CriticalDance Forum

Too late to dance?
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Author:  Alex R [ Tue May 18, 2004 12:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Too late to dance?

When is it too late to have the chance of being a pro dancer? I'm 18 now and only discovered dance a year ago, but since then i have become obsessed with the art and go see as many dance companies perform as i can. i read a profile of a Random Dance dancer who said he didn't start to learn until he was 19 1/2. is he a 1 off? i'm already teaching myself to tap and as soon as i start uni later this year i intend to learn modern dance. is that too late?

Author:  Azlan [ Tue May 18, 2004 1:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Too late to dance?

Hello, Alex R. I'm moving your post to the Students forum. Follow me there.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue May 18, 2004 9:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Too late to dance?

Hi AlexR. A couple of years ago, we consulted with a long-standing dance administrator in the UK who was also the AD of a small company. She came up with this advice:

- dance is a very competitive career option at any age

- the chances of professional employment, in ballet especially, reduce if you're starting from your late teens onwards, particularly for girls

- having an excellent teacher and great determination are essential for success

- without knowing your personal circumstances and abilities it is impossible for us or anyone else on the Internet to assess whether you will be one of the few to succeed.

- do consult regularly with someone whose knowledge you trust about the job market for dancers as well as your own progress and prospects.

Author:  Alex R [ Wed May 19, 2004 1:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Too late to dance?

My only experience of dancing is from my performance studies A-level which i am currently doing. i don't have the flexibility of a ballet dancer, but i do have (i think) the determination needed. I will be going to university either in Durham or Birmingham. if anyone knows any dance schools around those areas, it would be much appreciated if you could give me their names.

Author:  Joanne [ Mon May 24, 2004 12:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Too late to dance?

Alex try contacting the IDTA or the ISTD and they should be able to provide you with teachers in that area.

Author:  Ginger [ Fri May 28, 2004 7:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Too late to dance?

Hi everybody:

I´ve just found this amazing forum and i´m delighted. I´m not a dancer, i´m trying to finish my law studies and although i always loved dancing i´ve been a complete fool realising now (at 26) that i would have liked to become a dancer. Alex, for you it´s not too late for trying yet. I wish you the best.

Author:  Lucy [ Fri May 28, 2004 8:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Too late to dance?

Hello Ginger and welcome, happy that you have found us. I have a very good friend who was a ballerina and at the age of 40 went to law school. She is now retired from ballet and practicing law. It is not too late to take classes for your own enjoyment. I hope that you do. :)

Author:  MusiKate [ Sat May 29, 2004 6:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Too late to dance?

I have the same problem I think.
I am 14 and started to dance at the age of 10, but people still tell me thats too late.
I do ballet, tap, modern and Jazz, and have an audition lined up. Is it still too late?
I am very flexible, and regularly do yoga. :p

Author:  Lucy [ Sat May 29, 2004 12:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Too late to dance?

Hello and welcome MusiKate. Have you asked your teacher what she thinks? When you start is only one factor of what it takes to make a dancer. Some can start very early and some a little later. Body, talent, luck and desire go into it as well.

Good luck on your audition. Is it for a school?

Author:  Alex R [ Mon May 31, 2004 11:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Too late to dance?

MusiKate has got me thinking: just how important is flexibility when it comes to being a dancer? obviously it helps, i went to see Rambert at Sadlers Wells on Thursday and they were kicking and bending their legs in all sorts of wierd and wonderful ways, but is it essential? i've been told that, as a male, it's too late for my body to become more flexible, is this true, and should it matter?
thanks Ginger, all the best to you too!

<small>[ 31 May 2004, 03:30 PM: Message edited by: Alex R ]</small>

Author:  Lucy [ Mon May 31, 2004 8:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Too late to dance?

While you can't exactly change your body (bone structure) you can make it do things you thought you couldn't do with different forms of excercise. Pilates and yoga can give you the stretch and strength that make you more "gumby-like".

Men are usually thought to be less flexable than the ladies but I have known more than a few men who could put Sylvie Guilliem to shame.

<small>[ 31 May 2004, 10:14 PM: Message edited by: Lucy ]</small>

Author:  Dean Speer [ Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Too late to dance?

Here is an answer that I just posted in a similar thread, and as it's so closely related, I'm posting it here too.

Welcome to Criticaldance, and to ballet! I'm really happy you've found something that you like and challenges you. That's great! As earlier posters have said, whether or not you are able to have a professional (paid) performing career in dance depends on a lot of factors. Some of these include natural talent, hard work, having good teaching and training, and connecting with mentors and coaches who can perhaps guide you. Sometimes, it's luck too that can play a part. For example, maybe dancer X gets a part (in comparision with peers) just because they fit the costume or have the right "look" or are of a type a director or choreographer may be looking for.

While 15 is a little unusual for a female to begin, it's not impossible. Evelyn Hart of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Canada began at 14, and it's inspirational to see how far she has gone.

The most important thing to do is to get into classes and get the best training available to you. The right career path for you will formulate over time, whether it be in dance or in other, related or non-related fields.

Other possible careers in dance could be, if not performing professionally in a ballet company, could be dancing with a good, regional company, dancing in another form of dance such a Modern or Musical Theatre (like Broadway shows). If teaching and passing along your love of dance to the next generation may appeal to you, the RAD and other organizations offer teaching training and certification programs.

Best wishes for happy dancing,

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