offers to adult starters. Ms. Adultbeginner replied to one of my comments on this site saying something like that “it’s good for adults to do things they are not immediately good at. Those rare moments of getting it right are all the more sweet”. That describes it pretty well. The adult beginner remembers what we professionals easily forget – the joy of dancing, and the joy of achieving something. It’s quite the feeling. 
This blog, and others like it, has helped me re-discover a passion I almost forgot about between the tendues and the jetés. When doing what you love as your job, it is easy to forget what you love about it. And if you don’t feel the joy in it anymore, there’s really no reason left being a ballet-dancer. I mean, lets face it, most of us never become famous, none of us becomes rich, and it includes a shitload of work, pain and sacrifices. I learned, and still learn so much from people who just started discovering the great art of ballet. Their love of ballet is at least as great as mine. Because joy doesn’t increase with the number of pirouettes you can perform (or actually, it does, but I was trying to make a point). 

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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36 Responses to Crazy Guest-Posting Action from Henrik of Tights and Tiaras!

  1. Cheers to this article and each and everyone involved in it!
    Well Henrik, you should visit NY some time. We have here ‘open studios’ where everyone can take classes for a fee. One of the most famous and best examples is Steps on Broadway (which you have heard of I’m sure). Having grown up in Europe it was quite an experience (not in bad way but still slightly different way) to do class with all kind of levels. On the other hand I am sure the ‘adult beginners’ enjoy taking class with the professionals…
    This culture seems to exist only here in the US. The only other place I have experienced that was at the Pineapple studios in London.

    And as always cheers :)!

    • Yes, I know Steps, actually, I did a class there once on a tour to Amerika. I was concentrating so badly, it took me like 20 minutes to realize one of my fellow class-takers was Julie Kent.. :)
      But you are right, we don’t have that “over here” – I think it can be a great addition to “normal class”, at least every once-in-a-while!
      And, of course, cheers :) ypa!

    • Took a few ballet classes in NYC during the summer. Beginner level, very large classes, everyone from the elderly to children. One of my favorite things about these classes was not the class at all, but simply getting to sit in the observation area afterward and watch the next, more advanced class. Pretty eye-opening to observe how a class flows without being in it, struggling through it.
      Cheers to you!

    • David says:

      Danill Simkin just posted here?! Amazing! Danill, I see you in the ballet magazines and I love your dance in the Divine Dancers : Prague DVD. You blow me away with the jumps and the perfect control.

  2. PBG says:

    Great post, Henrik!

    The joy of dancing is what brought me back after years away. When I dance, everything else in the world falls away and I can just focus on my muscles and what they’re doing. They’re not always doing what they’re supposed to be doing, but if they were, what would be the challenge?

    One of these days, I’ll learn to spot, and then I’ll REALLY be proud of myself.

    • I know the feeling, when dancing, you don’t have to think about anything else! It’s a great way of unwiring from the problems around you for a while! :)
      Glad you liked the post! Be sure to read the other posts on this blog, did I mention, they are awesome?! :) H

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  4. Catherine says:

    I teach an adult ballet class and have some beginners in it. It is a source of endleess inspiration as I watch people who have far more nerve than I ever did try to master the technique of classical ballet as an adult.

  5. Naomi says:

    Loved this post by Henrik!
    I myself am an adult beginner of ballet, so I loved reading the funny yet touching posts by Ms Adult Beginner.
    I must I am not a good dancer but also experience the magical moments in studio when everything else disappears and only myself and the teacher and my body are the subject of my concern. There are such moments when you succeed a nice pirouette or a higher arabesque and that is bliss.
    Great to know that professional ballet dancers like you know our passion to ballet.

