Dance classes offered for grownups

Published 10:33 am Saturday, November 20, 2021

Many of the area’s adults have children or grandchildren who take dance classes at the renowned Five Pointes Dance Center on South Main Street in Farmville, but residents may not know that grownups can get in on the fun too.

The dance center has offered dance classes for adults for some time now, but it wasn’t until recently that the older students decided they wanted to compete.

Five Pointes Dance Center Owner and Instructor Elaine Godburn has been dancing since she was just 8 years old. Godburn graduated with a degree in dance from Mary Washington and shortly after began teaching for a dance instructor in Chesterfield named Jessica Morgan.

In 1992, Morgan opened the Jessica Morgan’s School of Dance in Farmville, which Godburn helped manage. In 2000, Morgan sold the business to Godburn, and the studio’s name was changed to Five Pointes Dance Center.

The business starts dance lessons for kids as young as two-and-a-half with a creative movement class. The studio offers ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, pointe and modern dance classes plus acrobatics instruction, and in the past, Five Pointes has also done private ballroom lessons for weddings, anniversaries and reunions.

While many residents might think of tiny tots in ballet slippers when Five Pointes comes to mind, Godburn has actually been offering dance classes for adults for years.

In a Friday, Nov. 12, interview, Godburn explained that interest in dance classes for grown ups has waxed and waned over the years, but interest really started to kick off around 2010.

Five Pointes typically offers two dance classes for adults each semester; a ballet class and second class which varies in subject matter from year to year. This year’s students are offered ballet and lyrical/jazz lessons.

This semester has been a rather exciting one for Five Pointes Dance Center, as it marks the first year adult students have decided to compete in a dance competition.

Godburn said a dance competition is held at Jarman Auditorium at Longwood each year. For the first time ever, adult students will take the stage in Jarman on March 5 of 2022 to perform on the stage. The event, which will be free and open to the public, will also showcase dances from Five Pointes’ dance company members.

“They decided they wanted to compete,” Godburn noted of her grownup students.

According to Godburn, classes for adults are very similar to those offered to younger students. For ballet, students do full barre exercises before coming out to center and working on small jumps and turns. Students then work on a small routine.

For the jazz class, dancers start on the floor with gentle stretching and, sometimes, pilates for core work. Students will then work on isolation stretching, go across the floor with kicks and turns and then begin their routine.

Godburn said dancers in the classes for adults come in all ages and dance backgrounds. Students range from upper 20s to late 60s in age, and while some have had dance or gymnastics backgrounds in their earlier years, others are entering the dancefloor for the first time.

Classes are typically small, between four and seven people.

Godburn highlighted that many students come back year after year after finding so much enjoyment in the classes. While plenty of students enjoy the camaraderie associated with classes, others adore the many health benefits associated with dance.

While classes are offered on a semester basis, typically from around September to May, registration is available on a rolling basis. Classes are open to both men and women, and during the summer, Five Pointes also typically offers drop-in classes. Recital performances are not mandatory.

This semester, lyrical/jazz classes occur Wednesday evenings from 7:45 – 9:45 p.m., and ballet for adults occurs Thursday evenings from 8-9:15 p.m.

For more information on how to sign up, go to www.fpdc.yahoosites.com or dial (434) 392-6754.

“Come out and join us and have fun,” Godburn said.