Introducing Adult Ballet Classes in Newton, MA

Five weeks into our new dance season, Joanne Langione Dance Center is humming along. Our hallways are filled with toddlers through teens coming and going each week for their dance classes, teachers are starting choreography for our Winter Concert and Hip Hop Shows, and costumes are being ordered! It’s the happy rhythm of our dance school that we have come to know and count on after 47 years of teaching dance in Newton.

We have always welcomed change and growth with open arms and so….

we are thrilled to announce that beginning on October 21st JLDC will be offering our same, Best of Boston Ballet classes for kids…to adults!

Dust off your ballet slippers and get ready for a great workout.

There are so many benefits of incorporating ballet into your adult life like improved flexibility, coordination and posture. In addition, ballet can provide a low impact, full body workout that will leave you feeling accomplished. Enjoy the benefits of a workout while forgetting you are actually working out! Who wouldn’t enjoy that?

It’s time for the grown-ups to start reaping the benefits of all that our Joanne Langione Dance Center classes have to offer!

New JLDC Faculty member, Elizabeth Grande will be teaching our adult ballet classes on Friday evenings. Liz has trained with Bossov Ballet Theatre, American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Austin, and José Mateo Ballet Theatre. She attended The Hartt School at the University of Hartford and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet Pedagogy. Elizabeth’s professional career includes dancing three seasons with Ballet Theatre of Maryland, as well as two seasons with the Charlottesville Ballet. Elizabeth also performed as a guest artist with the Eastern Connecticut Ballet, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Roanoke Ballet Theatre, and Stavna Ballet.

Liz has been teaching both children and adults for over 14 years. In a recent blog post she wrote for her Joy Of Dance Blog, she shared about her experience teaching adults.

Enjoy this excerpt from Liz’s blog…and don’t forget to join us on Friday from 6:45-7:45pm at JLDC!

Elizabeth Grande - adult ballet

I started teaching in college. When I began at The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, I intended to only get a performance degree. After completing the mandatory pedagogy course freshmen year though, I found that I really enjoyed teaching. And so, I switched my major to Ballet Pedagogy. I was able to perform as I intended, while also getting the added bonus of a ballet teaching degree. I knew that teaching would be essential to supporting my performance career, and, of course, I wanted to have a back-up plan for myself.

It’s a blur to me now when I even started teaching adults. What I do remember is initially being very intimidated by the task. While most adult ballet classes are labelled or defined in some way – beginner, intermediate, advanced, etc. – there’s not often a huge offering for adults. Therefore, as a teacher, you’re often presented with a huge spectrum of student abilities. As both a teacher and a people-pleaser, I want everyone to be happy, to be appropriately challenged, to enjoy themselves, and not feel overwhelmed! But finding this balance for each student was so daunting to me when I began teaching adults. (Honestly, it’s still a little daunting today too, but the love outweighs the fear LOL.)

After a serious injury about five years ago, I exited the company scene and decided to try my hand as a freelancer instead. With my mornings oddly free of ballet class for the first time in about nine years, I was given a Wednesday A.M. adult ballet class to teach. At first, it was a special kind of torture. Teaching class on the same floor as the company, around the same time as warm-up, made me feel like an absolute failure. I didn’t feel like myself. I would walk around and correct, offering the occasional wave at someone I knew in the hall, and think to myself, “What had I let happen to me? I’m not a dancer anymore.”

Week to week though, I maintained a faithful crew of students. It was a challenging blend of students too, that I had originally thought I couldn’t conquer – a spectrum of ages, some comfortable with center work, some not, some with past professional careers, some totally beginner, one student even on pointe every week. What made it all the more enjoyable was their encouragement and the bond that we all built together. It gave me something to lean on when I was struggling. It made me realize that I am a strong teacher, and maybe I could enjoy the title of “dance teacher” just as much as the title of “dancer”. Writing about it now, I miss “my Wednesday morning crew” so much.

What means the absolute most to me about adult students, is that they choose to entrust me with their time. It is a conscious choice that they make to come to class (live, or virtual nowadays), set aside their busy lives, and to do something for themselves. I am always humbled to be a part of their time and to help them nourish the love for dance that they still have or are just now exploring. The responsibility I have to my adults is huge. Sometimes the weight of it overwhelms me, but overall it holds a special place in my heart.

I am honored to be a part of your life, and I hope to make your choice to dance all the more worthwhile.

Look for Adult Ballet Classes in Newton, MA for ages 55+ join Liz on Thursdays at JLDC for our Silver Swans ballet basics class in partnership with the Newton Recreation Department.

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Shawn Mahoney

Shawn Mahoney began his ballet, tap, and jazz training at the Joanne Langione Dance Center and his early performing career with Jose Mateo’s Ballet Theatre in Boston, MA. As an apprentice, Shawn danced for American Ballet Theatre before joining Boston Ballet. At Boston Ballet, Shawn performed in Petipa, Balanchine, Kylian, Forsythe, Bejart and others. Shawn performed as a chosen member of “Tharp!”, a national and international touring company directed by Twyla Tharp. Ms. Tharp invited Shawn to be part of the creative and choreographic process for her Broadway hit “Movin’ Out” and performed in Tharp’s “Red, White, and Blues”. Shawn performed with the Suzanne Farrell/Balanchine Project, Sean Curran Company, Washington Ballet, and Bale Estado de Goias. As an educator, Shawn has taught internationally for Festa de Danca in Sao Paulo and Bermuda Civic Ballet. Currently, Shawn is on faculty at Emerson College, instructing dance classes to actors and musical theatre students and is a teacher and lecturer at Days in the Arts. Shawn founded Mahoney Agency, representing dancers for national engagements for the Nutcracker Ballet. Shawn is a sought out mentor for emerging artists and choreographers in ballet and contemporary dance.