Ballet classes for adult

Friday, June 10, 2016 - 10:22:52

Many people think that ballet students must begin training at an early age, or else, their dream of performing ballet on stage will never come true. But it is never too late to follow your passion, and if you are in Hanoi, you can take ballet classes for adults instructed by Do Hoang Thi Ngoc.

After graduating from Vietnam Dance College, Ngoc became a principal at the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet Theater. He continued his study in France and collaborated with famous ballet company Alantique. He says his ballet classes welcome all interested adults, regardless of age. “Many adults want to study ballet though they do not have a lot of time and cannot follow the formal training needed to become a professional ballet dancer. My classes are open to all adult learners who have studied ballet before or even have no experience at all, as long as they have a passion for dancing. Besides that, perseverance plays an important role in learning ballet as the training is quite painful.”

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Do Hoang Thi Ngoc and his ballet class for adults (Source: muavietnam)

Studying ballet poses certain challenges to adult learners, but, they can benefit significantly from it in terms of health and body shape. Ngọc said: “An adult’s body is less flexible than that of a child so the biggest challenge is to make it less rigid. Adults are quicker learners, though, so they can grasp new ideas more easily. Many adults study ballet to improve their body. It helps you keep your body firm, lose weight more quickly, and maintain better posture.”  

All learners come to class 10 to 15 minutes early to warm up at the barre, an indispensable activity to prevent injury and enhance performance. They begin their training with the same course that professional ballet dancers follow. For an hour and a half, students can free their minds with classical music compositions for ballet, mostly played by piano. The music’s tempo changes with the speed of the movements.

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The class has attracted many passionate adult learners (Source: Kinergie Studio)

Everyone wears skin-tight clothes and ballet shoes with an up-do hairstyle so the teacher can see their body to correct them. When it comes to a new movement, the teacher will demonstrate and explain it at the same time. Do you wonder what it is like when you spin in ballet? It starts with one or both knees bent and the heels raised, balanced on toe tips. The force of the arms determines the spin so it is important to pay attention to it. With Ngoc’s instruction, it becomes easier for adult learners to judge the force that the arms need. “When you spin, if you use too little force with your arms, it will negatively affect your movement. Imagine that you are in a pool, sweeping out the water with your arms. That’s the same force that you should obtain with your arms when you spin.”

The class attracts not just Vietnamese, but many foreigners. Ballet can be learned through body language, so 30-year old Katerina does not find it difficult to follow the class, even though she does not speak Vietnamese. She really enjoys the class. She said: “If you do know some ballet, if you already know the movement and so on, the body language explains everything. So yes it’s also recommended for foreigners even though it’s all Vietnamese, no problem at all. You train everyday and you see your progress every day. As for the mental part, listen to classic music and the enjoyable physical part. And if you know a little bit of the history of ballet, I think you can imagine great ballet dancers on the stage while you are dancing.”

                                                                                                                                                   Ha Ngan