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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
I thought that wanting to take ballet lessons at my age put me in a very small minority. But this book proved me wrong and also managed to put aside any concerns that I would have in doing so. First, this book makes the adult "wanna-be" ballerina realize that it in not a pipe dream to dance ballet. It answers almost every concern anyone could come up with and encourages you every step of the way. From what to wear to class, where to take class and what to expect once you've started. In addition to that, it defines those sometimes mystifying French terms used in dance, as well as showing you how to do them. One other great thing is a directory of schools that offer adult classes. But what I liked best is that this book gives no illusions. It doesn't promise that you will be dancing point for the New York City Ballet or that your technique will be perfect. It's honest, which is what makes it the most helpful. If you ever thought of dancing ballet but think "yeah right", read this book. It can only help.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
I have the good fortune to be able to attend the adult classes at the Joffrey Ballet School and can first hand emphatically recommend this book. The descriptions of all the excercises are excellent complements to attendance at regular classes anywhere-any level. For the complete newcomer, this book provides valuable information about things you need to know but that schools/studios may not necessarily tell you outright. It's truly an inspirational book that gives you the confidence to pursue something that most people don't start as adults. I only wish this book existed when I told myself that 16 was too old. I'm glad age didn't stop me again from starting formal classes at 28.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
I bought this book, expecting to find a good ballet exercise guide. Instead, the ballet fit was not a very big part of the book. Most of the books contents consisted of what to expect if you start an adult ballet class, faq, information, and thoughts of various kinds. Since I live in a place where I can't take adult classes (I don't think they even have them in Norway at all), this was not very much use. The book also had too many references to the joffrey ballet school. It felt like they vere trying to talk me into starting there, and that's not what I was after.
This is a very handy book if you're considering taking up adult classes, or if you are taking adult classes. But if you want a ballet-fit book, this ones not for you (though you might think so from the title)
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
A must for any ballet loving adult-especially, like me, who at 40+ had never taken ballet but always wanted to. This book was exactly what I needed to get me started and keep me going. I couldn't believe it-this book explains exactly to a newcomer in ballet what classes are like, what the ballet "lingo" is, and makes you very comfortable with the idea of starting ballet at any age. After a year of ballet classes, I can also say everything is the book is exactly what actual classes are like. If you think you are too "old" to learn ballet, read this book and think again!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
The book was somewhat of a disappointment due to the fact that I had already started ballet when I bought it. I had also already found out a lot of useful information on the internet. The target group of the book is adults THINKING of starting talking up ballet. The "Ballet fit" at the end was mostly a brief summary of what excercised that can be expected from a ballet class. Many of the movements are difficult to understand since there weren't enough amount of illustrating pictures. The pictures that are there are surely beautiful, but unfortunately, they have mostly used a pre-pro student in the center of focus and NOT real adult beginners (they are placed at the back). Which really doesn't give you any indication of how far an adult beginner can reach.

If you are going to buy the book, do it for the right reason: As a motivation for starting classes and NOT a technical instruction book or ballet work-out book!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the book one needs to read in order to dispel all rumors, fears, etc. about taking up ballet at an advanced age (from 21 on, in my opinion). I'm 37 and finally had the courage to sign up for lessons. Had it not been for this book, I would have passed up on the chance to try ballet for myself. The point is, if one doesn't take up weightlifting with an Olympic medal in mind, one certainly does not take up ballet with a professional career in mind, although the benefits of regularly scheduled ballet lessons are evident. One word of caution: do not expect your classmates to be as attractive as those on this book's photographs. But, then again, you will hardly notice since ballet does require discipline and concentration. Enough said: order this book!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2002
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I recently started an adult beginning ballet class with no dance experience whatsoever. (I have done sports and aerobics.) I bought this book as a beginner-level reference, and it has been very helpful. It was right-on in terms of what to wear and what to expect. It does a good job of trying to answer every beginner-type question and allay every worry that might crop up. The book also covers ballet etiquette and culture (slightly preachy at times). I go back to it after class to get more details about what was done or said during class eg what exactly did she mean by 'attitude' and what did she mean when she said her leg was 'sickling'?. The book also offers useful tips. To top it off, the photographs are very nice, and the layout and type are easy on the eyes. In sum, helpful, and a pleasure to read and look at.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
I went to the bookstore looking for a book for beginning adult ballet students. Since I'd been perusing the shelves for the last several months for a book like this, I knew that the last time I'd checked nothing had yet been written. How excited I became when I found exactly what I needed!
This book is informative, encouraging and gives advice and information that I've not been able to find elsewhere. It's geared toward the adult beginner who has no plans to become a professional, but would just like to learn ballet. This book covers every aspect of ballet that I was curious about.
Unfortunately, there is one problem. When I began looking through the book, I noticed that the first few pages were coming away from the binding. With just a slight tug, the pages gave way and I found myself holding the pages in one hand and the book in the other! The other two copies on the shelf were bound in a similar fashion.
I find it distressing that the publishers bind a book with such shoddy workmanship. This is a book that will be used quite a bit, when one considers that there is an exercise program included. This isn't simply a read and discard book, but a book that will be used consistently. Actually, I'm on this site simply because I had hoped that the book was available in hardcover via Amazon, but this is not the case. I'll probably buy the book in the future, but I'm not sure when...It's fantastic, but it feels as if I'm paying a considerable sum for second-rate merchandise.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful blend of inspiration and clarity can be found in "The Joffrey Ballet School's Ballet-Fit." The graphic beauty, spaciousness and text-accompanying photographs guide the reader/dancer seamlessly through the text. The precision of description is enhanced by the careful selection of key elements in both definitions of terms and explanation of class protocol. All of this acts to inform, reassure, and enthuse the reader--to make ballet not only accessible for the adult beginner, but possible. In fact, professionals also benefit from the deceptively honed style which targets what's most vital, correct and energizing about both the art form and the abiding pleasure the practice of it brings. The balance between instruction and illumination is a major gift to dancers of all kinds and ages.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is written for female and male adults who have never danced ballet but would like to learn it without professional ambitions. It describes a typical ballet class and physical requirements, it addresses concerns adults may have such as fear of ridicule, prior sports injuries, costs and outfits involved, use of French terminology, etc. It also shows that ballet is not only for the fit 25-year-old woman, but equally beneficial to a 50-year-old. And, that many men practice it, too. The authors mention that Vince Lombardi, the "very macho" coach of the legendary Green Bay Packers, had his players take ballet for coordination, discipline, and endurance.

In addition to dance theory, the book explains dance terminology in words and clear photographs, it also shows ballet exercises that will prepare you for the class.

The book is realistic, encouraging and a great preparation before you sign up for a class. Finding a ballet school in your area that teaches adults, of course, is another matter, unless you live in a big city. But the book does list many schools all over the United States that accept adults.
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