Jump to content
Kate_N

Finding classes for Adults

Recommended Posts

Hi all, anyone know of any Saturday classes in Birmingham, (adult, general/intermediate+, drop in). I know I did two different classes (one in the centre of Birmingham, professional studio, another outside somewhere in a church hall), but they were ages ago, and I can't seem to find anything on google.

 

 

 

I've taken the liberty of starting a new thread to answer this post, as requests for ideas/info about classes is tending to get lost in the sort of blogging of our daily dance lives that's in the other Adult Dance thread.

 

I wonder if the Mods could pin this thread, so the adult learner/dancers can easily find it when we're looking for classes?

 

Anyway:

 

Saturday morning in Birmingham - if you're relatively confident and not a beginner, there's nowhere else to go but Jane Rosier's class at Annette Nicholson's new facility near the Custard Factory in Digbeth. Actually there probably are lots of classes, but this is the best! :D

 

It is listed as Intermediate+ but I always managed it, as an experienced but not rofessionally trained dancer.

 

I used to attend these classes when I lived in Birmingham and they were held at the DanceXchange studios. I've not danced at the new studio, but it looks gorgeous.

 

It's a very friendly crowd who go to the class (I miss our Saturday morning coffees afterwards) and <s Rosier or Ms Nicholson as teachers are wonderful. Just wonderful. Ms Rosier used to say that she gave us the same sort of class she'd give professional dancers, so it's challenging. But her classes are just a joy to dance, not those desperately difficult  barre combinations which seem designed to trick you & trip you up.  Her centre practice is just gorgeous, really big & dancey, with great enjoyment in covering space. And Jane is just so lovely.

 

Here's the information:

 

http://www.nicholsonschoolofdance.com/new-page/

 

I hope you have a lovely time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm reviving this thread to answer Harwel's request for good recommendations for Adult ballet classes in Newcastle.

 

Does anyone know of any dance studios in Newcastle that offer adult ballet lessons? My friends daughter passed RAD intermediate, and is missing ballet terribly since going to university but feels a bit scared of going to a class she's not familiar with. I'll do a bit of a Google search but just wondered if anyone here has any firsthand knowledge. Many thanks in advance.

 

 

I haven't danced there, but I always hear good things about DanceCity, the dance agency for the North East

 

https://www.dancecity.co.uk/

 

As a general tip, the regional dance agencies do great work in promoting dance and generally offer really good community classes. (Not to be confused with commercial agents, though!) DanceXchange in Birmingham is one I know well, and Ludus in Lancaster. They're rather different in a number of ways from commercial or private studios - They're publicly funded & so required to be very open, accessible & friendly. So that cuts down a bit on the scary "going to a new studio" experience (we've all been there!)

 

I would have thought that with RAD Intermediate, she'd be at home in any open class, or any advanced class (not syllabus Advanced) for adults.

 

If your friend's daughter is at the main university, I think their Dance Society might be worth a look:

 

http://ncldancesoc.com/timetable/

 

Although at my place the student dance society doesn't do very good ballet - they are more of a cheerleading/competition style group ...

 

Se may have to try a few studios to find the right fit - it's the perennial problem of wanting to keep dancing once one leaves school! But I find - having moved for work 3 times in the last 15 years - that once I find one studio wit a good fit for at least one class, I generally pick up hints & tips from the teachers & other students about other teachers and/or studios. I also try to be philosophical about not always being able to keep up with ballet to a standard I'd like (although my time in Birmingham was fab for really advancing) and try to learn other dance forms.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's fantastic, thanks Kate_N. I just looked at dancecity and it looks great, just the kind of thing she will get a lot from. I will pass on the info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's scary finding a new studio, but I've got used to it now! I posted on the finding a school in North London about what we look for in a new studio or school. It's a good way to work out what we all seek from Doing Dance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm reviving this thread to answer Harwel's request for good recommendations for Adult ballet classes in Newcastle.

 

 

 

 

I haven't danced there, but I always hear good things about DanceCity, the dance agency for the North East

 

https://www.dancecity.co.uk/

 

Dance City have a beginners' class on Monday nights, plus beginner, intermediate and advanced classes on Thursdays. I used to do the advanced class but switched to a smaller dance school as Dance City don't teach pointe. The advanced class is really fun though and the teacher and students are all really nice, it's a very informal environment.

 

The other classes I'm taking are with St Hilda's Ballet School, which is just a minute's walk from West Jesmond metro station (less than a 5 minute metro journey from town). They teach the Cecchetti method, as well as the opportunity to learn pointe work and be entered for graded exams. Those classes are on Thursday evenings. They also run classes on Saturdays in High Heaton, which is about 15 minutes from town on the bus, though lots of students live in Heaton so it might be quite handy for a student, depending on where they're based.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's great TabbyCool. Thank you. I wish we had a centre like that where I live. I might be tempted to bring out the ballet shoes myself, although they have been mothballed for almost 30 years!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Northern Ballet is launching an "Over 55s" class in Gomersal on 25th January.  Details here.

 

or contact The Dancing House on 01274 861720.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if this is the right thread to use, mods feel free to move it. 

