New to Ballet FAQ
Frequently asked question about Ballet in London
Will I need any specific clothing or equipment for ballet?
As a beginner, you can wear any sports/yoga clothes you feel comfortable moving in, but don’t wear anything too baggy, to allow the teacher to see and correct your posture if necessary. Ballet slippers are best though you can get started in socks or jazz shoes. Hair needs to be secured firmly back and out of your eyes for safety during turns.
Am I too old to start ballet?
No – our beginners’ classes are open to 16 and up. Our oldest regular attendee is in her 80’s.
How many lessons should I take a week if I want to progress?
You should plan to take classes once or twice a week to progress at a safe pace recreationally. Our Absolute Beginner’s Ballet Courses are one evening a week for 8 weeks. We have a number of beginners’ open classes every week too.
If I am not flexible, could I still take ballet classes?
Yes, and you will start to gain flexibility as you begin to train, and be shown how to become more flexible, and how to avoid injury.
You will also discover your strengths in other areas, such as jumping, fluidity, or turns. Don’t let concerns about your flexibility keep you from trying ballet. Just let your teacher know if you have had any injuries she/he needs to be aware of.
What happens in the class?
Ballet class generally starts with work at the barre, in a series of exercises to practice the different steps in which make up ballet. The sequence and type of exercises is the same in any ballet class in the world, although teaching techniques and styles vary. The barre usually takes about 30 minutes, followed by a series of exercises in the centre of the studio. Again, there is a sequence of types of exercise, which build upon each other in layers.
When can I dance in Pointe shoes?
It depends on the individual but generally taking regular ballet classes for at least a year is advisable before starting pointe work. Your teacher will let you know when you have sufficient strength.
Everyone in the class is more advanced than I am/I am afraid that people look at me and judge me.
At Danceworks our philosophy is that dance is for everyone and our classes and teachers reflect that. We welcome beginners in every genre as well as ballet. Ours is a friendly and non-intimidating studio.