Adult Beginner gets Align-ed

Little bit ago I finally got to take a series of Align Ballet Method classes.
Align is a teaching style designed by Michael Cornell specifically for adult beginners, with classes at a few different locations all over Los Angeles.
Specifically for adult beginners, you guys.
This is awesome because if you’ve looked you know it is hard to find a class that is really for reals for beginners, and simultaneously really for reals for adults.
No tricks here, beginner doesn’t mean two years of experience, beginner means beginner and everyone else in the Align 1 class is also a beginner (or returning after years off) and you all start on the same day together, all beginner-y together, and you begin ballet.
I wish Align had existed when I started.
But it didn’t exist yet. Align Ballet Method was established in 2012, and the Adult Beginner is not an absolute beginner anymore so I jumped in at the Align 2 level, with Kate, who you can see dancing in a very pretty video here over at Darling Magazine.
I really really liked my class series. I wish it could’ve gone on forever.
The combinations at the barre were kept very simple with a huge emphasis on correct alignment, as per the name. I received a ton of corrections on tiny little things that I could feel making a massive difference right away.
The class was organized in that style (I don’t know if this is based in a particular school?) where each combination is followed by a period of time finding and holding balance, in fifth position sous-sou and later in passé, before moving on to the other side. Having this moment of quiet in between all the quick work was excellent for incorporating corrections and kind of clearing my head to start the other side fresh.
During balancing time Kate would come around and help people individually with their posture, and seriously dudes, my balance improved so much from taking this Align series that I can feel it in my regular ballet class. I can feel it walking down the street. I can feel it in spin class and yoga and in line at the grocery store. I want to take more Align to hold that feeling.
So, if you are in LA and you’ve been waiting for the Adult Beginner review of Align Ballet Method (totally kidding, who would do that, but if you have been:) I give it two thumbs up and a swirl.
I’ve been kind of thinking of Align as being like sculpting with an armature. You know, you start with this simple inner structure, and you get it right before you add the clay, as opposed to my regular open level class, where it’s more like starting with a big lump of clay and warming it and stretching and pulling bits off and refining down to correct.
You can make something beautiful and strong with either method, and trying one way when you’re experienced in the other can only improve your mastery of the medium.

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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11 Responses to Adult Beginner gets Align-ed

  1. Shellie says:

    Cool! Thanks for the review.

  2. If you ever find yourself looking for a ballet class in the Detroit area (hey, who knows, it could happen!), check out Christina’s Adult Ballet – it’s a studio 100 percent dedicated to adult students of all levels. Our teacher is the best – I’ve learned so much from her and improved in ways I never thought possible – and it’s so inspiring to take class with all these incredible women!

  3. I wish we had something like Align here, I have brought your post to the attention of the users of BalletcoForum:

  4. nicola lynde says:

    This sounds so good! Every once in awhile I get a correction where it’s so obvious that I should’ve been doing this from the very start, but bad habits mean I haven’t. I hope more teachers of adults follow this lead!

  5. Jessica says:

    I love Align! Even before your review, you pushed me to start taking classes with them. I was obsessing about starting ballet — Me: Mom, why did you take me out of ballet when I was a kid? Mom: Because you were just so bad at it — and your wonderful blog gave me the push that I needed to find a class and sign up. It’s been eight weeks, and I keep adding additional classes. So since I love Align, and I love your blog, I’m glad the two of you have finally met. Thank you, and brava, for inspiring me and people like me.

  6. I do think adult ballet is a thing that’s happening now. Even where I take class in Alabama, the studio is specifically geared toward adults, with multiple class levels available. There’s even a basic beginner workshop for people who have never step foot in a ballet class before. There’s also pointe class for adults, and everything in between.

  7. gwenyth says:

    This is great. I have been wondering about this and whether to try. But also the series requirement makes it hard for me with all travel.

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