Introducing Rhonda Jamb, Special Correspondent, and a special new project: Review All The Classes!!!

Gentle Reader! I’m super excited to announce a big special new project!
Which is:
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.

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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12 Responses to Introducing Rhonda Jamb, Special Correspondent, and a special new project: Review All The Classes!!!

  1. Pingback: the Rhonda Jamb Review of Beginning Ballet at Studio A | Adult Beginner

  2. d1a2n3e4 says:

    I love the name! :)
    And this is a wonderful idea to review the classes for adults!

    Two thoughts: First, my favorite teacher when I was a young teen in the Bay Area of Cal. used to say, that when one enters a ballet studio, one must “…leave your ego outside”.Ego has no place in the studio. One tends to trip over it.
    The other thought regards improperly advertised or named classes. Most of my adult ballet classes (I teach) started with absolute beginners. They progressed, but stayed in the same class; the times suited them, etc. Unfortunately, the studio-owner did not get around to re-naming all the classes as the classes evolved. So now there are about four adult beginner classes each week, but they are all different levels. :p

  3. M says:

    The name is a scream.

    (And that is an ambitious project. Whew.)

  4. jenerators says:

    I currently take classes at The Australian Ballet and our teacher is an ex-member. There used to be one class a week but recently they’ve added more. Currently there are two Beginner classes each week and two non-beginner classes. I think one person turned up once in satin demi pointes, but everyone else wears ballet flats except a couple of people in jazz shoes. Oh, and the teacher wears jazz sneakers.

  5. I think this is a great idea! It would be nice to know ahead of time if a class is for true beginners or “beginners” who have years and years of experience are the norm there. It would for sure help with my new class or new teacher anxiety. Thank you, you are doing a public service.

  6. Barbara says:

    I am in Portland, Oregon and take at Bodyvox. They offer only two levels. ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS and OPEN. The two AB classes twice a week are what it means. However the OPEN class offered 5 times a week is for anyone who can muster up enough courage to take a professional dance level class along side professionals. They do not offer Beginner or Intermediate classes so you have to find a different studio for that. Feeling like an Intermediate dancer while standing nest to the pros becomes a major EGO BLASTER!!!! As you describe….no matter what I tell myself.

  7. Suzanne says:

    I live a million miles away from LA, but I still think this is an awesome public service you are providing. I’m always nervous to try a new class in case it’s at completely the wrong level so having access to information like this beforehand would be super helpful. If this project ever goes international, I’d be happy to review some of my local ballet classes over here in Scotland!

  8. Pingback: The Adult Beginner Review of Beginner/Intermediate Ballet at Millennium Dance Complex | Adult Beginner

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