Interview with Karl Reinisch, a Ballet Professional

Recently I promised to reveal a secret – what kind of sport I am doing daily for one hour. It is BALLET! Some of you will think, “What? Ballet a sport?” Believe me, it is much harder than any sport if you do it right. A very good reason to do exercises: it makes your body more beautiful (every muscle is stretched, legs and arms become optically longer) and … it is big fun! I started attending ballet class when I was about 16 years old, did it until I went to university, stopped then and took it up again 35 years later. I have been training for some months alone at home and went to meet Karl Reinisch to ask him if I was on the right way. My very good friend Erzsébet took the photos when we were exercising at the barre. And of course, I asked Mister Reinisch to answer some questions.



Q: When did you start thinking about being dancer? When did it become a big love?

A: The love for ballet was always there, even before I knew what ballet was. When I was a child I always wanted to be able to fly, light as a leave in the wind. I wanted to spin like a top, never lasting … I then did it in my dreams, I could walk in the space without touching earth and always was very disappointed when I awoke and could not space walk. – Only when I heard a frivolous song, a schoolfellow of my 3 years elder sister sang, I heard the word ballet for the first time and tried to find out what it meant. I was not very successful as it was then unknown in the Styrian countryside where I lived, and the people had a distorted image. This was when I attended primary school. When I was 11 or 12 years old I came to Graz, where my dreams became fulfilled. It was then a big adventure, maybe a little bit dubious for a boy.

Q: Now the question of all questions – you were professional dancer and you are ballet teacher – if there was a lady, 60 years old or even more, who asked you, “I would like to start with some physical training, ballet was my favourite, what do you think about? Am I too old for it?”



A: No!!! Of course not! Nobody it too old, and you cannot do more better than to practise anything, why not ballet?

Q: I am very fond you said this. And I still thought you would answer this as I found on your ballet school´s homepage a very inspiring photo (here, see numbers 7 and 11) from a lady who might be a little bit older than 60.

A: I guess you are speaking from Edith, I met her when she was in the age when everybody retires from everything. She called me once and asked me if she, who never had trained ballet, was allowed to attend a summer course I have been offering for many years. “Come! You are of course welcome!” I said. When she was there with the others in the course, most of them ballet students, she was very eagerly watching them when exercising at the barre, listened to everything I said and proposed and did her exercises as accurate as possible. I went from one to the next, correcting poses, but did not say anything to Edith. She became angry about and asked me some days later, “Why are you only correcting the others and never me? Am I too old to learn anything?” – That hit home. Promptly I started to work with her to improve positions, attitude, poses etc. And she was happy! I need not say that she became within some weeks one of the best. And now, many years later, she is still there, attending almost every “Ferien-Kurs” (courses during the holidays at Christmas, Easter and in summer) held in the Chalet Masenberg. By the way, Edith is meantime almost 80 years old.

To be continued …

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