What to Expect

Ballet Class Consists of

Barre

Your body needs to be warmed up before you ask it to execute exhausting routines. Your muscles react better to the demands of dancing if you give them a chance to wake up. The barre section of the class prepares your body for dancing, and teaches you how to move, building on your strength and technique.

In some classes, barre may be replaced by exercises on the floor or in the centre.

Centre

In the centre you will perform exercises designed to introduce, perfect or extend the body’s skills and abilities, as well as your mind’s vocabulary. They improve your balance, strength, stability, stamina and coordination. They also introduce bits and pieces of text (choreography) that eventually will become a book (dance or full length ballet).

Ballet class at the Dance Domain

Tips for Success

Try and Try Again

Always be prepared to make mistakes. Mistakes are not only part of life, they are part of learning. The only people not making mistakes are dead people. If you are alive: you will make mistakes. Make the most of them, just try and try again. So you don’t know everything? Join the crowd.

Take your time watching others do a combination, but then make sure you try it yourself. Even if it is wrong, slow, you only remember the second half, whatever, it is important to try. You can only ride a bicycle by riding it. Debating the issue endlessly will not help you.

NO BODY IS PERFECT! To progress you need to leave the internal critic outside the door.

Focus and Ask Questions

Be quiet in class. When you are debating steps of combinations with your colleagues chances are you are also losing essential explanations from the teacher.

There will be occasions when you really did not get what you are supposed to do. Aim to quickly evaluate the reason: did you not understand what to do or you don’t know a step in the sequence? If what stalls you is ignorance of a step you need time outside the class with the teacher or a colleague. Either way you can take advantage of the challenge and wait to see others perform the sequence before you try.

adult ballet dancer at the barre

Eat and Drink Water

Not a banquet, not a barbecue. But dancing is quite exhausting, you need energy to do it. Eat sensibly a couple of hours before the class (fruits and vegies are the best) and drink water.

adult ballet dancers in fifth position

Arrive Early

The Warm Up part of the class is essential to your progress and to safe exercising. Arriving late and missing the warm up can lead to injury.

adult ballet dancers in fourth position

Stretch After Class

This helps avoid injury and sore muscles the next day. Even if it is just lying down and putting your legs up against a wall. If you are a beginner or nobody has taught you how to stretch safely, avoid the barre stretches. Go to the floor where it is safe. Avoid long stretches, hold for 30 to 60 seconds maximum. If it is painful, it’s wrong. Ask for help from those who know. It pays to do a private lesson or a session with a physio to ensure the stretches are right for you.

FAQs

Classes run throughout the year and you can start anytime.

No! Our classes are tailored for adult dancers, and many of our advanced dancers started in our complete beginner classes. No matter your age, you can progress and develop strength, flexibility, and the skills you need to perform an ever increasing range of steps and movements.

Our classes are open to everyone aged 15 and above. There is no upper age limit – if you want to dance ballet, come join a class.

You can start ballet classes wearing socks. There is no rush to switch over to ballet shoes. Once you start learning turns and big jumps (grand allegro) you’ll need proper ballet shoes.

You can wear anything that is comfortable to move in. Clothes you would wear to the gym or to yoga are a good choice. If you want to buy leotard and tights, you can, but there is no rush. If you’re comfortable, you’re good to go!

Tie your hair up so it is off your face and eyes. The traditional ballet bun is great for stopping your hair getting in your face when turning and jumping.

You can get ballet shoes, leotards and other clothing from Pure Dance in Eden Terrace, or from The Dancers Wardrobe in Remuera.

If you’ve never done ballet before, or if you stopped before you hit your teens, the complete beginner class (level 1) is a great place to start. If you’ve got several years of recent ballet classes under your belt, then level 5 or 6 is probably right for you. If you’re somewhere in between, come along to a class and see how you go – if it’s not right, you can move up or down a level at any time.

Yes! The Dance Domain has an annual showcase at the end of the year (Nov/Dec) which you can choose to perform in. This is a great chance to show off what you’ve learned to friends and family (and the wider adoring public)!

Still have questions?

We’d love to answer them for you.

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