Why I Started Ballet in My 30s: Cultivating Adult Hobbies

A new school year is starting, and many of us are getting back into a rhythm. And as our routines become second nature, it’s normal to get caught up in the daily grind. It was this rut of the everyday routine that I found myself in last spring when I decided I needed a change, something outside of my home and kids.

I needed a hobby.

We help our kids discover and pursue their passions all the time. We make time to chauffeur them between swim lessons and soccer games. We coordinate their schedules like personal secretaries. Why is it so easy to prioritize our kids’ extracurriculars but forgo our own? Adults need hobbies, too. Netflix and chill evenings are great, but they’re not rejuvenating.

I signed up for adult ballet lessons this summer as a commitment to myself: a reminder that I’m just as important as my kids. I’ve always loved to dance and often lamented that I didn’t take ballet as a child. Later, I felt certain I was too old to begin.

My daughter is at an age where she’s exploring her interests. She often shares her concerns about starting a new activity. One day, while encouraging her to be brave and get out of her comfort zone, I realized I needed to take my own advice. I wanted to model that it’s good to try new things, and that we should never stop learning and growing and reaching for what we want. Fostering a love of learning must begin with ourselves.

A hobby can take as little as a few minutes each day or an hour each week. Taking an hour out of my schedule to learn something new puts a pep in my step all week. I’m by far the worst in my class, but I still love what I’m learning. I practice relevés while doing dishes and perform pirouettes across the kitchen floor. My daughter asks me to show her what I’ve learned after each class, and I love how cool she thinks it is that we’re both taking ballet. I’m excited to tackle more hobbies in my future!

9 Fun Adult Hobby Ideas & Classes Near You

Cooking Classes

Cooking dinner on the average night is entirely different than cooking for entertaining purposes or to master a specific cuisine. Learn to make pasta from scratch, a gourmet dessert, or a fancy three-course meal for your next dinner party. Check out Central Market, Sur La Table, and Cozy Meal for cooking classes near you.

cooking class at Sur la Table, adult hobby ideas

Crafting/Sewing

Make a personalized wood sign at Board and Brush or AR Workshop. Local recreation centers and libraries offer great classes and resources—learn to sew, crochet, cross-stitch or anything in between! Urban Spools is a Dallas gem that offers a variety of classes from embroidery to sewing pillows.

Dance

Ever wished you were a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance? Arthur Murray offers salsa, waltz, country western, swing, and more. Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano offers adult hip-hop and tap classes. And adult ballet is offered at most dance studios. Local recreation centers also offer a broad selection.

Woodworking

If you love HGTV and want to learn carpentry skills, learn the art of woodworking at Woodcraft of Dallas. They offer a variety of classes/workshops with hands-on teaching.

Calligraphy/Lettering

This is one you can practice on your own with a book like Hand Lettering 101: An Introduction to the Art of Creative Lettering. If you’d like in-person instruction, several Collin County rec centers offer calligraphy classes, or you can sign up for calligraphy workshops at McKinney Art House. You can also find Hand Lettering workshops at Pipe and Palette in Plano.

Learn a New Language

You can do this one via audio book while driving to work! Attend free events at your local library or download a language app like Duolingo. Many of our public libraries also offer free language system apps.

Pottery or Painting

McKinney Art House specializes in pottery lessons, drawing classes, and painting classes. Embrace your inner artist.

pottery class, adult hobby ideas

Photography

I know a lot of professional photographers who are self-taught. Invest in a nice camera and spend time researching and practicing how to work with light, settings, etc. There is no shortage of blogs and YouTube videos to kickstart your learning. Bonus: capturing priceless family moments! If you prefer a more hands-on learning environment, check your local library or recreation center for classes.

Gardening or Flower Arranging

Work on your green thumb! Learn what plants are native, how to make your own vegetable garden, or the art of flower arranging. Gardening events abound at local nurseries and libraries. For flower arranging, check out Luxe Stems in Frisco and The Iman Project in Dallas.

A few other hobby ideas: running, yoga/meditation, mixology classes, sport leagues, martial arts, genealogy, reading…the options are endless!

Comment below with your current favorite hobby or one you’re inspired to try!

Read More: Mothers, Not Martyrs :: Self-Care & Breathing Techniques for Busy Moms

Bridget grew up in the DFW area and is a proud TCU Horned Frog alum. After moving from Fort Worth to Dallas, she and her husband settled in Plano in 2013. She is an oncology Registered Nurse but has temporarily hung up her stethoscope for the glamorous life of being a personal chauffeur, chef and maid to her two tiny bosses, Elizabeth (5) and Henry (1). In her spare time, she enjoys reading, dancing, and exploring new places. Her happy place is a cozy coffeeshop with her journal in one hand and a latte in the other.

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