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This blog follows Dance Wire’s Founder/Director Emily Running in her adventures taking new dance classes all over Portland.
While I grew up doing ballet regularly in high school and college, I was still nervous to attend this class. It’s been awhile! Sarah Rigles (studio owner and instructor) promised me that the women who regularly attend are very open and welcoming. Luckily she was right.
Just moments in to class all of my nervousness melted away. You know how you can spot a ballerina from a mile away? Their posture, mannerisms, and how they move? Here in the studio, I once again started to embody a ballerina’s grace, poise, and sense of ease even when something is difficult. It felt both familiar and empowering and a good reminder that ballet has so many tangential benefits, not just for those pursuing a career in dance.
Despite it being 11:30-1:00 on a Thursday class had a solid 16 people in it. Everyone was wearing leotards and ballet slippers, so I was glad I dusted mine off, but not having them wouldn’t have been a barrier.
We started at the barre for a full warmup of the usual pliés, tendus, dégagés, rond de jambes, grand battment, frappés etc. The pace was neither slow nor fast, it was simply a basic barre with just a few frills. Along the way Sarah occasionally stopped to remind us of a specific quality of movement she was looking for and/or guide us to be more precise with our technique, but it was certainly balanced by gentle prompts to not be too hard on ourselves.
After barre we spent some time in the center working on pirouettes as well as a short traveling combination (shown in video).
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Overall I left class feeling joyful, taller, more graceful, and like I had reconnected with a part of my past that I’d like to visit with more often. Thank you Classical Ballet Academy!
From the Classical Ballet Website:
Adult Students at CBA have enjoyed the benefits of classical ballet training such as: renewed confidence, physical and mental stamina, muscular rejuvenation, and a support network of peers working towards goals and encouraging one another. All classes are “Drop In” (you do not need to pre-register or commit to monthly classes *with the exception of Absolute Beginning Series classes); class cards are available through the office. There is no dress code for Open/Drop In classes (please wear dance attire). We have classes designed for different ability levels as well as master level teachers ready to take adult dancers seriously and push all dancers to achieve their individual goals.
Find more Portland-area dance classes on Dance Wire’s Find A Class Directory.