Click on a question below to learn more
1. Do I need any previous experience of doing ballet for the drop-in classes on offer?Yes, the drop-in classes are designed for adults with some previous experience. We make sure the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. Clients in the drop-in classes do have a wide range of experience but the classes are suitable for people with just a little experience, or a long gap since they last danced. We have three levels already for the drop-in classes so we hope you find one that suits your needs. There are beginner courses which you might find more comfortable if you have absolutely no experience or a small amount of experience with ballet even as a child.
2. Do I need to be fit to start with?
No, people of any fitness, age, or shape are welcome; but you MUST indicate if you have an injury or physical problems such as back trouble or a weak knee. Taking ballet class is a good way to start getting fit if you don’t do any other exercise and a great addition to other ways of getting fit if you do. Ballet is especially good for flexibility, posture and balance.
3. What should I wear?You don’t need to buy special ballet clothing: leggings and a t-shirt are fine. Wear any comfortable sports clothes which allow you to move without restriction. Choose things which are not too baggy, though, because it’s important for your instructor to be able to see the placement of your arms and legs. In winter you may wish to start with something warm on top which you can take off as you warm up during class. You will need to wear either socks or soft ballet shoes, but the shoes are not essential, and you can ask Ballet4Life staff for advice before buying them. For the gentleman, a dance belt or an athletic supporter is required. Women with long hair should try to tie it back off the face so it does not distract you whilst moving. Lastly dangling earrings and heavy necklaces are not advised.
4. What happens in the ballet classes?Ballet class always starts with work at the barre, in a series of exercises that build in content and effort required. There is a repetition of these exercises and the teachers will assist you with the learning and execution of the steps. The sequence and type of exercises are the same in any ballet class in the world, although all teachers will, of course, vary the details!
The barre usually takes about 40 minutes. It’s followed by a series of exercises away from the barre in the centre of the studio. Depending upon the class level you will practice your sustained slow movements, pirouettes, jumps, as well as travelling across the studio with larger movements and longer sequences. Again, there is a sequence of types of exercise, which build upon each other. The class usually ends with a few moments of cooling down and feeling a sense of one’s centre.
5. Do the drop-in ballet classes follow a curriculum?Yes, they follow our own curriculum developed by the staff at Ballet4Life. However, they do not follow a syllabus that is gearing clients towards an examination process. Our curriculum is constantly developing and changing based on the needs of our clients and themes and methods that each teacher brings to Ballet4Life. An authentic, thorough and safe class is a guarantee yet there are always new sequences and tasks to work on and to develop.
7. Do I need to sign up for a whole term?No, clients are welcome to drop- in when they are able to do so, although, just as with any form of activity, sustained practice is important and beneficial. We have 3 different class carnets to choose from, plus a drop-in fee. The class carnets are available online or on the day from the teacher and are valid for 6 months from the date of purchase.
8. The idea of doing a ballet class is a bit intimidating; can I visit a drop-in class first to see if I want to try one? Can I also watch one session on a Complete Beginner Course before enrolling since I have never done ballet and it is a big commitment.Yes, new clients are always welcome to come and watch a drop-in class before attending a class. We only ask that you arrange this beforehand so as to minimise overcrowding or disruption to the current attendees.
Yes, we also welcome people to arrange to watch one class on a Beginner Course by prior arrangement and we have Taster sessions throughout the year so you may try any class or course that you are interested in.
9. Can I just turn up and pay for a class?Yes, you are most welcome to come along and to pay the £ 15 Taster fee directly to any Ballet4Life staff member.
You may also buy this safely and securely on our website with PayPal. We also accept cheques made out Ballet4Life. Please, if you are new, we might ask to see your bank guarantee card as well. Cash, of course, is always welcome as well. We do kindly ask that you complete our registration form either online or when you first attend. Your information is never shared with other parties.
10. I am coming directly from work are there changing facilities and is there some place safe for me to store my belongings during the class?Yes, all the facilities where the classes are held have toilets and changing areas. Your belongings are safely stored right in the studio in which the class is held.
12. What tube station is the closest? Do any buses stop nearby?For a list of the nearest tube station and bus information please see the answer to Question 26
14. Do you ever have Pointe work in your classes?Yes, we now have a Saturday 30 minute Beginner pointe class after the 11 am drop-in class at 12.15 pm. Also, we have 15-Minute Pointe Exercise on Saturday after the Int/Adv Class at 12 pm.We sometimes have a 15-minute Pointe Exercise on Wednesdays following the 7.30 drop-in class. Autumn 2015 term we regret that we are not offering it.
16. If I complete the beginner ballet course and wish to progress what classes can I attend?
After my team makes sure that you are secure with the information taught on the complete beginner course, and are physically able, we encourage clients ready to progress to join the Follow-on course. After that course, we re-access and help to stream you into the Improvers drop- in classes.
17. Is there a limit as to how many terms I can do the Beginner Course?No, you may attend more than once. On average clients tend to take the course more than once before they feel ready to progress. Some clients even stay on the beginner course and use it for their weekly class since they may have scheduling conflicts or other difficulties that they are working with.
20. Does the Complete Beginner Course fill up fast? How is my place secured?Yes, this is a very popular course and does fill up each term quite quickly. Once your payment and completed enrollment form are received, you will receive a confirmation of your place on the course by email.
If you do not have e-mail access this can be posted to you or sent by text message.
22. Are questions allowed during classes if I do not understand something?Yes, of course! As with any learning experience if you are unclear about something your teacher has explained or demonstrated you may feel free to ask a question. Please just be sensitive to the timing and be respectful of others. Often you teacher will ask the class if anyone has any questions. You are also always welcome to stay after class for a few minutes as well and ask your teacher then.
23. Do you organise outings to see performances?Yes, we aim for two outings per year. If you have any suggestions, we are happy to follow a lead and see if there is interest for a group booking. Often people form new friendships on the courses and in the classes and arrange to go see dance performances together.
25. Is there set choreography to learn each week in the ballet drop-in classes? Do you prepare for performances or shows in which your clients perform?No, due to the nature of the drop-in classes the teachers are not building on exact long sequences of choreography. They may be working on some short enchainment's each week that they add to and develop but keeping in mind that there may be a newcomer who has to be caught up and made to feel welcome. There may be special projects or rehearsals for local performances going on from time to time but your class time will not be infringed and you will be given ample opportunity to either participate or decline. We participated in the Bedford Park Festival in Summer 2015, had a Summer Showcase in 2016, and we currently rehearsing for our May 2017 Showcase.
26. Where are the classes located and are they close to public transport?Yes, all the studios in which we hold classes are easily accessible by public transport. Please first visit our timetable on the home page and find out where your class/course is taking place. We use different dance studios in Chiswick, West London. They are all close to public transport links. Arts Educational School, 14 Bath Road, London W4 1LY, is 3 minutes walk from Turnham Green Tube Station, District Line. Also, the 94 and 272 bus stop is 2 minutes away.
The Dance Studio at St. Peter's Hall, Southfield Road, London W4 1BB is well serviced by the E3 bus. It is also close to Turnham Green Station, District Line, and Acton Town Station, and South Acton Overground Station.
Arts Ed School
14 Bath Road, London W4 1LY
St. Peter's Hall