By Renee Claude,
From Bournemouth

Hi, my name is Renee Claude and I’m 13 years old. When I was three I started ballet, tap, modern, character and jazz dancing. I quit at the age of seven because it got boring.

I started to get into ‘Dance Moms’ and really enjoyed it. I once had a breakdown whilst watching it because I didn’t know what I wanted to do in my life; whether I wanted to be a doctor (my mum had planted the idea of becoming a doctor into my mind from when I quit dancing because I was ‘Pupil of the Year’ every year in my primary school so I’d be smart enough, and you receive a large amount of money), whether I wanted to act (Sabrina Carpenter inspired me from her appearance on ‘Girl Meets World’), whether I wanted to be a professional England netball player (I was in to netball), or whether I wanted to be a detective (‘Criminal Minds’, ‘Death in Paradise’ and shows like ‘Castle’ are the kind of things I like to watch). I wanted it all, and hoped that the right career path would just turn up or I’d be directed down the correct route. Maybe I’d have to find it myself or maybe It’ll be clearly lit up and marked with my name on it.

I decided that maybe dancing was what I wanted to do, because I’d been quite good at it in my prime. I am now in my second year of secondary school and told my mum that as a Christmas present, I’d like to restart ballet.

“You’re too old!”
“It’s too expensive!”
“Where would you go?” (she was involved in a car accident that prevented her from driving.) She would say, and I’ve got to say… that was disappointing.

‘Santa’ (my ten year old brother believes in him, apparently I do as well) bought me a month of ballet lessons every Saturday at the church down the road from where I live so it’s easy to walk to. Unfortunately there was no website for the dance class so I could not get any details for the ages of the classes or the dance attire, so I’m very nervous to join.

Then I found this website. It’s helped me a lot, but I’ve always been self-conscious of my weight since Year 5 of primary school and I’m worried I’ll get judged for turning up to my first class in a skin tight leotard and tights with my butt hanging out, my belly bulging and my shoulders tugging at the straps.

Is this the right thing to do? Do I really want to become a dancer? Is it too late? Will I b let down? All these questions buzz through my head as I type. Why can’t life be simple?

As I said, I’ve always been self conscious, of my weight and my appearance. I have thick hair and that really bugs me. I’m ugly as hell and I can’t work make-up. I’m a fatty and I can’t stick to a diet. If only there was a way that I could have it all without doing any work… unfortunately nothing’s like that.

I guess I’ll have to learn, and wait, and find out for myself.

If you have any advice, please comment some helpful tips and suggestions. Maybe you could answer one or more of the following questions:

How do I be less self-conscious?
How do I be confident?
How do I fit in with little kids at a beginner ballet class?
How to cool my nerves?
What to wear?
What to pack (in a dance bag or something)?
Do I wear a sports bra on my first class?
Do I wear a sports bra under my leotard?
Do I wear a sports bra in any dance class?

Thanks so much for reading this, and please do comment, it would be so helpful.

Submitted: Sun Dec 28 2014


Dec 29, 2014
Persistence is everything in ballet. NEW
by: Seira

I think you are brave for re-starting ballet.

The first step is to find out who teaches at the ballet class and have a chat with her. Ask her about what to wear etc. Every studio have their own rules.

Lastly, since, focus on the goal instead of getting self-conscious. Remember how much you want to learn how to dance. No ballerina looks the way they do in one day. It may take many months or years.

I used to eat junk food. The more I danced, the more conscious of my health I became of and started to want to eat better. It all naturally happened. My body simply craved healthier things.

I wish you all the best! Persistence is everything in ballet.