Ballet. Yes. Ballet. I know.
I’m the shortest, roundest person ever, with one too short leg and one foot smaller than the other. Not a good start.
As you know, I’ve been doing barre for quite a while now and I was curious. Where does arabesque come from? What is an attitude? Why do we do this? When we point our feet, what’s the best way to do it?
I knew what this meant. It was either go and read a book on ballet, watch some you tube videos or go to a class.
I browsed the books, I you tubed the videos, and eventually, I felt brave enough to look for a class.
One place that came up time and again was the Newcastle Dance Centre. It was 15 minutes away from where I live, the classes were on a drop in basis and were also reasonably priced at £6 a class. It took me a few days, but I finally plucked up the courage to email and ask about someone like me (short and hippo like) joining something like their adult beginner ballet class. I had two very positive emails within a few hours. Both encouraging me to come along and try it, reassuring me that all kinds of people learn to dance and they had no problem with my size or inexperience. So I picked the date and then spent the next two weeks fretting about it.
I sat in the car before I went in, tweeting about how terrified I was. And I was. I was genuinely scared. As far as I was concerned only humiliation and disappointment waited behind the studio door. Thanks to a big push from some lovely people on twitter I made it through the door.
And you know what? It was the most fun I’ve had in ages!
Our teacher, Steph, was friendly, welcoming, I didn’t feel judged by her at all, she was just pleased to see us all there. I was by no means the oldest and by no means the biggest. All shapes, sizes and abilities were represented. We laughed when it went wrong, we worked hard, we tried our best and it was great. The one to one moments with the teacher are invaluable and she’s very good at reassuring you and offering good feedback.
I leave feeling exhausted, exhilarated and wondering why I didn’t do this years ago. Mondays are now my favourite night of the week, it’s a great atmosphere and the school is so friendly. They do all kinds of dance tuition for all ages and abilities. They even do first dances for weddings, I’m still trying to convince Mr H to come for a few lessons, but I’ll drag him in.
If you’re in need of a confidence boost, a few lessons to help with that first dance or just want to have fun and let off some steam in the run up to the big day, I would highly recommend them. Check them out http://www.newcastledancecentre.co.uk