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nightingale

absolute beginner adult classes london?

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hello! it’s my first time on the forum so sorry if this is in the wrong place...

 

i’m coming to ballet completely new as an adult (18, if that counts as adult!) and i’m looking for a london class. i’ve never tried ballet before, but a few years ago i was a competitive dancer in a couple of other disciplines.

 

i’ve decided to give ballet a go but i’m very nervous that any class may be slightly out of my depth. i popped into a danceworks class led by karis scarlette and it was clear some of the other students had been attending for a long while & were familiar with the class structure, while i felt completely lost. 

 

it put me off drop-ins a little as while i’m sure they help technique drastically, i’d rather a guided class where everyone is of a similar standard which increases in difficulty as you go along. i’m based in north west london so i’m looking for classes nearby or in central.

 

it seems my options are a bit limited as the new term starts soon! i was keen on booking natalie krapf’s class at the place but it’s sold out.

the alexander simpkins class at citylit i heard good things about, but i’m just cut out by the age limit of 19. ENB’s location is slightly too far away, as is RAD.

 

the only option i seem to have left is sophia priolo’s class at city academy. has anyone been? is it suitable for complete beginners? £150 for 8 sessions is a little on the pricier side - is it worth it?

 

thanks so much and sorry about the long post. do let me know if anyone has any suggestions or opinions :)

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Hello Nightingale and welcome to the Forum!

 

We've got quite a few adult members on the Forum.  If you click on the "Adult Ballet" tag it will bring up lots of previous conversations that may be useful to you.

 

Here's an earlier thread about adult ballet classes in London:

 

 

Good luck!

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Thank you so much Jan! have had a look at the thread and am rather tempted by a number of the options :) if anyone does have any experience with sophia priolo please drop me a note but otherwise i will update everyone on how the ballet journey goes!

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Any ballet class you go to will feel odd and disconcerting for the first few weeks. You just have to bear with it. If you attend regularly, teachers such as Ms Scarlette and Hannah Frost (also at Danceworks and Central School) will start to help you & coach you.

 

If you think £150 is too much (although you are paying for expertise at a rate of less than £10 per hour which is pretty low) then you might try Hannah Frost's Friday evening class at Central School of Ballet (Clerkenwell). It's a basic beginner's class. She also teaches very good beginner's classes at Danceworks on Wednesday, Friday & Saturday. She'll correct you, she'll note that it's your first time learning, and she'll advise that you need to give it a few weeks/classes. 

 

There isn't a magic way to get up to speed except by doing class and it will be difficult & feel weird at first. There really isn't a magic formula to get past this stage. You have to go through it!

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2 hours ago, Kate_N said:

There isn't a magic way to get up to speed except by doing class and it will be difficult & feel weird at first. There really isn't a magic formula to get past this stage. You have to go through it!

 

Definitely.  I started just over a year ago and the first few weeks were very confusing.  I was lucky because the teacher I had to start with (who is not teaching at present) went in for a lot of explanation of everything. 

 

I found it really helpful to watch company class by a professional company to see what the moves look like when they're done properly.  I really enjoyed Birmingham Royal Ballet in company class because the balletmaster said the moves really clearly so I could follow what they were doing and how it fit the music.  There are a few on youtube if you look for World Ballet Day. 

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2 hours ago, Kate_N said:

Any ballet class you go to will feel odd and disconcerting for the first few weeks. You just have to bear with it. If you attend regularly, teachers such as Ms Scarlette and Hannah Frost (also at Danceworks and Central School) will start to help you & coach you.

 

If you think £150 is too much (although you are paying for expertise at a rate of less than £10 per hour which is pretty low) then you might try Hannah Frost's Friday evening class at Central School of Ballet (Clerkenwell). It's a basic beginner's class. She also teaches very good beginner's classes at Danceworks on Wednesday, Friday & Saturday. She'll correct you, she'll note that it's your first time learning, and she'll advise that you need to give it a few weeks/classes. 

 

There isn't a magic way to get up to speed except by doing class and it will be difficult & feel weird at first. There really isn't a magic formula to get past this stage. You have to go through it!

 this is   very good advice  , 

i'm not London based  although i have managed to get to class with Hannah Frost a couple of times, one definite advantage to Hannah's Friday class at Central is that it tends to have sensible numbers  in it  rather than the  30-40 (or more)  DPK tends to get  in his  'Absoute beginners'  on a thursday at Central ...  

Hannah seems to have a galaxy brain for people and faces ( and  their dancing) 

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The City Lit Ballet classes are very good value for money though you do have to pay for the term if that's possible but it is definitely cheaper in the end if you can attend regularly.

I can recommend Alexander Simpkins beginners class at City Lit.

