I’m thinking of returning to ballet after 7 years. How should I start?

I took ballet lessons from ages 7 to 15. Life got in the way and I haven’t danced since I was 15, but I’d like to return to ballet now. I am 22 years old. Is this advisable? How do I start?


6 replies
  1. Jasmine
    Jasmine says:

    Hi Diane and congratulations on deciding to take up ballet again! Do what I did after a long hiatus and look for drop-in classes at your local schools. This will give you a good taster of how they teach and your preference for level and ability as an adult… then you can gauge how you’d like to progress and perhaps sign up for a term of classes. The drop-in option is also cheap and fun as the classes tend to be relaxed and more spontaneous.

    If you’re lucky and as you had a substantial amount of experience (you danced for quite some years) then your ‘muscle memory’ should still be mostly intact (I was back en pointe after a month as I’d kept up exercises throughout my break from dancing to maintain my strength). You may need to work on regaining your technique, turnout and stamina (as I did!) but now is the perfect time to return to ballet. You’re young, still fit and if you have the drive to do it, go for it! Good luck and let us know how you go 🙂

  2. Marisa Wright
    Marisa Wright says:

    I was in the same boat as you, once! My early training was disrupted by illness, so I gave up when I realized a ballet career wasn’t an option. I did start again in my twenties but didn’t last long.

    I had no problems physically, and the knowledge doesn’t leave you – but it’s not easy being the only adult in a class full of kids. If you can find an adult class, that would be a much better option.

    You could also consider doing what I did, ultimately – try some different styles of dance. Flamenco, belly dance, ballroom and Latin all offer a far greater choice of adult classes – and at your age, you would still stand a very good chance of reaching performance level in those dance genres, whereas in ballet you’ll be a perpetual student.

  3. Pixie R.
    Pixie R. says:

    I was in a similar position, though probably for different reasons. I did ballet from 2 1/2 to 16, quit for almost 2 years, then returned to dance in college. Because I didn’t plan on going professional but was (and am) passionate about dance, I tried to dance at least 2 days a week through law school and the beginning of my career. Rather than taking adult ballet classes, which seemed to me more focused on ballet- style aerobic exercise rather than form, position, and art, I was in my mid twenties taking classes with the 14-18 year old preprofessinal girls. It wasn’t as awkward as it sounds. When I was 27, I was diagnose with advanced arthritis (hereditary), and quit dancing altogether. A few months ago, at the ripe old age of 30, I started taking classes again, this time doing adult ballet. I’m actually having a lot of fun with it, and the class is more formal than most adult classes I’ve seen. I’m hoping I can get my body back, especially in terms of the massive range of motion I’ve lost, but when it comes to keeping up, within 3 classes I was with the rest of the class excepting the aforementioned range of motion, extension, and the like. Two weeks ago, I strapped on my pointe shoes and was amazed how well it went.
    My advice is don’t be discouraged if your first few classes feel awkward and your body doesn’t respond like it used to. All that comes back with work, and the more you work at it, the faster it will come back to you.

  4. Elizabeth R
    Elizabeth R says:

    I’m in the same boat now. I’m going to be 31 and i took ballet for for about 5 or 6 years when i was younger, stopped dancing because i didn’t like how demanding it was. I had a scholarship to the Feld ballet but it was taking me out of school and all summer long i was in a studio for hours and hours a day. Then I went to hs and took dance (all kinds, ballet and afro jazz included) My boyfriend finally convinced me I should look for classes and finally I agreed. I just missed dancing so much. so now I’m in the process of getting my body reconditioned for taking classes (as I’m embarrassed to start a class before im closer to the level i was at). I want to get my body back into a good shape for dancing and wasn’t exactly sure whats the best way. I’m doing a lot of stretches and working on my turnout again. any suggestions on what stretches are best? And I was curious to know about how long i should work on each step before moving to the next? can someone please help me. feel free to contact me

  5. Miss Jessica
    Miss Jessica says:

    I took 7 years away from dance after I graduated high school. I ended up helping judge an audition at my former studio after college, and my love of dance was rekindled. I began taking beginner level classes, and slowly added classes and joined more advanced classes as my strength and technique returned. In the process, I also discovered that I loved being a teachers assistant and decided to train to teach. I am now 37 and I have continued to take 6-8 classes a week, and I now also teach 12 intermediate level classes. II absolutely love it! Just remember,you will need to start at a lower level to rebuild your strength and technique and take it slow and have fun- it will all come back to you!


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