Adult Beginner walks into a barre. Or two.

Gentle Reader, a week ago I tried out Millennium Dance Complex for the first time ever, and have been distracted by certain babies every single time I tried to write about it, so now I have been to class there twice and hopefully get to actually hit Post this time.
Babies, man.
I think this is what they’re talking about when they say having a baby changes everything. They’re talking about blogging.
Ok! So Millennium!
At Millennium a single class costs $15, but if you want you can pay $10 and just take barre. Which is great. Because I don’t see any beginner level ballet classes on their schedule, they’re all Beginner/Intermediate and the Adult Beginner is scared of Beginner/Intermediate because of this reason and this reason.
The complex has a bunch of studios with exposed brick and exposed ductwork and big beautiful mirrors with signs that warn you to be cautious of said mirrors. Guess they’ve had some trouble.
Also a big sign over the back mirror in the ballet studio, says “Unity In Diversity” and a framed essay on the front desk about how this is where we all come together no matter size shape sex skill shoe size etc. etc.
All very encouraging, because then you walk down the narrow hallway lined with signed photos of, like, every movie star and celebrity ever who has ever danced ever, one hot celeb photo after another from the lobby all the way to the bathrooms and changing rooms in back, past an eerily blue-lit bulletin board nook where you can advertise yourself or look for audition calls, practically all the way out the door through a garden to the parking lot in back. It’s a lot of beautiful people to look at on your way to a fully mirrored room.
Pro-tip: if you want a parking spot, show up early for class. Parking lot was empty when I got there because I am a nerd who gets places early, and jam packed when I left.
So I took the barre two times, two different teachers, same level class, same studio room, both about thirty students (maybe five of us over age thirty), very different experience.
First class, quickly evident it was more toward the intermediate level.
Also involved a lot of pas de cheval. We almost never do pas de cheval in Smirnoff’s class. I wonder why. Maybe he hates horses.
Teacher would do a very quick brief demonstration and verbal description of each exercise, and then turn on the music and watch and walk around and correct people. Mostly by name. Didn’t correct me at all, which I was fine with because the correction I needed in that class was basically, ‘Hey! Try doing ballet, ok?’
Those were some fast, intricate combinations, and I had a fun time trying to work them out but by the end of barre was super relieved that I going to be taking my shoes off and stepping out to the lobby instead of taking this mess out into center.
I stayed and watched part of the center though, and was really pleased to see things like when the teacher would compliment one dude on his pirouettes a lá seconde, during the moment between combinations other students would be like, Dude, those pirouettes are really looking good. And dude would smile and say thanks.
So, like, a really supportive vibe in a hard class. That’s awesome.
Second class I took started like something out of a movie.
Teacher put on some kinda noodley jazz music as people slowly started wandering into the space, pinning up their hair, putting down bags, putting legs up on the rickety pipe bars, sinking down into stretches, fussing with their shoes, all with a purpose, all to this plinky jazz score. Kind of gave me goosebumps, Gentle Reader.
This teacher led us through a long warm up, which I really like and am not used to with Smirnoff who is just Bam! grande pliés lets get to work ladies.
She demonstrated each exercise and then sang out the rhythm, like, “ok? So it’s Ba-dah, ba-dah, hi!hi!hi! And bah-dah, bah-dah hi!hi!hi!”
Super helpful. And funny.
And then she’d generally do part of the exercise along with us. Some were fast, some were really slow and beautiful, I felt good about this class, like maybe I could have stayed for center without any disasters.
She gave me one correction, which was “Hold you tummy in….more….better!”
Better, not good.
I love ballet teachers.
So, yeah, Millennium, two thumbs up, would buy from again.
After the first class, I got back home where my parents had been playing with the baby, and they were like, “Class was good? We’re so glad you got to hang out with adults for an hour, that must be so nice for you!” And I was like, “Adults! Ha! Ha! Right, ’cause that’s who takes ballet on a weekday morning. Adults. Hee hee weep.”

Oh! And another thing! Wooden floors! Have always wanted to try a class on a wooden floor. So much prettier than the old taped linoleum I’m used to.


About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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4 Responses to Adult Beginner walks into a barre. Or two.

  1. RO says:

    Sounds like you had a good one! Just put yourself out there and take that center class too ;-) I know you can do it!! And even if you can’t, well you can always say you tried and you’ll get better by trying!

  2. candice says:

    Weekday mornings are “Old Lady Ballet” in my neck of the woods. I go to Saturday mornings with some of them, and they’re a riot. I want to get to sixty-something and still able to dance like them when I grow up. :)

  3. Nichelle says:

    “I think this is what they’re talking about when they say having a baby changes everything. They’re talking about blogging.”
    — That, my dear, made me laugh out loud (the unabbreviated variety). I can relate.

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