    • Well, I like to think I share the same passion – although, things do change a bit when you do it as your job.. I’m not saying I don’t love it, just that I’m so impressed by adult beginners way of looking at dance – it’s inspiring!!!
      Glad you liked the post :)

  6. robin says:

    henrik, you rock as usual :)
    dear adultbeginner,
    i hope that you are appropriately freaking out that DANIIL SIMKIN COMMENTED ON YOUR BLOG! okay, okay, it was henrik’s post but if i were you i would be stupidly grinning all day. keep up the good work, i enjoy your blog and your artwork :)

  7. o'fla says:

    I totally agree about the internet. :)
    It connects me to the world away from the small German town where I live and work.
    Re: adult beginners- I also love teaching them and have huge respect for their courage, motivation and perserverance!


  8. Mia says:

    Great post! I’ve added your blog to my blog list. I love Henrick’s website too (as well as Dave Tries Ballet)- I actually just discovered them both last night and found myself laughing out loud constantly at Henrick. He’s beyond hilarious. Anyway, I’ve been taking ballet since I was 4 and am 32 now. Now I dance occasionally with a small contemporary ballet company as a guest artist since I don’t have time to rehearse enough to be a full time member (real job, blerg). Anyway, I drop in on their adult beginner classes all the time, and I enjoy them MORE than the advanced/company classes. They’re fun, and I love watching the beginners advance. Dance isn’t my job, like it is for Henrick- it’s my “damn, I’m old but I can’t quit side project” that I can barely squeeze into my hectic schedule.
    But yes, we all have the same passion! You go! Dance! Love your blog! Yay you! (Have you done pointe yet? Will you be able to if you haven’y? Our adult beginners can after a certain amount of time and an assessment by their instructor).

    • Totally agree, Henrik is beyond hilarious. Have you read his Wili Disorder post yet? It’s excellent!
      My teacher made some noises about starting up a pointe class a while back but nothing has come of it so far. It would be so amazing to try. We’ll see.

      • Mia says:

        Yes. That blog was my first impression of Henrick as it showed up retweeted in my (whatever you call your twitter-feed? I’m a bit e-tarded), and then I proceeded to rewteet it and then go devour his blog and follow him on twitter. And I will shut up now since I sound like a stalker, but damn if some humour in ballet isn’t wonderful.

    • Hey Mia. Can’t reply to your last post (ms Adultbeginner, please extend your limit on threaded comments, hint hint :) ), so I’ll do it here:

      Don’t worry about sounding like a stalker, I’d love to have one :D Makes you feel special, right? Thanks for the recent follow’s and retweets, I appreciate it a lot! Glad you enjoy my blog as well, you can click around in the “columns” section to see older posts on several topics…

      You mentioned humor in ballet, did you see the trocks?! That is the ultimate “let’s bring some humor into ballet” there is! The Trockaderos, on you tube – check it out :D

  9. Wow. I got mentioned by Henrik in a post on AdultBeginner that got commented on by Daniil Simkin? I’m blatantly blushing right now :)
    Great post, as always Henrik and Ms. Adult Beginner! You guys always make me smile, and I never leave either of your blogs without having something new to think on. Keep up the good work!
    And definitely yay internet! I don’t think I would have had the guts to try Ballet if it wasn’t for the amazing online community – you guys and gals are seriously the best.

  10. Stella says:

    I started ballet aged 18 a year ago exactly, and yesterday performed in my first ballet concert, and I absolutly love it. I just found these blogs today, and they’re great. When I say I do ballet, people expect me to be at a very high level, doing pointe, etc, when in fact I’m currently doing Grade 2! Throughout high school I always wanted to do ballet, but never had the courage to take it up until I finished. It’s great to know I’m not the only one taking up ballet not aged in single digits and good on you ms. AdultBeginner :)

  11. adultballet says:

    I just discovered your blog…thanks so much! I am also an adult beginner and ballet is my paassion. I am not very good but my entire body has completely changed in 4 years. At least I *look* like a dancer, haha. Please keep posting! Oh yes and there are smaller adult beginner classes in NYC!

  12. Pingback: I wrote a guest post, too!

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  15. Alicia aka The Bunless Ballerina says:

    Brilliantly stated, Henrik! This adult beginner (started at 36 years young) even teared up a little. :)

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