Ten Benefits of Taking Adult Ballet Classes

Dance has always been an activity done by young people, a specification somewhat imposed by the industry itself. However, dance exercises like ballet are just as useful in the lives of adults as in the lives of younger up-and-comings. It’s already been proven that ballet is a workout that positively impacts every part of a person’s life. As Hilary White expressed in her personal essay “My Body Changed Dramatically When I Started Adult Ballet […],” taking adult ballet classes have changed her life, her body, and her mindset on health and wellness. For an adult, taking these classes not only provides a workout that suits their body and doesn’t cause injuries but it also staves off aging and other issues that come at a more mature age in life. The positive mental, social, and physical impacts ballet has upon a person far outweighs the negative aspects.

Top ten benefits of taking adult ballet classes:

  1. Those emotional and mental tensions we build up in our daily life disappear as soon as class starts.

  2. By being adults and having real-life experiences, we know what we want and can even use a ballet class as a form of meditation.

  3. Due to its creative aspect, dance lets people explore their inner thoughts and feelings that are normally pushed aside and ignored. Functioning as an outlet, dance “feeds your soul” while “it exercises your body,” Teresa Andis explains as quoted in Robert Baxter’s “Dance, dance, dance.”

  4. Ilona Johnson, a 74-year-old woman who came back to dance after 50 years, explains how everything else disappears due to the intense concentration and focus ballet requires. (Sturgis).

  5. You gain better posture, strength in the upper body and core, flexibility, balance, and coordination. Judy Fisk reveals in her article, “How Does Ballet Help Your Fitness Level?” that ballet involves all four components of physical fitness: body composition, cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility.

  1. Ballet builds lean and toned muscle that goes in accordance to the flexibility ballet dancers develop. As Jesús Acevedo (UPRM Dance Team’s coach) explains, ballet “is a complete exercise because it works on all the body’s muscles,” from the back muscles, to the quads, and to the small muscles on the feet.

  2. Ballet postpones inflexibility, tightness, and muscle loss which come as one grows older. It’s also very energizing.

  3. Truly enough it’s an activity that for some, brings back memories and for others, serves as a re-discovery of the self.

  4. Baxter explains how ballet “ward[s] off dementia, diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoporosis.” The physiotherapist Daphne Cushnie indicates how “music and dance acts as an organizer for the brain, and ballet is extremely effective in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders” (Sturgis).

  5. Ballet classes also help with Parkinson’s, scoliosis, and arthritis. The teacher Barbara Owens quoted on Knight’s article recalls how people tell her “they come in with a backache or headache, but when they leave, say they’ve never felt better.”

Childhood frustrated dreams are quite common in adult ballet classes. These dreams, like finally dancing on pointe shoes can be reached. Time or age is not a factor when it comes to improving the quality of life in a physical, intellectual and emotional way (Green Birkel). Serving also as therapy, it was how Jules Barker, who began at her 50s with social phobia, six years later was dancing on stage. As coach Acevedo affirmed, it all depends of the goal. Although, if one thing is concluded, it’s that it is never too late to take the first plié. Never trying it and letting that childhood dream fade away is what is too late.