Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Be a Dancer: Ballet 101 for Adults

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Be a Dancer: Ballet 101 for Adults

Article excerpt

There's nothing like a new year to stir thoughts of trying something new or rekindling old resolutions that dropped off during the year.

Whichever it is, you might just find what you're searching for on the dance floor. In January, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School's community division will welcome back its Ballet 101 series of classes for adults with little or no dance experience. Six weekly one-hour sessions take place at PBT headquarters in the Strip District and cover ballet fundamentals along with basic technique and terminology.

The PBT School experimented with Ballet 101 classes in the past and debuted this series in the fall. It's part of its mission to make ballet approachable to anyone, whether they're looking for a new hobby, new friends or a new workout.

"People seem to really enjoy the Ballet 101 series," said instructor Shanna Naider. "A lot of times people are intimidated by ballet. It's a new language. It's a new dance movement language, but there's no pressure here. We just really want people to have fun."

A live pianist, small class size and a comfortable pace (no pointe shoes or complicated choreography) are other popular features, she noted.

Even so, who hasn't attempted that anyone-can-do-it fitness class or at-home exercise video, only to find that, no, not everyone can do it? With that in mind, I sampled the Ballet 101 series earlier in the fall.

Full disclosure: I danced for nearly two decades, so ballet isn't new terrain for me. However, I hung up my ballet slippers almost 10 years ago when I switched career paths from dance to writing about dance. So my sus-sous is rusty, and there's not a leotard to be found in my closet these days.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't apprehensive about taking my first ballet class in so long. Will I do it right? Wear the right thing? Look silly on camera? (Yes, that's a concern when you decide to turn a class into a video, which can be viewed at post-gazette. …

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