As one of my many new years resolutions (that I have actually stuck to!) I joined a Ballet class for the first time in many, many years. I had been thinking about getting back into it for a while but I didn’t know where to start, and I think as an adult, you are more fearful of starting something from scratch.
Joining the gym? Starting a new exercise class? Taking up a new sport? We’ve got you covered!
When we have the initial brilliant idea of starting something new, it feels exciting in our heads, “I’m gonna run a marathon in France next year!” You envisage yourself running through a vineyard with your fellow runners, basking in the sun, when in reality you’ll probably feel like crying for most of it and never want to look at another runner again.
We start telling our friends, family, random person serving us coffee, because we want to share our long-distance achievement. Then it dawns on us that actually we have no idea what it really entails to start something new, especially if it involves a goal at the end. It’s one thing taking up running; it’s another thing training for a marathon in a hot country.
It’s daunting doing anything for the first time, where do you join, how much is it going to cost me, what if I’m rubbish at it, how do I do it, who else is going to be doing it?
My experience of starting up ballet was similar to the above. I imagined myself being the star of the class, completing grades and going on to perform (not in the west end, but close enough!) So before I destroy any dreams or goals, it is absolutely possible for me to do this, and for you to achieve your goals and dreams. It’s how you go about it with your attitude and dedication, but also you need to start somewhere and it’s usually that initial step that takes some getting comfortable with.
The first thing I did was research ballet classes, and of course there’s all the different types of ballet, so I needed to figure out specifically what I wanted to do, I needed an adult class (which is actually quite hard to find), that was local, and a time that fitted in with my schedule. I emailed a couple of places and explained my circumstances and requirements to see what advice or feedback they gave and eventually I found the right one for me. This was the start, I made a commitment to myself and the dance school to attend classes.
You’ve probably heard the term, all the gear and no idea. Well, I couldn’t turn up to class in a pair of trainers, again I did my research and found a dance shop, they gave me loads of info about ballet shoes and clothing (From what I remember at the age of 7, my ballet clothes would miraculously land in my room from the ballet fairy ((My mum)), so again this was a minefield).
I had a friend that I knew had previously done dance also and I asked her if she wanted to join too, which she was delighted to hear and signed herself up as well.
Getting a friend involved is a great way to make the experience less scary and you’re more likely to stick to your commitment.
Finally, I turned up to my first lesson. I was by no means the best in class, and it put my goals into perspective a little. Nevertheless, I loved it and have been attending ballet every week for 6 months now.
There are some days when I’ve had a lot on with work and just don’t feel like going but each week I put my big girl pants on and my dancing shoes because I know I will always feel better at the end of it.
I won’t be completing any grades in the near future and you won’t be seeing my face on billboards any time soon but you can definitely call me twinkle toes and I am pleased that I started up a dream of mine again and am sticking to it.
If you are wanting to climb a mountain or become a black belt in Judo it isn’t impossible. It’s about doing your research, having the right attitude, making the effort and actually doing it! It also helps if you have the appropriate shoes.
Good luck with your new ventures, I’m sure you’ll smash it!