The centre is typical of the dance world. It is situated in a less than desirable area of Cardiff, Adamsdown and is itself less than glamorous as buildings go. I’d think twice about parking your car outside the centre as there is a youth related crime problem in the area and I always feel very threatened by the ‘hoodies’ when I park my flowery Beetle there!
I never have understood why it is always the case that dance school are so grotty when what they teach is one of the most glamorous and decadent of arts. No one in the audience of a performance of the Royal Ballet would dream for a minute that the beautiful ballet dancers on stage spent gruelling hours in freezing ramshackle halls to get to where there are now. The sad fact is that teaching dance is not the most profitable of businesses so in terms of dance schools you just have to be grateful they exist at all.
However, Rubicon Dance is one of the better schools and it would be unfair to condemn it to the ramshackle category! Once you get to the studio it is actually rather lovely. A full wall of mirrors, a good quality dance floor and high ceilings actually make it a very enjoyable place to dance.
In terms of ballet classes, there are three for adults: levels 1 to 3. I attend the level 3 class every week. This level is more or less equivalent to Intermediate/ Advanced 1 RAD. It is taken by Caryl Wilford a lovely Welsh lady who demands musicality and light and shade rather than focussing on technique. So for those of you who like a good dose of constructive criticism, this is not the class for you.
All three levels are free-work classes that change each week, but throughout the term there is a grand allegro that becomes a constant fixture and is built upon. It is quite a shock to an out of shape dancer to be expected to find the stamina to dance a 2 minute plus allegro, but it’s great to have a challenge again.
The classes are £6.50 and last for an hour and a half. However the first class is a taster and only costs £5. The attendance is good and everyone interacts to make it a fun class. The dancers range from trained dancers and dance teachers right up to very old dancers and surprisingly quite a few men.
I definitely recommend Rubicon Dance’s adult ballet programme and the best proof that it provides worthwhile classes is that I have attended every week since I discovered the centre in September.