Should I return to dance class?

Should I return to dance class?

For some of us adult dancers, deciding to return to the world of dance is a major life decision. One that makes us examine who we are right now in our lives and who we used to be. The decision certainly taps into our identity and ego, but it needn’t require a dissertation in our heads to pick up something again that we truly loved in the past. Check out what Kathy Lu (who “…studied ballet as a child and wonders why she ever stopped. She is now an ardent “adult ballet student”) says about returning to ballet as an adult in her article Ten Tips for Adult Newbies Who Aren’t New to Ballet;

I’m perplexed, even a little bit mad. How is it that I didn’t know then how much I would miss it, or how much effort it would take to start rebuilding all my carefully honed muscle memories? How inconsiderate of my younger, silly self!

Here is some of her advice for returning dancers:


Accept the support of the wild world of “adult ballet”: it is a generous and giving community.

I’ve come to understand and appreciate that adult ballet dancers are a special, quirky breed unto themselves.

There are so many different kinds of us from so many different backgrounds, but we are all brought together by the love of an art that we are more than happy to keep practicing, even though we know that true mastery is out of reach in our lifetimes.


Helen Mao at The Adult Ballet Project said simply “I love and miss dancing ballet”. She struggled with a painful and debilitating condition, followed by surgery, but returned to the dance classroom accomplishing her goals:

·        I didn’t fall or hurt myself

·        I didn’t hurt or make anyone else fall

·        I didn’t get in anyone’s way

I agree with Helen that “The disciplined barre exercises, muscle memory/ingrained technique for combinations…and my welcoming teacher and classmates all made me feel like I returned home after a long trip.”

From Rain Frances article in Dance Informa magazine quoted returning dancers;

Your body never forgets,” says Erynne. And Cory agrees: “Once you are a dancer, you are always a dancer.” Whether your aim is to go professional or just to be able to take daily class, if you go in with the right mindset and the right preparation, the dance world will welcome you back with open arms. And let’s be honest: you never really left it.”