The Australian Ballet

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Step inside with our Studios teachers

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Watching the artists of The Australian Ballet perform is mesmerising, but have you ever wondered what would happen if you let your inner dancer shine?

At The Australian Ballet we offer a variety of ballet classes in the very same studios our dancers train and rehearse. You can learn the basics of ballet if you’re new to the artform all the way up to advanced classes for the more experienced students. Taught by former company members and guests, you’ll get to unleash your creative spirit in a fun and supporting environment.

We get the inside scoop from teachers Yvette Sauvage and Justine Evans about what to expect from class.

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The idea of taking a dance class as an adult, especially a ballet class can seem daunting, what advice would you give someone new to ballet?

Yvette: It's perfectly normal to be feeling nervous for your first ballet class, and most people are all feeling the same way. As a teacher, I try to create a warm environment where everyone feels comfortable to try new things, with plenty of options and where it's okay to make mistakes. Also - most people are so focused on learning the exercise that they definitely aren't noticing anyone else!

Justine: My advice for someone starting new to ballet would be to remember everyone else is new as well, ballet is for everyone young and old, you don’t need tutus, tights or leotards, just a pair of ballet shoes and comfortable clothing is fine and to take it slowly at your own pace and enjoy the experience.

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What can students expect from your class?

Yvette: Absolute Beginner is all about setting the foundations of ballet. Learning the positions of the legs and arms, the French terminology, and the most common steps that they will use in the next level, beginner. Beginner is where we start to learn some longer sequences and introduce more artistry. In all of my classes you can expect to have a laugh and get very sweaty!

Justine: Students can expect to learn the technique and terminology of ballet as well as the artistry and musicality, how to feel the steps through the music and work with different tempi. Students will also be challenged to put their own personality and dynamic into their dancing to bring it to life and gain confidence in their own ability.

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Do you think it’s ever too late to take up ballet?

Yvette: Never too late! Ballet is for everyone and there are so many modifications that can be made to suit each individual's needs or limitations.

Justine: It’s NEVER too late to take up ballet! I have taught many people who have started in their 50’s and 60’s and come back year after year to experience the joy of dancing.

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What are some of the benefits of taking a ballet class?

Yvette: Ballet is special because it doesn't just get your body moving and your brain activated (very activated!) but you also get a chance to connect with the beautiful classical music and socialise with other adults who share the same passion. Hopefully you leave feeling happy!

Justine: The health benefits are endless, increased awareness of the body and muscles, bone health, mind and muscle memory, coordination, flexibility, strengthened and toned ligaments and muscles, improved posture, joint mobility, and not to mention feelings of achievement and wellbeing. It’s a great way to also meet people, make new friends and share the fun and joy of a common interest.

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What’s the best part of teaching the Studios class?

Yvette: I love the bonds and sense of community that develops among the adult dancers. It's also such a joy to see the huge improvements that people make over the year or even just six weeks, especially when they start out feeling "hopeless and uncoordinated"! I think a lot of people surprise themselves with what they're capable of.

Justine: The best part of teaching the Studios class is the vibrant atmosphere in the studio from the start to the end, passing on my knowledge and experience as both a teacher and ex dancer to students of all ages and backgrounds, seeing students achieve new steps and take on challenges. Having a laugh and enjoying the bond we share together while dancing alongside a pianist playing live ballet music is also a special part of teaching the Studios classes.

There you have it! You’re never too old to learn a new skill, make new friends or have a good time. So step outside your comfort zone and Step Inside a Studios class!