 

Has anyone been to the adult advanced ballet class at danceXchange in Birmingham on a Wednesday? 

I'm going to be in Birmingham occasionally for work and would like to do a drop in class. Ideally I'd try the improvers class, but it isn't on on Wednesdays. 

 

The description on the website says "An advanced learning of classical ballet. Ideal for dance students and professional dancers looking to maintain a high standard of technique, this class provides challenging barre and centre work."

However the video shows a mix of abilities in the class and doesn't look to be quite that challenging. 

 

I don't want to be the idiot that can't do anything and gets in everyone's way, does anyone know what level the class is? I've just done my RAD intermediate and do open classes too, do you think I'd keep up? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd imagine if you've taken the RAD Intermediate exam you will be okay in this class as you will be ready for more advanced work anyway. Though I've never done this class.

 

If Birmingham is anything like London though there are quite a few people who turn up in Advanced classes who are not even Intermediate level and just struggle through though I'm not sure what satisfaction they get out of it!!

 

As Centre work is usually done in groups anyway as long as you know to MOVE FORWARD after whatever group you are in 's bit I'm sure you won't get in people's way.

This happens when people suddenly decide to walk backwards after finishing into the oncoming next group OR suddenly decide to join a group at the very last minute and run into someone else's dance line .....all very irritating!!

However if you have been in RAD dance training you will know the protocol for dance classes and will be fine I'm sure.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to do that class, and I was looking at the video on the DanceXchange site the other day, and saw some of my classmates there. It's a very inclusive class. There will be a variety of abilities, including ex-vocationally trained students with beautiful extensions etc etc, and then people like me - older, know their stuff but not professionally trained. 

 

As long as you know enough to get out of the way (I once almost kicked a beginner in a grande allegro combination, who had NO idea - she was cross, but it could have been a disaster), then you'll be fine. There are some lovely friendly people in the class, and the studios are gorgeous! I don't miss a lot about living in Birmingham, but I do miss the ballet classes at DanceXchange.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Centre work is usually done in groups anyway as long as you know to MOVE FORWARD after whatever group you are in 's bit I'm sure you won't get in people's way.

This happens when people suddenly decide to walk backwards after finishing into the oncoming next group OR suddenly decide to join a group at the very last minute and run into someone else's dance line .....all very irritating!!

However if you have been in RAD dance training you will know the protocol for dance classes and will be fine I'm sure.

 

I'm not a dancer, and I don't even consider my spatial awareness to be that good, but the above seems like just common sense to me - not something one should need years of dance class experience to figure out!  This is surely the same mentality as makes people stop suddenly at the end of a busy moving escalator, or change direction suddenly while crossing the road in a crowd of people while dragging a wheely suitcase...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your replies.

 

Kate_N I know what you mean about the beautiful extensions, a couple of the girls in the video are beautiful to watch.

Do you know if they work the same exercises and combinations each week, or do they change? i.e. will everyone know what they're doing without having a mark through? 

Can you give me some examples of the allegro that you would do? 

 

Also do people wear leotard and tights? Or a combination of things? 

 

As you can probably tell I'm a bit nervous about it but I think i'll give it a go and see what happens. I'll just get out of the way if I don't know what I'm doing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well RuthE it is common sense yes but you'd be surprised what can sometimes happen.

I've even watched professionals classes where sometimes people go the wrong way and narrowly avoid colliding etc

It's just keeping your concentration switched on till the end of the class!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, it's a few years since I was in that studio, but I'll try to answer your questions. People wear leotards & tights, with cover ups. Generally fairly neat. Some women wear ballet skirts (I never have - I'm too much of a contemporary-style ballet dancer). 

 

It's an open class, so they don't do the same combinations either at barre or centre each week - although when Jonathan Payn taught (wonderful wonderful teacher) he would sometimes give us the set Cechetti adages (from the Advanced syllabus, which I learnt!) or the 'Eight positions of the body' set centre exercise, or one term we worked through the Cechetti port de bras. And did the pirouette from a grand plie in 5th exercise.  

 

But usually, the teacher shows the exercise, we mark, then it's done to the right then the left. Often with the teacher continuing to demonstrate (barre combinations) or call out the movements.

 

Allegro - starts easy - sautes, changements, echappes - again Jonathan would do an evil counting exercise with changements when we had to hold on (say) count 3, 7, 2, and 6 over 16 counts - or something like that. Taught you either to count, or to listen to the music! Petit allegro combinatrions generally over 32 counts each side, with combinations of glissade, faille, assemblee, pas de basque, ballote, pas de chat, temps de cuisse, - those sorts of steps. Not often brises ... Sissone exercise usually folded into petit allegro

 

Then we'd probably do a fairly basic pirouette across the floor - tombe chasse, pas de bourree, double en dehors from 4th then to the left, or into a en dedans. And so on. Adage could include adage pirouettes in the grande positions (usually attitude). 

 

And the studios are large, so grande allegro always great fun. Grand jetes, jete en tournon, turning chasse coupe jetes en menage. 

