If you’ve ever wanted to learn ballet but thought it was too late or that you weren’t cut out for such a serious activity, Elise Ropers would like you to think again. An ex-ballerina of France’s oldest and most prestigious ballet company, the Paris Opera Ballet, Ropers now runs the Ballet Dance School Saigon, an all-ages dance program aimed at making ballet accessible and fun for students of all levels and backgrounds.
Elise Ropers’ own training took place in perhaps the most formal environment imaginable. She entered the Paris Opera Ballet school at age ten, the “petit rat“ then began with the company at age seventeen as a professional dancer for 15 years, working under legendary directors Rudolf Nureyev and Patrick Dupond. Her own classes are something much different. The Ballet Dance School Saigon offers two activities, a workout course called ‘Ballet Body Shape’ for teens and adults that uses the floor to improve alignment and posture, as well as a more traditional ballet option.
“Some people think ‘ballet isn’t for me, I’m not flexible enough, etc’, but I want to show that ballet is for everyone! It is a fun way to keep the body and mind healthy while learning a new skill”.
Elise Ropers’ 22-year career with the Paris Ballet Opera led her to travel the world, develop intense discipline, and come to appreciate a form of perfectionism that the company required. She recounts, “I learned many life lessons through this unique experience. You really can’t take any shortcuts in a situation like this”. Following her career traveling with the company, she opened her first ballet school outside Paris. There she learned the ins and outs of running a business, not only teaching ballet but dealing with choreography, costume, lighting, and management to create the dance shows. Now, she has brought this wealth of experience to Ho Chi Minh City at her school based at Riverside 53 rue Vo Truong Toan Thao Dien, District 2. HCMC. “I want to give students something more than ballet training. In learning ballet, you can really gain skills for life. All the children and adults who have participated in the classes take pleasure in it, and we truly try to combine fun with discipline”.
Her vision is to encourage creativity through ballet: using images, even experimenting with different tempos and ballet set to modern music. Regardless of skill level, ballet knowledge, or even age, my Ballet Dance School Saigon has something for everyone.
To learn more about the school and Elise Roper, visit their Facebook page HERE