It’s not uncommon for adults to occasionally get a case of “woulda coulda shoulda.” Many times, this revolves around hobbies and skills they wished they’d picked up when they were younger.
However, as more and more adults prioritize self-care, “me time,” and embrace healthier work-life balances, these wishes have the opportunity to turn into actualized goals.
We can’t count the number of adults who have said they wish they’d dance ballet when they were young. They often add that it’s “too late now,” but that’s not actually the case!
Can Adults Start Ballet?
Yes! Adults can start ballet at any age, even if they’ve never danced before. However, they will face physical challenges that younger children often don’t face. For instance, an adult’s body is typically less flexible than a child’s body, which means an adult starting ballet will want to go slowly and take precautions when increasing their flexibility.
An experienced adult ballet instructor will have techniques and practices that will help protect an adult’s joints, ligaments, and muscles as they learn ballet. They may also offer adult Pilates, barre, or mobility exercises that can supplement ballet classes by increasing strength, flexibility, and stamina.
Risks of Starting Ballet as An Adult
The main risks with starting ballet as an adult pertain to physical injury. While ballet is a low-impact sport, it does require physical stamina and flexibility. However, one benefit of adult ballet lessons is that they are typically scalable for different students, meeting the needs of more experienced dancers while offering modifications that are accessible to inexperienced students.
Taking it slowly and not pushing your body too far beyond your current capabilities is good advice for starting ballet as an adult. Listen to your body and let your instructor guide you. This will help avoid injury and make the experience more enjoyable.
In addition to physical energy, adults starting ballet for the first time also discover they don’t progress as quickly as children do when starting ballet. Starting ballet as an adult usually means you probably started too late to be a professional ballerina, but if your only goals are to enjoy the art, practice ballet skills, and be active, then you’ll likely love ballet.
Benefits of Starting Ballet as an Adult
Not only is it possible for adults to start ballet, but it can also be beneficial for your health, stress, confidence, and more.
- Good Source of Exercise. One of the reasons adults start ballet is for a new, more enjoyable form of exercise. For most adults, ballet is much more fun than running or weightlifting. Ballet is also a full-body workout, helping to engage not only the legs and arms, but the entire body.
- Provides Stress Relief. Like most exercises, ballet helps produce endorphins that can reduce stress and boost moods.
- Improves Muscle Tone. In addition to generally being a good form of exercise, ballet is particularly beneficial in improving muscle tone. Ballet is a full-body experience, and
- Strengthen Balance & Coordination. Ballet can also help with balance and coordination, both of which become more essential skills the more you age.
- Offers a Social Opportunity. While ballet isn’t as much a team sport as basketball or soccer, there are still plenty of social opportunities to meet new friends during an adult ballet class. Plus, having a friend at class will motivate you to go more regularly!
For those adults with a goal to enjoy ballet and to take their progress slowly, ballet can be a great hobby to pick up. For more information about Central Utah Ballet’s adult dance class, visit our adult dance classes page.
About the Author
Owner & Artistic Director
Jennie Creer-King is the owner and artistic director of Central Utah Ballet Academy. She is an award-winning dancer, instructor, and choreographer. Among her awards include “Best School Award” by the Youth American Grand Prix, “Best of State” in Choreography and Youth Performing Group, and the Presidential Scholar’s Teacher Recognition Award. Jennie has a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Utah School of Dance with an emphasis in Ballet Performance and a Master's Degree from the University of Utah School of Dance emphasis in teaching pedagogy and choreography.
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