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Having to quit ballet


munchkin16
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This should probably go into a 'no longer doing dance' section. After lots of searching I simply cannot find a class I can either get to or at a time that I'm not working. So I'm having to quit ballet :( I could do a very occasional open class in London but after already a few weeks without dancing I think I've probably lost a lot of skills and confidence so there probably wouldn't be much point. Not really sure why I'm posting other than maybe looking for suggestions of other forms of activity I should take up that might fill the void (unlikely) that are easier to get to?

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I'm very sorry to hear that, munchkin16.  (Was it your recent thread I commented on?  I'm very bad at actually remembering who I'm posting to!  If so, perhaps you could link to it here for background?)   Would say a Pilates class be any help?  Or some other form of dancing?

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It really does depend on how fit you are and what level you are.  I stopped taking ballet classes for 7 years whilst I had my children and started back again when my youngest was about a year.  It felt like I was coming home and I haven't stopped since - he's going to be 35 next week!   If your body has enough movement knowledge embedded in it, you can start again.  It will take you time to get back, but it is possible, so keep that in mind........

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I believe that one of your problems, on top of a heavy working week (I'm not sure whether you are studying as well as working), is that you don't drive and have your own car (or at least the use of a car). Perhaps you could use the money and time which you will be saving by not attending ballet classes for driving lessons and think about taking up lessons again in a couple of years time when you will be able to access classes in a wider range of locations. Of course, you would also need to have your own car or be prepared to pay for the additional costs of insuring your parents' car to enable you to drive it legally.

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Hi Munchkin. Have you ever seen the New York City Ballet Workout? I suppose it's quite an old programme now but it is great to do at home & very enjoyable. It might be worth looking at to keep all your strength until a suitable time when you can get back to class. There are copies available on Ebay/Amazon I would imagine.

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In addition to the NYCB workout (which is very difficult) I have XTend Barre Ballet Workout and Sleek Technique which I think are both excellent. Of course, DVD workouts will never replace live class.

As an alternative, perheps you could consider live classes online? I know Sleek Technique run these and there is an increasing number of offerings by others. You login with your PC and the class is streamed live, so you can follow it. The instructor can see you via your webcam and offer encouragement and corrections. I've never tried these but is could be an alternative when live gets in the way of class. Saves travelling too! At the mo, It's taking me 40 minutes to get to class in Brum on account of the road closures in the city centre. It should take 25 mins. Only 12 months more of misery (allegedly) although if we go on past form we can treble that. :(

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Pilates is the obvious one. If you need ballet's brain work, a good tai chi class might fit the bill. You'd be suprised how often my tai chi and ballet teachers are saying the same things about posture.

 

You won't lose skills quickly, but you will start to lose strength. Occasional ballet classes plus other stuff to maintain strength will pretty much hold you together until circumstances improve.

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Munchkin, don't give up! Try to squeeze any sort of dance in however you can, even if it's not ballet, or it's not regular. Think of it as an hiatus, not giving up.

 

I'd second recommendations for the NYCB Workout. Also do Pilates or yoga everyday - there are now lots of online resources. I really rate "Yoga with Adriene" which is free on YouTube, and I've heard very good things about Darcey Bussell's "Pilates for Life" DVD.

 

Also maybe take this hiatus to work on your general fitness: I used a dance hiatus to teach myself to run, with the NHS (free) "Couch to 5k" app on my iPod. I can now run for 30-40 minutes without feeling like I'm going to die, and I cane back to dance stronger and very fit, which has meant that I've really learnt a lot about control & core stability etc.

 

You could also look out for day long or weekend workshops, and if your general fitness is better, then you won't struggle with that aspect of getting back to dance.

 

But don't think that you're leaving it for good: keep on moving, learn other movement skills, and when your life circumstances change, you'll be able to leap back in.

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Thank you everyone. I'm upset but you've given me hope I might be able to return at some point and not feel like a complete idiot. I have thought about driving but honestly it scares me at the moment! And I'd have to buy a car even if I eventually pass and I'd rather save to move into a city or something which is where I'm hoping to be sooner rather than later.

 

The sleek technique thing looks more like a workout than an actual ballet class so I'm not sure it's quite worth my investment there per class but I'll definitely be seeking out the NYCB as at least that isn't at a set time.

 

I've done Pilates before but the teacher round here isn't very nice so the NYCB or Darcy thing might be worth it. Which would you recommend?

 

I can always give myself a barre class it's just having the discipline and I'll miss the social aspect of going to a ballet class. I've considered tap but that isn't really me and I've tried contemporary and hated all the rolling on the floor. Came out with an awful lot of bruises... Nothing replaces ballet unfortunately. I'm hard to please right!

 

I love the running idea. I can't run outside as it really hurts my legs (shin splints!) but we have a cross trainer inside and I've started using that a bit so maybe I should just work on getting fit for the moment. I guess that's mildly productive. And I'll be saving money so I suppose I'll just have to go watch the ballet more often instead!

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