The two of us who run Pas De Blog met through the wonderful London based adult ballet class company Everybody Ballet. Founded by Isabel McMeekan, a former Royal Ballet ballerina, not only does Everybody Ballet offer a vast variety of levels of adult ballet classes across London with world class teachers, but they often offer the opportunity to take master classes with ballet legends.
Last week, both of us attended a masterclass with Royal Ballet principal Roberta Marquez. Being taught by Roberta was an incredible experience. The class was attended by dancers of varying abilities. As a beginner her class was challenging yet she never made us feel out of our depth, and encouraged us to push ourselves. She was incredibly positive, and it was inspiring to watch her dance at the barre as she demonstrated combinations. When we moved off the barre into center, which is something we often find intimidating, Roberta gave us some testing yet fun exercises, gently easing us into pirouettes. She managed to find the perfect balance between offering a challenging class to beginners and a rewarding class to more advanced dancers.
The founder of Everybody Ballet, Isabel, hosted an informal question and answer between the students and Roberta after the conclusion of the ballet class. We were treated to insights into Roberta’s Vaganova training in Brazil and she demonstrated the differences in Russian Vaganova style and how she had to alter to fit the Royal Ballet’s English style by showing us difference between the two styles porte de bras. She also touched on her experiences dancing with different partners and some of the incredible roles she has played, admitting that she wasn’t able to choose between dancing Ashton and Macmillan ballets as she loves them all. The whole evening was insightful and inspiring, and reminded us why we love ballet so much.
Roberta is back to dance with the Royal Ballet in the spring for her final performance with the company in one of her favourite roles on the Covent Garden stage. Make sure you don’t miss it!
Find out more about Everybody Ballet here.
Gif: From YouTube
Featured Image: The Royal Ballet © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2011