Ballet for most little girls is a rite of passage. You want to wear pink, dress up in a tutu and float around to music. When you are a child there are no inhibitions, no self consciousness about what you are wearing, you are just in the moment enjoying what you are doing. So where does all that go when you grow up?
For me, it became a serious matter as I decided to train as professional dancer, the joy is still there but you start to realise it’s really hard work, you have to make a lot of sacrifices to do it and unless you are exceptionally good and unbelievably lucky, it is pretty unlikely you will have a career as a Prima Ballerina. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the skills you’ve learned as well as the thrill of movement to music and that special experience of living in the moment during ballet class, just as you did all those years ago.
Ballet has an inner beauty, a world that only you feel when you are dancing and in the moment. You only have to look at any ballet class to see the dancers experience something really special when they move their bodies in synchronicity to the music. So it was this idea, this feeling in fact that led me to develop an Adult Ballet curriculum to my Pilates business. There are so many similarities between the two disciplines, not only do they compliment each other, but they add a new dimension for adults who would like to try something new, with a safe pair of hands and in an environment they trust. Having found a wonderful ballet teacher, my friend Emma Findlay from The English National Ballet, I launched my adult classes a year ago and they have steadily grown from one to 3 classes a week with more to follow. What has been lovely to see is the camaraderie between the participants. Just like my Pilates clients, we encourage the feeling of a team working together for a common goal, and that goal is taking ourselves somewhere we didn’t think we could. For some that means learning to move in time to music, for others it means achieving something they always wanted to do but have never tried. For other it means revisiting their past experience and rebuilding their skills and knowledge.
Which is why I am so proud to show this picture of one of our lovely clients Amanda with Emma, our ballet teacher. After two children, Amanda wanted to get her fitness back on track. Having travelled here from the US for work, life was pretty hectic but she made that commitment to herself and started attending weekly Pilates sessions. After three years of Pilates classes, including a year of our twice weekly ballet curriculum, she has fulfilled her dream of getting back ‘en pointe’! Bravo Amanda! This picture says it all, the look on Amanda’s face of sheer joy at what she has achieved fills me with pride.
This is why I do what I do. Dance is a huge part of my life and Pilates gives me the strength to do it - a match made in heaven and sheer joy to be involved in. Amanda is a great example that age or stage in life needn’t stop you doing what you want to do. Be brave my friends, push the boundaries and see what wonderful things can happen. It’s never too late to fulfill your dreams.
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