Ballet is a wonderful way to continue when our lives have stopped.
So, embrace your personal space and treat it as a work of art.
That's what I've said countless times as a ballet teacher. But it has never been more meaningful than it is now.
I have always been passionate about the daily benefits of ballet for me personally, and for the many other older adults here in New York City that I have the honor to teach in my free classes. I like to share what I've learned in my life as an amateur ballerina, if you call it someone who dances out of pure love. Older and perhaps a little wiser, I value ballet the most for the way it balances me and centers on ways that go far beyond movement and dance.
As our city, our country ̵
Like many New Yorkers, I spend most of my time these insecure days in an eternally cluttered apartment where cozy really means incredibly small. My living room has too many goals: TV news drones in the background; Alexa lights up and she doesn't tell me why; ambulance sirens shout too often outside; and right now a bored but very cute puppy is chewing on my favorite ballet slippers somewhere.
My portable ballet bar has a place of honor near a window where light can shine in during my morning sessions. Wherever I am, I do it with a high-backed dining table or chair to replace a barre.
What I have learned from practicing lifelong ballet is that each of us has the power to transform every space we inhabit. By personal space I mean the room our body occupies from the tips of our toes to the top of our head and how far our outstretched arms can reach. Even though we are all housebound, it means standing upright and tall, ears aligned with our shoulders, stomach tense, tucked up at the back, legs turned outwards with the feet gripping tightly as if our whole body is pulling energy upwards of the earth itself.
The way we move can affect how we feel about ourselves and how we interact with it. A careful balance promotes good physical and emotional health. It is both our duty and our joy to create something beautiful every step of our ballistic path.
Don't worry if you've never tried a plié or arabesque. It doesn't matter what size, shape, age or gender you have. There is no better time to discover the many ballet lessons online; Zoom, Instagram, You-Tube are our friends.
Dancing virtually at home in any room you have requires that you celebrate yourself. And here's a fashion note: Planning an internet lesson is a great excuse to put together some pretty dance outfits as well. Time to get out of those PJ & # 39; s!
Dressed up and nowhere is exactly what I have in mind.
“I never paid much attention to age. I took my first ballet class – not as a little girl – but just before my twenty-first birthday I started my career as a journalist. During the day, I was the city editor of a local weekly newspaper in New Jersey; In the evening I studied ballet in our neighborhood studio with Matt Mattox, who became world famous. Then, like now, I was usually the oldest in my class. My ballet slippers were probably the first things I put in my backpack when my husband, daughter and I moved to New York City. I got a job at Women's Wear Daily and worked for the legendary fashion columnist Eugenia Sheppard, who taught me about style and how to write about it. Later, my fascination with vintage fashion and the reuse of old clothes inspired me to start my own business. That led to freelance theater projects and work as a theatrical costume designer off-off off Broadway. Along the way, I have published three books about travel and road driving through the American West, in which I wrote about my adventures. I am currently under contract to write a book about the vintage fashion world.
So far, ballet has been the common thread connecting everything all my life. Six years ago, I started a free ballet class for older adults at our East 67th Street public library. It is for everyone, regardless of age, who enjoys dancing. "
Other virtual ballet ideas can be found on Jennifer's website.