Gentle Reader! I’m super excited to announce a big special new project!
Review All The Classes!!!!!!!!!!
All the adult beginner ballet classes in Los Angeles, that is.
Each review will provide important details such as what the class is called, where it is, and what the people are wearing. Also, what level is it really, from a real live adult beginner perspective. Also other totally subjective non-objective things.
Obviously I can’t do this alone, as I am only one totally enthusiastic adult beginner and LA is a big place,
Therefor I am super excited to introduce special field correspondent Rhonda Jamb, who will be starting us off with the first review, and setting up the key by which the class levels will be judged.
And now I’d like to pass the mike to Ms. Jamb.
Talk to us, Rhonda!
Hi! Rhonda Jamb here. You may call me Rhonda Jamb, Special Correspondent. As a special correspondent I’ll be reviewing adult beginner classes in LA. I feel as though there’s a grand ecarte-sized hole of information missing when it comes to the adult beginner ballet class, something I’ve had to learn through trial and error. The good news is that you don’t have to. Aren’t you excited? You should be.
I want to preface by saying that I owe a large portion of how far I’ve come as a dancer due to the fact that I’ve taken a lot of classes under the guise that they were beginner but were in fact not. Most of the classes should’ve been listed as “intermediate” or at least “advanced beginner.” Because I had no choice but to try and err, the physical results have been pretty great. Consistently challenging myself has made me a better dancer.
That said, I’m not Buddha. Part of my personal challenge has been in the inability to leave my inner critic at home. While my who-cares-what-other-people-think? muscle is quite flexible; I’m also a living and breathing human being with an ego. Sometimes not being able to complete a pirouette makes me feel bad. Not being able to complete one after eight tries makes me feel worse. My lack of confidence does a little pas de deux with my Frustrated Perfectionist, and before you know it I’m writing fake Yelp reviews in the shower. I’ll blame the teacher, the studio, my legwarmers—anything to quiet the voice that tells me I suck and I should quit so I don’t embarrass myself any further.
The catch is that the only way to make that voice shut up is to keep dancing. If I can’t turn on my eighth try, maybe I will on the ninth. This doesn’t mean I need to go out and buy a pair of Pointe shoes, it just means I need to accept that nothing is easy before it’s hard.
I say all this because I need it to be known, first and foremost, that I LOVE Ballet. These reviews aren’t meant to bash teachers or studios in any way. I support and will continue to support my ballet community, one that I am so grateful to be a part of, and has given me more than I ever could have imagined. These reviews are *my* opinions only. My hope is that they’ll encourage more adults to try something they’ve always wanted to do but never thought they could.
TB: True Beginner. Little or no previous ballet knowledge. Maybe you know the five positions but that’s about it.
IB: Intermediate Beginner. Previous ballet training but not for a looooong ass time. You took class in your youth at a rinky-dink school where you learned how to do a tour jete before you grew hips and decided you’d rather be smoking weed with your friends.
AB: Advanced Beginner. Rusty after not getting into Pointe shoes after too many years. You’ve been away, but when you weren’t, you were the best dancer in class and you damn well knew it. Or, you were a TB two or three years ago and rose thru the ranks.
TI: No, I don’t mean the famous rapper who went to jail, I mean True Intermediate. You’re a wonderful ballerina who never quit her day job. Maybe in the next life you’ll know better.
TA: True Advanced. Dude, I don’t even know you. Oh, you take classes at The Edge? Cool. Oh, you were in a J.Lo video? Awesome. Oh, you used to be a principal dancer for the New York City Ballet? Wow… can you sign my ballet slipper? TA’s are the seniors to our freshman. Don’t look at them, don’t talk to them, and do whatever they say—I know it’s unfair but them’s the rules. If you go rogue and find your entire house toilet papered, I’m gonna have to pretend I don’t know you. Sorry.