CriticalDance Forum

30 and fairly new to dance
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Author:  lo [ Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:52 am ]
Post subject:  30 and fairly new to dance

I have always been interested in dance but never had the confidence to take lessions, besides the lessions that I took when I was 5. Of interest to me is ballet, contempory/modern, and bellydancing. I am 30 and was wondering if age limits potential? What would you suggest to someone who wants to study dance...should I start with a dvd and then join a class once I have some basics? Also, there aren't any places where I live that teach contempory/modern dance, do you know of any dvd's? Thanks!
P.S. I don't want to do this professionally, just find a style of dance that I can have fun with and get good at.

Author:  Gina Ness [ Sun Jul 02, 2006 1:24 am ]
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Hello, lo, and welcome to CriticalDance! I think it is wonderful that you wish to take up dance. Ballet is a good foundation for many types of dance, including contemporary. A friend and fellow dancer at San Francisco Ballet during the 70s and 80s became very interested in bellydancing and now performs and conducts bellydance workshops all over the world. I think it best to study with a teacher in a classroom/studio situation. It is difficult to learn to dance from a DVD. You might want to watch some performance DVDs to inspire you, though! Try to find a beginning level class, and you will soon have the basics. It's not too late to begin dance study at age 30. You probably should begin a bit slowly, to be sure that you do not risk injury by overdoing at the start. This is where a good teacher (as opposed to a DVD) can be invaluable. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!

Author:  lo [ Sun Jul 02, 2006 5:26 am ]
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Thank you so much for the advice... I am pregnant right now, however I am active and exercise every day. I heard that ballet is great for pregnant women to help them to stretch and strenthen their muscles to prepare for childbirth . Do any of you agree with this, or should I wait and start after the baby?

Author:  ksneds [ Sun Jul 02, 2006 6:56 am ]
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There are professional dancers who've continued performing until about five months pregnant, and I've had classmates in my adult classes who taken class until about that time, or a bit later.

That said, if you are more than a few months pregnant, perhaps it's not the best time to start active dance classes. For one, especially if you are in the US, I could see teacher being hesitant to take you on as a beginner, if only for liability reasons. They may require a note from your doctor saying that it is OK for you to take part.

Also, dance - ballet in particular - is based on good control from your center - abs etc. - and balance. And as your belly gets larger, your balance will shift and your central strength may vary and this may be difficult to adjust to if you don't have previous experience with dance. Plus I think that the advice for pregnant women is to stay active, but that it is perhaps not the best time to start any new kind of exercise.

Perhaps a good suggestion would be to try and find some maternity pilates classes. Pilates is very helpful in getting your core ready for ballet, and the special classes for pregnant women are supposed to be quite good. And then you could start dance classes after your baby has arrived and you've recovered and are able to get away.

In anycase, I would encourage you to do dance classes - whether the best advice (which mine may well not be!) is to do them now or after your baby has arrived. After a taking a year of classes at age 6, I started again at age 25 and still very much enjoy taking adult classes. My classmates range from late teens to 60s, with a variety of skill levels, but we all have an enthusiasm for dancing.

I agree that good adult classes can be hard to find - if you feel comfortable giving us a vague idea of your location, perhaps someone here might be able to reccomend a good teacher or school for adult classes. My experience is that adult classes are often not well advertised, so word of mouth is often a much better way to find out when and where good classes are held.


Author:  Gina Ness [ Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:22 am ]
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I agree with ksneds, lo. I danced when pregnant, but I was young (eighteen) and already dancing at a professional level. When I was around eight months pregnant, my pelvis went through an adjustment, which (I was told) happens in preparation for birth. It was painful for a bit. Ballet has a lot of emphasis on turn-out and outward rotation of the legs from the hips. If you are already used to this, it might not be as much of a factor...but, if you are just beginning it could be a different story. Maternity pilates classes sound like a great idea. Be sure to check with you doctor regarding any physical activity you plan to engage in. Congratulations! :D

Author:  Joanne [ Sun Jul 02, 2006 2:59 pm ]
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Hi Lo

I am actually 6 months pregnant myself and second the advice given. I am still teaching actively my ballet classes but I have been doing ballet for over 20 years so my body is very used to it and would probably be more in shock if I stopped altogether. If you are not used to ballet then I would wait till after the baby is here before joining a class just to be safe.

I am finishing work in 3 weeks time and have signed up for a antenatal yoga class to help keep me relaxed and flexible. I also feel it will be a great way to meet other pregnant mums in my area. I thing anything designed for pregnant women should be fine and also continuing with exercise that your body is used to. But always work within your limits - some things that will tell you if you are overdoing it are any dizziness or light headedness and make sure you can still hold a conversation while exercising. Also remember to drink water before, during and after exercise. And listen to your body - in my first trimester I felt exhausted and had to rest a lot but had far more energy since entering my second trimester.

Also speak to your doctor and midwife - tell them the exercise you are doing and see what they say. Some exercise like horseriding is not advised during pregnancy.

Finally I am sure that keeping active has helped my wellbeing and helped to keep additional weight off. Research also shows that exercise helps expectant mothers cope with birth better - so fingers crossed that this is correct.

Good luck with your pregnancy.

Author:  lo [ Sun Jul 02, 2006 3:10 pm ]
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I will definately take your advice! I am 6 months pg, so I have time to look for an adult class and start in January. I have been doing prenatal yoga via dvd and I am certified to teach mat Pilates and I miss it, but there aren't any classes around here for anything or pilates and since I'm well into my 2nd trimester, I can't perform the mat exercises. I think that they might have some good dvds (pilates) in the mean time...does anyone know of one in particular that may be better?? Thanks again ladies.

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