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The Joffrey Ballet School's Ballet-Fit Paperback – February 15, 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Ballet-Fit is for the adult beginner ballet student, "whether 17 or 70." The authors admit the atmosphere in most ballet studios can be a bit intimidating, but say it needn't be.
We concede that if you hang around your local ballet school or dance studio, at first glance, it probably will seem to be filled with long-legged, lean-limbed adolescents, with tight little hair buns, stern little faces, and rumpled leg warmers around their ankles. But ... chances are the 23-year-old stretching on the floor isn't a budding ballerina but a law student who finds beginning ballet a relaxing break from her books. As for the thirty-something woman at the barre, very likely she's a new mother who's thrilled with the stronger, firmer, more flexible body she has developed since she began classes.
A combination of confidence-boosting ballet instruction and fitness facts, with plenty of photographs (although all in black and white), Ballet-Fit offers a multitude of tips for beginners. You'll learn what to wear to class, the best way to break in a new pair of pointe shoes, and how to prevent injuries. And you'll even learn the proper pronunciation of the French dance terms, from arabesque to temps de flèche. For folks who don't live near a ballet studio or dancewear store, there's a helpful directory of magazines, catalogs, videos, audiotapes, and Web sites.

Ballerinas, as dancer Allegra Kent put it, "have the strongest, most beautiful, and very probably the most envied bodies in the world." With Ballet-Fit and some dedication, you can work your way toward becoming a toned, flexible balletomane, too. --Erica Jorgensen

From Library Journal

Ballet dancers are different from you and me. They start taking class in childhood and continue throughout their professional careers and often into retirement. They devote years to study, rehearsal, and practice. This book is for the rest of us. The authors, a Joffrey Ballet School instructor and a magazine editor who is a ballet student, have designed it for those "not heading for a performing career but...pursuing ballet with the...goals of fitness, relaxation, and pleasure in mind." Aimed at the adult beginner, it provides sensible advice and clear explanations of what to expect in and from a ballet class. The language of ballet is translated into lay terms and the movements are described in words and photographs. There is a step-by-step outline of a home ballet workout, a discussion of pointe work, and a chapter of frequently asked adult ballet questions. A "Ballet Fitness Source Directory" highlights publications, audiovisual materials, dancewear and footwear suppliers, schools receptive to adult students, and more. Highly recommended for all public libraries.?Carolyn M. Mulac, Chicago P.L.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st St. Martin's Griffin ed edition (February 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312194706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312194703
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.7 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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By A Customer 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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified 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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