The Adult Dancer
Unsurprisingly, we are big fans of anything that encourages more people to get up and dance. Whilst some might think it’s only prima ballerinas who are dancing through life, the truth is that anyone can (and should!) try it for themselves. We’ve noticed a steady rise in the number of adult classes cropping up in a wide range of genres, aimed at anyone from ex-professional dancers to the complete beginner. If it’s something you’ve thought about, maybe it’s time to dip your (pointed) toe in, and give it a go. The benefits are wide-ranging, from increasing overall fitness and correcting posture, to improving your mental health.
Ballroom and Latin Dance
From the elegance of ballroom to the passion and fire of latin dance, any form of partner dancing is a great way to keep fit and enjoy dancing socially. With a plethora of studios and freelance instructors offering private lessons or group classes, there is literally a world of choice as to style and class size. If you’re keen to brush up on your skills but worried about how you’ll look, you can try a couple of one-on-one sessions in something simple like a basic waltz or salsa step, before you join a group environment. Those looking for something more challenging can look at progressing through the levels at somewhere like Spin City Dance in Brunswick, who offer classes at all levels as well as opportunities to compete both in Australia and internationally. Energetiks Marketing Manager Elysia Mangier was a ballet dancer who returned to dance as a young adult. "Salsa was something I did for fun when I returned to dance as a young adult, and now it's become a full time passion that lets me travel the world doing what I love."
Tap is all about rhythm, but if you don’t have any, don’t panic! Beginner tap can be very simple and if you take the time to master the basics, you’ll be tapping like Gene Kelly in no time (or at least, you'll feel like you are!) All those beats will get your brain working as well as your feet, for a total mind-body workout. Adult tap classes are a great alternative for those who don’t fancy putting on a leotard and getting into ballet, and once again there are plenty of classes on offer. Lots of studios now offer adult tap for mums and dads who are heading to dancing already to pick up the kids, or you could try out an open class at somewhere like The Space Dance & Arts Centre in Prahran, who also offer classes in just about any other genre you can think of.
Ballet is one of the most popular styles for adults who are returning to or starting their dance journey. Beginner ballet is gentle on joints and muscles and generally fairly low-impact, whilst giving the body a thorough workout from top to toe. As you progress through the levels, ballet becomes increasingly more demanding, particularly when it comes to Adage (sustained centre work) and Grand Allegro (literally – big jumps!), meaning there is a level and pace to suit everyone. Many studios offer adult ballet classes in addition to their regular student classes, or you could try an adults-only ballet school such as Elancé Adult Ballet School which has two dedicated locations in Melbourne. Principal Dianne Harrison says of the school, "It's a genuine community, a really lovely place to be." Students who enrol are placed according to their experience within a programme that Dianne herself created, and catered for as individuals. Though many of her students start adult ballet with the goal of getting fitter, or improving posture, Dianne finds that often those goals become "secondary benefits to discovering the joy of learning ballet as an adult".
We could go on and on about all the exciting, inspiring & diverse dance styles you can take up as an adult, but if anything above has tickled your fancy, we say give it a shot! Dance is something that we think can be part of everyone’s life, and whether you’re an ex-dancer itching to get back into it, or a complete novice of any age, we promise you’ll get something out of it. We might be a little biased (dance is our thing, in case you haven’t noticed), but it seems like adult dance is on the rise, and that’s something to celebrate!
If you're looking to grab some essential items for class, check out a few of our gorgeous products below, or head to our website for a full range of options.
And... stay tuned for our chat with Dianne Harrison, and the inspiring story of how she started Elancé Adult Ballet School.
Article by Emily Newton-Smith