Plié and pirouette to better health and fitness with Grand Rapids Ballet’s adult ballet classes.
Grand Rapids Ballet offers beginner and intermediate level classes that combine fitness and fun. “For many people, it’s a fun way to chill out and relax and spend an afternoon with friends, listen to live music and dance,” said Attila Mosolygo, Grand Rapids Ballet School principal.
Adult ballet classes include live piano performances and an opportunity to learn from a professional dancer from Grand Rapids Ballet.
“It’s interesting to take a class from a dancer you might have seen in a principal role the previous evening or weekend,” Mosolygo said.
Intermediate classes are offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. and beginning level classes are offered on Thursdays from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. It’s recommended that intermediate level participants have had two to three years of previous ballet experience.
The classes focus on ballet technique, core strengthening and muscle conditioning.
Mosolygo said beginner classes include learning ballet vocabulary and basic positions. “The best way to learn it is by following, just like an exercise class. Like Zumba, you might not know the moves, but you join the class and follow along and little by little you learn the basics.”
The beginner class will advance over the weeks to include more turns, moving combinations and jumps.
Mosolygo said the intermediate classes are more intense than the beginner level, with more combinations and more complexity in the movements and often a faster pace and longer periods of dancing.
Overall, Mosolygo said participants of both classes learn more about the art of ballet and get in a workout at the same time.
“It’s more interesting than getting on a treadmill or an exercise bike,” he said. “You learn and get to be creative.”
It’s also just plain fun. “It’s fun to get together with friends and take a ballet class,” he said, adding, “Most classes are done to live piano music, too.”
Mosolygo said the clothing required is just your typical t-shirt and sweatpants. He does recommend participants invest in a pair of ballet shoes (which he said can be found for $20), because of the dance studio floors. Ballet shoes have the right level of friction for the best results, but he also said anyone interested in checking out the classes can wear socks.
Grand Rapids Ballet offers the first class free. There are several other options for purchasing additional classes, from a single class fee to a punch card.
Classes are held at Grand Rapids Ballet, 341 Ellsworth SW.