My work has been published in The Age, The Herald-Sun, The Australian, The Big Issue, Australian Birdlife, The Bark (USA), Eureka Street, Overland and The Australian Jewish News.
Published June 17th 2017
Adult ballet - it's tutu magnificent
Melbourne has many schools of ballet - some of which offer classes for adults. But there's only one ballet school exclusively for adult students: Elance Adult Ballet School.
Principal Dianne Harrison began Elance in 2002. Returning to dance after a long break herself, she noted Melbourne's lack of a comprehensive curriculum for adult learners.
Student at Elance Adult Ballet School
The school now caters to over 500 students across 12 levels, from absolute beginners right up to advanced, repertoire choreography and pointe work (women only!). It has two bright, clean studios in Mitcham and Flemington.
The 90-minute classes involve sixty minutes at the barre, honing universal ballet exercises such as pliés (bends) and tendus (stretches). Thirty minutes are then spent in the centre tackling exercises and routines that develop and extend barre work.
There's no uniform at Elance. Everything goes, from gymwear to traditional leotards and tights.The only requirement for both sexes is canvas or leather ballet slippers. There are no exams or concerts.
Adult bodies are less supple and can be more injury-prone. Elance's teachers recognise this and provide careful training in correct technique, emphasising warming up, hydration, and paying attention to one`s own body.
Adult ballet students at the barre. Image copyright Elance Adult Ballet School
All prospective students discuss their dance background with Ms Harrison, who directs them to the appropriate class.
Classical ballet is a beautiful, rigorous artform usually associated with the young. But the joy of learning it can be experienced by anyone, at any age. Fitness, poise, strength and grace develop as steps are learned and technique improves.
Studying it demands mental and physical concentration, but in a ballet class, the world outside, with all its busyness and frustrations, falls away. Expect to get fitter and happier with ballet classes at Elance.