“Don’t worry if ballet passed you by the first time around, at Pineapple our beginner’s classes are for beginners of any age. And lots of people attend ballet classes for the sheer pleasure of the dance, and not in order to become a professional.”
This is how Pineapple describes their beginner ballet classes in their own words; perfect for setting my mind at ease before my own ballet class with Susan Zalcman. Susan teaches a range of ballet classes, ranging from child classes to dancers working ‘en pointe’.
I think it’s safe to say these dancers aren’t beginners…
The Thursday beginners class I attended, was a basic level, based mainly around stretching, posture and work at the ballet barre. The atmosphere, as with Fusion Funk, was welcoming and friendly. The actual movements are fairly easy, however the trick to ballet is in perfecting the posture. I have always attempted to blame my ‘well proportioned rear end’ on an over exaggerated curve in my spine (that and poor genes). However, a little tip from Susan about feeling ‘zipped up’ – tilting the pelvis – and already I was improving. Susan was gentle and smiling, with the slight edge of a school mistress – the perfect measure for getting on well in a ballet class. “Every time you stick that bum out” she whispered “it will grow.” Tummy tight and bottom tucked in – by the Friday morning I was definitely, and gladly, feeling the positive effects.
There were points where I did feel ‘dancer’s envy’; gazing at some of the other girls’ turnout or ‘pretty ballet’ hands, but for the main part, I tried to emulate their stance – a great way of improving your own technique. Susan’s Thursday night class is brilliant for those brand new to ballet, those wanting to stretch and tone or those wanting to gently ease back into ballet after a break. There were a range of participants including dancers who usually dance in other styles and were fitting the class in between various jazz, tap and lessons. For the rest of us who sit in an office all day, beginners ballet is perfect for unwinding those tight muscles and gaining a little grace (and hopefully a pert bottom).
Pineapple Dance Studios, visit their homepage for a full list of classes : http://www.pineapple.uk.com/
Susan teaches a wide range of ballet classes at all levels. Contact Pineapple for more info.