Back to Ballet: Rekindling a love for dance

SFU Recreation’s ballet programs welcome both beginners and experienced dancers

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Five of SFU’s ballerinas in studio. — Photo credit / SFU Ballet Facebook page

By: Navya Malik, SFU Student

In my opinion, ballet is one of the most beautiful forms of dance. Within the dance community, and even outside of it, the grace and refinement of this style of dance is widely known. Because of this, I was always fascinated by the beautiful ballerinas, their graceful legs, and their rigid techniques. I wanted to take part in ballet, to put on the pointed shoes and tutu and perform pirouettes across the stage, as far back as I can remember. 

The beauty of ballet comes in many different forms. For us students, SFU Recreation offers two different ballet classes: Back to Ballet and Intermediate Ballet. Now, you might think that, because of the names, both the classes are meant for those that are already ballerinas and just wish to polish their skills further. Trust me though, don’t get intimidated. The Back to Ballet class is definitely organized so that beginners can benefit and learn from it just as much as experienced dancers. The price of the program, just $60 for an entire semester of weekly classes, is also tailored for students. The classes take place exclusively on the Burnaby Campus at the Fitness Studio. 

As a former student of Back to Ballet, I can say with confidence that the instructor, Natasha Chichkine, is super friendly, knows her techniques really well, and creates a learning environment in which everyone feels totally comfortable and has fun. While beginners can use the class to jump right into a new style of dance, it is also very beneficial for those who wish to re-establish their ballet skills after taking a break. 

One of my former teammates, Kayiu, who has been doing ballet since she was five years old, feels that Back to Ballet gave her a chance to “continue dancing” at a “convenient, reasonable price.”

The class is not only great for learning ballet, though, as it is also a perfect setting to make new friends within the university community. On this note, Kayiu mentioned this while sharing her experiences in Back to Ballet, stating that, “Back to Ballet helped me form long lasting friendships.” Meeting people that share a similar interest can help foster new relationships and social groups. 

Some of the most memorable experiences for Kayui at Back to Ballet were the moments she shared with the instructor, Natasha. For Kayui, Natasha not only helped her improve her techniques, but also made her “aware of other options for ballet programs off campus.” Kayui felt Natasha’s coaching really empowered her to feel that she could take her passion to the next level.

All in all, the class is designed to be fun and loose with little pressure to perform. It is based on engagement with your movements, the music, each other, and, as Kayui put it, the “freedom to express through dance.” At the end of each class, Natasha always makes sure to take a moment of gratitude for participants to thank each other for coming to share in their passion for dance. This wraps up the class in a perfect way that keeps participants motivated to keep building their skills and learn more.

Back to Ballet is open to all current SFU students. Check out their Facebook page for class times and dates. If you love dancing, or just have an appreciation for it and want to get moving, this program is for you.