 

Sometimes I would find things difficult, but it's a very friendly atmosphere and the teachers seem to LIKE teaching adults. They are exceptional teachers, and you'll learn a lot. They will actually TEACH and do hands on corrections. SO you can learn new stuff as well. 

 

Oh gosh I do miss those classes, writing this all out!

Edited by Kate_N
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for all the information Kate! That's really really helpful. The teachers sound fantastic.

It does sound a little bit beyond my ability, but maybe it would be a good challenge. I'll see if I'm feeling brave on the day and maybe give it a go. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

VBee - I imagine you will be fine.  There is an advanced adult ballet class on a Monday too and I know several students from BOA who have taken intermediate  but not advanced 1 were at one point going to that class and finding it ok.  I don't know if they still go as I have not seen the 2 I actually know since just before Christmas and obviously they were going to a class that suited not just their level but also their timetables.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m bumping this thread up because I’m on my phone and can’t manage to link it. This is for someone asking about adult ballet classes in central and south of England. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone taken the adult classes at the English National Ballet? Are they any good? I only have 5 days in London next January and there's so much to see and do, plus I'm there with my sister who is not ballet obsessed like me, so I probably can only squeeze one or two classes in while I'm there. I know one young lady who would scream with jealousy at the idea of taking classes at ENB but I was wondering whether the class itself is worth it? And what the levels are like? I have just completed Advanced Foundation RAD (though probably gorked the exam) so would Intermediate be appropriate, or possibly too advanced? I don't think the Improvers classes allow drop ins.

 

Oh I just wish there was a short workshop in London while I'm there, that would be absolutely perfect :( 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that the ENB classes are by the term, rather than drop-in. I only get to classes in London when I'm working here, so I have a selection of drop in classes I go to regularly, which work for me after a day grafting at manuscripts in the British Library, or endless meetings about European funding or whatever.

 

The ENB does do one-day workshops: have a look at their events page. These are usually great fun! A ballet toning class (like Pilates) a standard ballet class, and then learning some choreography from a current ENB show. You usually then get into groups to work on something - my only thing has been that a couple of times I've landed in a group which has been dominated by a couple of dancers (once who spoke to each other exclusively in French) who don't really collaborate and so there's not much fun there to try things out. But that's just me ...

 

For adult classes, drop-in, in central London, at a level which will challenge you but you won't be out of place, you have lots of choice at

Danceworks : http://danceworks.net/classes/schedule/

Central Nights (at Centra School of Ballet) classes on Monday to Friday evenings at 7pm, and on Sundays: https://www.centralschoolofballet.co.uk/aectimetable.php

 

Teachers I really like, who do more than just give a standard class, and who are good for (ageing) bodies are

Hannah Frost at Danceworks. Her classes are rated Beginners, but she gives challenging corrections, and really helps me clean up my technique. She has a VERY good eye, and can help you wth very little things if you're more experienced, while she's also terrific at the same time with people who've never danced before. I really enjoy watching her skill as a teacher, and also appreciate her classes as a lovely "tune up" to stop me getting lazy & badd habits.

 

Adam Pudney at Danceworks - an energetic very physical style (he's Australian & I think that shows): again, really good at corrections and working with your body. Lovely dancey class, combinations a bit more complex than Hannah's but pretty standard. But if you're used to doing set exam work, you may prefer a slower open class, if you're not always picking up new combinations in your regular classes. 

 

Nina Thilas-Mohs at Danceworks and Central Nights: very different style but lovely. Ad Nina is a lovely friendly encouraging person. I'm off to her floor barre in about 20 minutes. Again, a great teacher for older dancers - we spend a lot of time in first position at the barre, and then the centre moves really quickly - and we move! I love it. The barre might feel slow and endless tendus & pliés, but it really prepares you very well for the centre, and I leave her class - which is usually almost 2 hours - feeling as though I could start another class straight away - energised & turned out & on my legs.

 

Desiree Ballantyne at Central Nights: again, a lovely juicy class at the barre, and then really moving in the centre. Her emphasis is on getting the whole body supple and aligned and open. Last week we were working on en dehors pirouettes from 4th across the floor (you know, that standard chassé, pas de bourree, tombé preparation) but using only one arm, and the other on our hips. Really requires one to be up and use the back - and I felt so strong and secure in my turns. Doubles with both arms were easy after that.

 

I don't include Pineapple in my studios I like to do drop-in classes because most of their ballet classes are only an hour long. So I don't go there - but I'm sure others will have had a better experience of Pineapple, and can give you some tips & ideas.

 

There are also other schools located further out - I tend to be working in Bloomsbury so I prefer to stay in central London. But I'm sure other dancers will have good tips for drop-in classes further out.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Viv have finally sent the PM to you about the Chelsea Ballet workshop on Saturday Jan 26th at Sadlers Wells Theatre studios.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just realised that in my message forgot to mention the name of the afternoon teacher ....ex ENB dancer who also teaches classes currently at ENB ....its Laura Hussey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Viv, I'm sure other people will have their recommendations & favourites as well - these teachers/classes are the ones that I enjoy and which also feel really good for my body. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...