One month into ballet lessons and a great time, I think, to reflect on what I’ve learnt so far and my initial thoughts on learning ballet, particularly as an adult beginner.
It’s tough! Ha ha ha. Understatement number 1 in this particular blog post. Yep, it’s really tough. Firstly, I’m really glad that I started off with online ballet classes from Sleek Technique. They have really, and continue to really, help. Not only did they have a massive impact on my fitness and losing a bit of weight, but they also really helped to introduce me to specific balletic terms and technique, that I continue to use in live ballet classes.
I wasn’t so naive when I started to think that this was going to be easy, mind you. I fully understood that there was to be no shortcuts in learning this craft. I also knew that it was going to take years until I even barely resembled the dancers that I so admired. These dancers would have started ballet when they were very young, so their bodies would have grown into the shapes that ballet would require. Myself, starting at the age of 40, have already done my fair share of growing, so I knew that the changes I was going to see, would be minor in comparison.
So…positives. Well, I’m certainly a lot fitter than I was a few months ago. I’ve actually managed to drop about 38 lbs in fat since starting ballet. It’s pretty flipping incredible actually. It wasn’t that I was massive before, but as Christmas 2015, I was tipping 188 lbs on the scales. Nearly 190 lbs, and this would have been the heaviest I had been in a number of years. Remembering, I’m an ex-Army Physical Training Instructor, who had also done rock climbing, competitive horse riding and yoga before. All of them, I was at ‘competition weight’, so being nearly 190 lbs was too heavy for me, and my BMI/body fat measurements were certainly not good either.
Next positive I’m definitely seeing is greater flexibility in my body, particularly me feet, legs and back. I’ve never had super, crazy flexibility, other than when I did yoga every day, but now I’m definitely starting to see a difference. It’s good!
I’m also getting less ‘body pain’ during the day. Before I started ballet, I used to creak, and ache, and click, and…well…just kind of ‘feel 40’. I know 40’s not old, but I would definitely have to watch it if I were, for example, mowing the lawn, or weeding the garden, or moving some boxes. Now, other than the normal DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and the odd time where I haven’t stretched properly, I feel good. Less aches, less joint pain. And it’s only been a month of classes (plus 3 months of online videos).
The classes themselves, I am absolutely loving. Being me, and having a new passion, I always tend to go full-on! Buy all the kit, get obsessed, 110%, yada yada, yada. But that’s just me. I’m less ‘skittish’ with my pastimes now then when I was younger. I used to start something, get bored, stop it after a few months, but I’m certainly not doing that now. As an example, I picked up the violin for the first time on the 4th January 2014, and have practiced every single day, no exception, since that day. I have weekly music lessons in addition to this, but my hobby has indeed become my passion (along with ballet), and enjoy having these positive ‘addictions’ in my life. Ha ha ha.
Ballet is certainly tough. The parts I find difficult are coordination and body/mind alignment. And I would like to talk about this in my next blog post. So, until then, à tout à l’heure 🙂