This is my ballet story.
Hi I’m Seira (my pen name) , welcome to Adult Ballet Diaries!
I started ballet when I was about five. After a couple of years, I stopped going to class.
I’m not quite sure why, but most probably it was because there wasn’t anyone to take me to class. Quite innocently I didn’t question my family’s circumstance and continued dancing at home.
About 10 years old, I remembered missing ballet terribly but thought I was too old to learn ballet.
I tried getting back into ballet class but in those times, ballet classes were organized girls according to their age, not ability. Thus there wasn’t a suitable class for me.
In school, I remembered feeling very disappointed that I didn’t get through the audition for the Japanese dance troop, whereas my best friend did, simply because she looked more like a Japanese doll with the narrow eyes and blunt fringe (traditional Japanese doll look). I had wider almond eyes.
When I was in high school, I thought I was too inflexible to join Chinese Dance. I didn’t know that flexibility came by training over time. I continued to dance lyrical free style at home.
I started taking other dance classes like Jazz and Hip hop around 15. When I struggled with jazz pirouettes and lyrical jazz, I decided to take some ballet lessons because they might help. I found a studio and a school. The teacher took pity on me and gave me a trial private lesson. I spent half an hour learning to plié properly. I would never forget that lesson. I couldn’t believe I was sweating buckets.
It was that teacher, Vanessa Lee Price, that gave the gift of dancing ballet back to me. She believed in me and worked out a really inexpensive package for me to take as many lessons as I wanted, and to teach me privately if I could come during off-peak hours, since she was at her school working on admin and all that anyway.
After a couple of lessons of basic barre and center. She started me on the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance)’s intermediate syllabus right away and pushed me hard. She even said to me once, “I think you can be professional.” I didn’t believe it then, and even now, I just think of it as a flattering comment. But, I feel so encouraged that she believed in me. She never once told me I was too old (I was 17 then). After a few years of dancing at her school, I had to leave to move to another part of the country and so I had to stop. I tried my best finding a good teacher in the area and I was in but I couldn’t find a teacher like her. I then danced once a week with a teacher who was only mediocre. She didn’t really care about the progress of her students. (Thus, it is really important to find a good teacher!”)
There was a couple of years I stopped dancing because again, I moved countries. It was inconvenient for me and my traveling schedule didn’t allow me to continue. I remember spending $200 for a set of instructional ballet videos and tried to do them at home. Obviously, I didn’t get very far.
Then I moved countries again, and this time, I had access to many dance studios and thus, I came back. It was terrifying when I first stepped into a ballet class again because my body felt so weird and I was so nervous, especially when we had to do combinations from the corner. Somehow, with the help of many teachers and many many classes, I’ve managed to return to dancing and now I’m dancing on the offense, instead of the defense.
I’m so eternally grateful to all those teachers who believed in me and still trained me as though I was a young dancer trying to be professional. These ballet teachers are hard to come by. There are so many that really don’t care as much. They have made a huge difference in my life and they help me believe that I can learn to dance well!
Learning ballet, have since, become a passion. 🙂
Do you also have a ballet story? I would love to hear from you!
About Ballet Diaries
I first started this website/blog out of a variety of reasons. Firstly, I started journaling my progress, victories, breakthroughs and frustrations. It was one of those diaries with dates on them and after many couple of blank pages I gave up. However, I recognize the importance of jotting things down, and reading them from time to time – because it really helps you learn quicker.
Then I also wanted a place to house all my favorite ballet websites and videos, so I can refer to them at an easy click.
Then there is also two of my beloved ballet teachers who wanted me to put websites for them to advertise their studios and dance related events. Which I attempted to try to start a website for them…
I’ve also read many ballet books and wanted to place my notes online just because typing is faster than writing.
So somehow I got a little fed-up with my hosh posh attempts, and I ended up deleting the site five times, with my previously written pages and all.
In the end, I am convinced that I’m going to write for me, as honestly as I can, no matter how amateurish I may sound. I’m not going to try to please anyone, nor do I have any objective other than to write as I please and assemble the information however I want. Putting myself out there, of course is a huge risk. It is easy for others to write bashing comments these days especially with the faceless internet where people can hide behind their computers.
There are many different views about ballet – about who is good, how to teach, what moves are nicer or which ones make more sense. I’m not here to convince anyone. If my story encourages anyone or helps anyone at all, that is already a great blessing to me.
So please use any information found on this site with caution, and thank you once again for reading this page!