The City Lit is very good though if you have any real problems.

I broke my ankle last August and had already booked on Alex's more intermediate ( slightly below that level in centre but at that level on the barre) level class and they deferred the course for me until January. However it was obvious by the middle of December that I wasn't ready for a January start and they have deferred again until April!! I'm pretty sure will be fine by then but nevertheless very generous of them to be so understanding. 

There are also beginners classes you can now drop in on at ENB over on City Island ....though some might find a bit of a trek ...well worth it the studios are lovely and teachers well trained. 

 

 

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Can I ask as a non London based adult dancer who/what/where are The London Lit?

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Do you mean the City Lit? 

Its a college close to Holborn and Covent Garden.. ..Between the two. 

Its existed for years and runs all sorts of courses for Adults both Day and Evening classes. 

The City Lit is really good for Languages and Music and performing Arts in general. I learn the piano there at the moment as well. 

 

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On 04/01/2020 at 14:52, nightingale said:

the alexander simpkins class at citylit i heard good things about, but i’m just cut out by the age limit of 19

 

I note you've said this - maybe a phone call to City Lit to ask if they'd allow you to enrol as you're less than 12 months short of the age limit. They may say that 19 is a clear boundary, or they may say you can enrol.

 

Re costs: most ballet classes are 90 minutes long. 8 classes is thus 12 hours, so a termly enrolment works out at £12.50 per hour. For reference, the National Living Wage (for jobs which generally (not always)  require few/no formal qualifications) is due to increase in April 2020 to £8.72 per hour. £150 in a lump is a lot of money, but the rate is not expensive at all - in fact, it's very cheap - especially considering the tutor is unlikely to receive the entire £12.50 - as there are other costs involved - studio, heating, lighting.

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Posted (edited)

The other problem with Alex Simpkins's class (which runs twice on Tuesdays, at 18:10-19:40 and then 19:50-21:20) is that this term is already sold out - though I too would recommend it.  I've been taking this class for a year and am moving into his Thursday Improvers class this term.

 

Some other options for you:

 

LinMM mentioned English National Ballet at their new HQ on London City Island.  They have three courses of Absolute Beginner classes running this term.  The Monday one with Mark Kelly is sold out, but Tuesdays (20:20 with Sarah Golightly) and Thursdays (19:00 with Hannah Cameron) are still showing places available.  Sadly the one-off taster class tomorrow is sold out.  I have no personal experience of either of these teachers, though I did some taster classes with Mark Kelly last term.  They have lovely new professional studios and a live pianist. https://www.ballet.org.uk/event/absolute-beginners/

.

Natalie Krapf has a Ballet Introduction class at The Place on Mondays at 18:30:  https://www.theplace.org.uk/adult-dance-classes-spring-2020 (edited to add: sorry, I missed the part where you said you'd tried this and it was sold out)

Edited by RuthE

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21 hours ago, NJH said:

Hannah seems to have a galaxy brain for people and faces ( and  their dancing) 

 

Very true!  I wonder if she still remembers my name as I haven't taken her class for 6 months and was thinking of doing it this Friday...

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Sorry I’m going to miss you in class this term Ruth! I had hoped to make it but not ready for the level of Alex’s barre in the more advanced class it’s a lovely barre but at Intermediate level though the centre is easier and probably what I would call Elementary level. 
I am starting off with a very beginners ballet class in Brighton for this term in mid Jan and I know the teacher really well as usually do her more advanced classes so she is very understanding of the situation. I’m quite nervous about it nevertheless! 
I bumped into Alex at the ROH so he knows I’m starting again in April. 

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10 minutes ago, LinMM said:

Sorry I’m going to miss you in class this term Ruth! I had hoped to make it but not ready for the level of Alex’s barre in the more advanced class it’s a lovely barre but at Intermediate level though the centre is easier and probably what I would call Elementary level. 
I am starting off with a very beginners ballet class in Brighton for this term in mid Jan and I know the teacher really well as usually do her more advanced classes so she is very understanding of the situation. I’m quite nervous about it nevertheless! 
I bumped into Alex at the ROH so he knows I’m starting again in April. 

 

Glad to hear your ankle is on the mend!

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Posted (edited)

try Ballet For You    https://www.balletforyou.co.uk   - a few spaces still left on the Monday night Beginners 1 course which is exactly what you are looking for  - but you'll have to be quick as booking closes tomorrow!

 

For the benefit of any others looking at this thread:

ENB      https//www.ballet.org.uk/whats-on/classes (Absolute Beginners)

RAD Dance School https://www.royalacademyofdance.org/classes/our-dance-school-in-london/adult-dance-classes   (Beginners)

 

Are also course-based classes of the sort you are looking for

Edited by youngatheart

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