Riverside offers ballet classes

lijah Hickman | Banner | Julia Olsen-Rodriguez, Riverside County resident, has a passion for dancing and loves to share that passion with her community. She teaches both children and adult ballet classes at the Orange Terrace Community Center in Downtown Riverside a few times a week.

The Riverside Community Center recently announced the addition of an adult beginning ballet class to be offered at the Orange Terrace Community Center located downtown.

This class is one of many offered throughout the city of Riverside in which California Baptist University students can participate.

The beginning ballet class is designed for adults with little-to-no ballet training. The class covers basic techniques such as, body placement, proper posture, and positions and it is instructed by Julia Olsen-Rodriguez, the principal ballet instructor and artistic director of the California Riverside Ballet.

Jacquelyn Contreras, assistant recreation coordinator for the city of Riverside Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, helps select the classes that will be offered each year.

“Dance and fitness classes are always in demand at our community centers,” Contreras said. “Adult Beginning Ballet was a new class we felt many residents would be interested in trying.”

Contreras said she enjoys coordinating these classes.

“My role is fun and incredibly rewarding. Our department truly works as a team to provide entertainment and enrichment to city residents,” Contreras said. “My favorite part is the feeling of having a direct connection to my community through my work.”

Makenna Diegelman, sophomore music education major and former dancer, said these dance classes are a great option for busy college students who are not part of a formal dance program.

“I still dance but wasn’t able to join the dance team because of conflicts with my major,” Diegelman said. “I would love to do these classes. I don’t even care if it’s a beginning class. I’d do it because I love to dance.”

Diegelman said she highly encourages other students to take advantage of these classes.

“Dance is a musical escape and there is a technicality to it that makes it an artform with your body. You get to tell a story,” Diegelman said.

Bayley Jones, sophomore mechanical engineering major, said she is excited to look into all of the different beginner classes offered.

“Adult beginning classes are great because it’s a group effort,” Jones said. “The biggest thing that is appealing to me is to know it’s OK to fail. It’s the feeling that if you mess up you won’t be judged for it because everyone is a beginner.”

Adult beginning ballet is currently being offered on Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. until Nov. 21. The classes will start up again Jan. 9 through Jan. 30 and will continue each month

Interested participants can enroll at any community center in Riverside or online at http://RivReg.org.

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