Queensland's leading adult ballet school
Celebrating 10 Years
two ballerinas

Jim Pickles

The normal demographic for starting classical ballet is to be young and female. Therefore if you are old and male, it takes a certain amount of courage to start, which I did as an absolute beginner, at the age of 52, 10 years ago. I looked in the yellow pages, rang up the nearest school that mentioned "adult classes", and went along for a class. As soon as I took my place at the barre and the music started, I became addicted for life. Now I take between two and three classes a week.

In relation to the normal demographic: one of the great pleasures was how much I have been welcomed in the class, how friendly everyone is, and how kind everyone his (even after I show my usual incompetence, by getting the steps wrong, turning in the wrong direction, and so on). The only criterion for acceptance in class is that you should try (and try, and try, and try...). After all, they have all been there, done that (usually when they were little tots, but never mind). It has given me the chance to have classes with a number of wonderful teachers (among whom I include my present great teachers at 2ballerinas), and gain great satisfactions in a quite different way from normal life. It also lets me indulge in "ballet class tourism" - when I go overseas for work, I look out adult ballet classes in the area I’m going to, and take classes – given the international nature of ballet, one fits in easily into classes everywhere (assuming that they are of the appropriate level of course).

If any mature male is thinking of starting ballet as an absolute beginner, I suggest looking at some excellent articles by Tom Parsons. These articles describe his own experiences (described especially Part 2 of the articles). Also, "Ballet Talk for Dancers" is a great source for support and discussion, and also has a men only discussion forum (see dancers.invisionzone.com). I’ve also written some of my own experiences on my own web page (see www.jimpflex.com.au/otherlife, and follow the link to ballet on the first or second line of the page).

Jim Pickles

top Last modified: Thu 4 Oct 2012