Despite my past, I was nonetheless looking forward to my first Adult Ballet class at Twinkle Dance. Despite my seeming lack of talent, a very small part of me wildly hoped that perhaps my inner Black Swan would be set free and that I had some special gift my teacher had previously missed; I would be discovered and Natalie Portman would have to watch her back. Hrmm… maybe!
The excellent teacher was Twinkle herself (the best name ever if you are a dancer!), although there are tonnes of classes available with a variety of teachers. We started with a stretching warm-up session that was, frankly, not my forte. I’m currently training for a marathon, so my hamstrings are so tight that I’m totally unable to even touch my toes, never mind thinking of doing the splits!
Despite my initial failings, my enthusiasm was not dampened, and we followed the stretching with some relatively straightforward barre work. Standing tall with good posture, I moved in time to the music through the various positions and actually managed to follow what was going on! OK, Natalie Portman has nothing to worry about just yet, but for the first time ever, I felt like I was actually on my way to practicing ballet… in fact, I felt less of a klutz than in any previous dance class I’ve tried. Ironic really, since ballet is generally thought to be incredibly difficult.
The class did became a little more difficult, however not so much so that it was beyond my limited coordination capacities (runners not necessarily being known for their grace!). Twinkle took the time to go through things slowly so that we first mastered the technique, then turned the movements into dance.
Afterwards, I really felt that with a few more classes, I’d see an improvement and some real progress – and perhaps even get to the stage where an objective bystander might actually think I was doing ballet! Pretty satisfying!
In terms of a workout, this was pretty darn good too. What I liked about the Adult Ballet class was that it seemed to combine the stretching benefits of yoga with the core strengthening benefits of Pilates. However, because you were more focused on actually dancing or holding the correct position, it took your mind off the burning in your butt! Much more enjoyable than having someone count you through some oblique toning move – all the benefit with a lot less pain! It was also really fun trying to jump and kick. Can you remember the last time that you tried to jump really high eight times in a row with a little kick at the end? Me neither!
The class felt really invigorating, certainly more so than a yoga session, and perhaps it was the classical music, but the class felt calming, yet also uplifting and fun. Better still, my legs and butt were a little sore the next day – the mark of a good workout!
If you’re looking for a core workout that is both challenging and also super fun, I can certainly recommend trying Twinkle Dance’s Adult Ballet class – I’ll see you at the barre!
Adult Ballet classes cost $220 each or $1700 for a pack of ten classes; see the full schedule here
Twinkle Dance Company 801-2 Lansing House, 41-47 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
6608 6689 www.twinkledance.com
Jane is an ironman, multiple marathoner, corporate lawyer and mum of one, who recently moved south to Hong Kong after a two-year stint in Shanghai; she chronicles her adventures on her blog, Dim Sum and Long Runs
Top ballet photo via Shutterstock