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  1. The RAD have extended the deadline for booking onto the spring series of Adult Associate classes at Elmhurst (starting February 4th) and the rep workshop on Ashton's Dream. It looks like they are under the required numbers and may cancel. So if you might be interested but haven't signed up, please do. I think the Dream should be really interesting, quite different from the big 19th century ballets that seem to be the most common focus for rep workshops.
  2. How did it all start?

    I have no memory of it, but according to family legend as a toddler when entering St George's Hall in Liverpool I spontaneously swept into dance. I started ballet at about 6 and kept going into my teens. My parents were absolutely clear that it was a good hobby but not to be considered as a potential career.(However, years later when my daughter went off to vocational school at 11 they were 100% supportive.) In the late 70s, then in my mid-20s, I moved to London to begin university as a mature student and mother of a new born baby (I always like to set myself a challenge) and I began to take a class at a local adult education institute (ILEA was great). It was RAD-based Elementary level. A few months later I added the Inter class. I made some great friends in those classes. Then I started looking around for more adult ballet and discovered Morley College (Anne Aylor and Wendy Vincent Smith, both inspiring teachers), then Chelsea and Westminster Institute and Chelsea Ballet (still part of ILEA in those days)...until eventually, around the time I finished my degree, I was taking ballet class everyday and twice on some days, as well as Baroque dance. I carried on with regular ballet classes, even when I returned to the sticks, until around 1990 when I decided it was too hard on my feet and I switched to Kathak (an Indian classical dance style - see Akram Khan). I moved overseas a few years later and sadly let dance lapse. Returned on retirement 18 months ago and I'm back at ballet with a lot of catching up to do. Inspired by the even more mature dancers out there, I'm not planning on stopping again.
  3. Classes in Derby

    Thanks very much for your suggestions. I'll pass the info on to my classmate. I need her to keep on top of things because if she decides not to do the exam then I'll be doing it all alone. Disaster!
  4. Classes in Derby

    The other adult student in my RAD Inter class has to go to Derby on a work training course and will be missing 5 weeks of our ballet classes (when we are already fast heading towards exam time). Can any of you lovely helpful and knowledgeable people here suggest suitable classes that she could take in Derby during the time she's away from home? Ideally RAD Inter, but also any suitable adult ballet classes. x
  5. what does what you wear say about you as a Dancer ?

    My red shoes are special to me. I wanted a pair ever since I was little and my first ballet teacher wore red shoes, That was in 1959 - she wore black ski pants to teach and was cool and chic in an Audrey Hepburnish way. As a child I was fascinated by the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale (scary and gruesome as it is) and of course I love the film. I can't wear them often as my classes are either syllabus (so soft blocks) or on dance floors where leather shoes are too sticky. However I do have red pointe shoe covers that I can put on to preserve my pointe and soft block shoes.
  6. RAD Discovering Repertoire

    Pointe work is optional in variations and exercises even at Level 4. I think it should be a great opportunity to keep developing right up to Advanced level without having to worry about pointe which is the main sticking point (ha ha) for me at least, and I think for many others.
  7. Intermediate Foundation as an adult

    That's a fabulous result. Well done!
  8. Intermediate Foundation as an adult

    Fingers crossed for everyone awaiting results! How is everyone getting on with exam prep? We had to confirm this week if we were entering for the Inter exam in the March exam session or not. The 5 teenagers in my class are doing it then , but the two of us who are mature dancers are putting it off till June-July. I think we would probably be ok by March, but the other lady is worried because she feels she doesn't really know the exercises thoroughly yet and I feel my pointe work in particular has a long way to go, so more time and work can only be beneficial. And we will be having semi-private lesson once the others have taken the exam. However I have finally cracked Allegro 2 and I'm especially pleased with how my variation is coming along. Now I need to get those double pirouettes and pose turns sorted. I've been through a patch of frustration with myself and have come out the other side but I realise now that I have a problem with confidence that is literally holding me back. It's stopping me from really stepping out on those poses and it's also the major block in pointe work especially on one foot. It's a kind of physical insecurity/fear as much as a mental one, like a fear of falling. xx
  9. Simply Adult Ballet

    I made my come back a year ago after 24 years. After my first class I ached for a full week! I found that I remembered everything that I once knew - the difficulty was actually doing it. After a couple of weeks I was generally OK and felt confident in doing things that I hadn't done for many years - I mean, jumping and pirouetting hadn't exactly featured in my life for many a year. My first class was an easy going general adult class with a friendly. encouraging atmosphere and dancers with a wide range of ability/experience. I still go to that class and love it but also take RAD syllabus classes now. I am careful to avoid risks that might cause injury and try to be very aware of my body and its current capabilities. Regaining flexibility and stamina is still an ongoing process and I don't quite know where my turnout has disappeared to. Balance isn't what it was either. On the other hand, past experience does have a big effect on style and having nice arms and head is more attainable than high extensions. Good luck with your class. I'm sure you will have a wonderful time and be dancing in your dreams tonight.
  10. Intermediate Foundation as an adult

    I have just started working on the Intermediate syllabus too. I'm very excited about it and love some of the exercises. I know all the barre exercises and kind of know the pirouettes, allegro and about half of Variation 1, but not yet entirely secure in doing some of it up to speed. That allegro 2! I'm an adult returner rather than a beginner, so I know the vocabulary and technique in theory - now it's a question of getting my aging body actually to do it properly. I have been doing foot and ankle strengthening exercises for a few months and had been intending to start pointe work after Christmas. However I'm probably going to need to get on with it sooner. We've been told that we should be doing every class in soft blocks, so I'm buying some this week and thinking about making a trip to Manchester or somewhere for a pointe shoe fitting. (Can anyone recommend a good shop in the North-West?) BG, I know that feeling of wanting to be good and feeling frustrated by the reality of the speed of progress. However, look at it positively as a source of determination. Also, have you checked that your shoes really are the right ones for your feet? I think buying your first pair can be particularly difficult as at the point of buying them you don't know how they should feel or whether they're going to work for you, and it can take trying a few different brands/styles before you find the right ones. An expensive business, too! Good luck.
  11. Restarting dance as an adult after a break !!

    Hi everyone, I've been lurking for a while and thought I'd join in and introduce myself now. Greetings to all the other adult returners. I started taking an adult ballet class at the beginning of this year after a gap of 20 years. I've been so inspired by you adult dancers out there that I've just joined an RAD syllabus class. And also signed up for the Leeds Ballet Retreat and some RAD rep workshops. I really wanted to start with Intermediate Foundation, but there isn't one running locally, so I'm taking an Intermediate class and an Advanced 1 class. Not that I expect ever to take the Advanced 1 examination! However, the Inter girls will be taking their exam in the spring and then they will start on the Grade 7 syllabus and I really want to do that. Meanwhile I'm trying to get back into form, bearing in mind that at 64 some things will never come back. However my new teacher did say that I'm "a beautiful dancer" and I'm really chuffed about that. Actually I think I'm a very skilled and experienced bluffer. I don't know if I've ever met any of you in Real Life but I may have done, as I was with Chelsea Ballet way back when. In fact, I see this is their 50th anniversary year and I danced in their 25th anniversary Gala. It's quite alarming how the time has flown! See you! Maureen