As mentioned in a previous post, I’m always looking for new sports or hobbies to try my hand at. With it being a new year, I thought I’d have a go at something totally different. That’s why this week I went to my first ever ballet class. Dance school KNT Danceworks runs regular adults beginners sessions aimed at those with little or no previous experience at the The Dancehouse theatre on Oxford Road, home of the prestigious Northern Ballet School. The classes are run in the evening on a drop in basis and cost just £5 a session, which in my opinion is excellent value.
Lasting around an hour, the beginners class introduces ballet basics – including feet and hand positions – which was incredibly useful for those like me who hadn’t done any ballet since primary school. Given that it was the first week of classes in January, the class was full of first timers trying something new for a new year, so it was the perfect time to start. As well as barre work, basic exercises and stretching, I also learnt to demi-plié, chasse, pas de chat and Rond de Jambe. The instructor was great and made the unfamiliar moves really accessible to newbies. The class then progressed to then putting all of these moves together in a variety of combinations and exercises that made me feel like graceful and like a real ballet dancer – although I’m sure it didn’t look that way to outsiders!
It was great exercise as well, although at the time I was concentrating too hard on getting my feet and leg positions correct to notice that I was really working up a sweat. The real proof was in the aching calves, ankles and tummy muscles the next day. I’ll definitely be going back next week and hopefully I’ll be up on my pointes in no time!