Story and photo by Gabrielle L. Wheeler
I’m 36, and I still dream about taking a ballet class. Is there any hope for my wish to come true?
As a matter of fact, there is. Luckily between social media and people’s resiliency proven by creative business solutions since the economic depression ten years ago, being able to find a ballet class as someone in my mid-thirties is actually possible. Intrigued by the subject, I caught up with Emily Thompson, owner of Leap of Faith Ballet Studios which operates out of Dundee and in Rushville on Canandaigua Lake.
Please explain a little about how long you have been doing and teaching ballet.
“Sure. I’ve been doing ballet since I was 10 and I fell in love with it the first class, the first time that I stepped into the studio. I’ve been teaching for about 12 years now.”
Where do you teach and what kinds of classes do you offer?
“In Dundee, I teach mostly adult ballet and adult Irish dance. That got started when I realized adults want to dance too. A lot of them have never set foot in the studio other than to drop their kids off for ballet. Some of them just didn’t have the opportunity when they were younger and just want the chance to do it now. And then in Rushville, I teach homeschool classes … and Irish dance and ballet for all ages there.”
What indicated to you that an adult ballet class might receive interest and be successful?
“I take classes in Ithaca – there’s a very large studio there, Ithaca Ballet, and their adult ballet has taken off. There are sometimes as many as 20 adults in a class and there are multiple levels. And so, I was watching an adult class before my own class and I realized how much they enjoy it. It was neat to see them going across the floor doing the movements, and they weren’t necessarily correct, but it didn’t matter because there was so much joy and they had such a great time doing it. And I thought, well this would be really neat for me to offer to other people too. I’m finding too that adults, they don’t dance for the pursuit of perfection, like a lot of pre-professionals do, but they just dance for the joy of it and just to celebrate what their bodies can do, which I think is just fantastic and I want to encourage that.”
If you are interested in a class, please contact Emily at 585-880-8357. Rushville classes are held at Letourneau Christian Center, 4950 County Rd 11.
For more information on the Ithaca Ballet, please visit www.ithacaballet.org.
Gabrielle Wheeler is a freelance writer from the heart of the Finger Lakes Region. On her parenting blog, aplaceforlittlesproutstogrow.com, she writes about tending to the whole child and parent. She also works in a local health center as an interpreter/patient navigator.