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Author Topic: The Age at one begins to Dance  (Read 6394 times)
QPO
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« on: January 02, 2010, 12:23:28 AM »

This is a question I pose to those that have been dancing a short time or a long time. Through many of the discussions it becomes quite apparent that plenty of the top dances have become great and achieved their goals while they are very young.

Having started much later I wonder if that is a limiting factor to how far we can go with our dancing. We have had great achievements this year and done very well in our short time on the competitive floor and hunger for more....

What are others thoughts about what you can do coming to dancing later in life, I would like to think it makes no difference  Cheesy
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Some guy
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2010, 12:51:04 AM »

Hmm, food for thought.  I used to think age was a factor until I personally saw a 48 year old with no previous dance experience become better than 99% of the dancers in her city within about 2.5 years of total training.  2 years she struggled as beginner under conventional training.  Then the next 6 months she made real improvements when she found the coach that suited her best.  So my perceptions of time and age have all but dissipated.  
« Last Edit: January 02, 2010, 12:53:15 AM by Some guy » Logged
TangoDancer
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2010, 03:07:43 AM »

A varying viewpoint might be that all of the top dancers one sees today did not begin and/or excel as children. Thanks to DS, many dancers who were untrained as BR dancers are now enjoying all sorts of recognitions in the art/sport.

Secondly, I recall a woman (whose name I can not remember), who was the indepent US theatre arts champion in the early '90s.... at age 62.

Lastly, in direct answer to your questions.... 1- when should one start? Now (regardless of when that is). 2- are you too old? No. Go for it.
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The most beautiful part of the dance is often found in between the steps... and in the movement within the stillness.
ZPomeroy
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2010, 04:23:55 AM »

I only started dancing approx. 2 - 3 years ago (age 14 - 15) though still feel as though i have started too late...

Zac

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elisedance
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2010, 06:16:53 AM »

I started in my late 30s I guess but did not get serious until 49.  I did my first (pro-am) competition in bronze in setp05 at age 53 and won my first championship (with a full final) in Jan 01.  I think the quantal leap topic on DF was defining for me and I truly feel as if there are no limits.  I doubt if the rest of the danceworld would agree though Cheesy 

Seriously, I think dancegoals do have to recognize that there are physical limits and to be realistic that achievable goals are weakly but definitely associated with your age group.  Not withstanding the champion aluded to by TD above, I know of no examples where someone started late in life (thats as in over 25) and still reached world class levels.  Maybe DSV does.
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QPO
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2010, 07:57:17 AM »

I only started dancing approx. 2 - 3 years ago (age 14 - 15) though still feel as though i have started too late...

Zac



Same age as Maja that I read on the Internet....you are lucky, I wish I had continued when I was your age. I did it for one year at the age of 13 and gave it away because of a boy (another story)
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Lioness
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2010, 08:04:35 AM »

I started at the same age as Zac, but I don't think I started too early. Any earlier and I would've been reluctant, and also vastly uncomfortable in my own body. I was lanky, and generally not comfortable in moving it in any way that might've made people look. Oh noes.

Now I'm a completely different kettle of fish.

But I feel like I have tons of time. I'm not particularly interested in becoming pro, just very good. I feel that by building basics at a low level of competition now (high school), when I feel like going to a higher level of competition (after uni) then at least I'll have a grounding to work on. I wont be too old (22-25), and I'll have plenty of time.
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ZPomeroy
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2010, 08:09:06 AM »

See the thing is with me, i would like to make it to the professional ranks, which is why i feel as thought i have started too late, though it it nice to hear that Maja start at the same age as me! Gives me hope yet...

Zac
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Dance is poetry written for the feet, read by the heart, and destined for the soul.
ttd
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« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2010, 03:19:39 PM »

I was in my late 20s when I started dancing socially. I did my first competition at 31 - was kinda talked into it. I am now 36 (well, almosrt 37), and have done a number of pro-am competitions. I have a full-time job (which pays for my dancing, among other things), and some other life obligations, which prevent me from relocating to an area with bigger dance scene, for one (so at times I feel like I became a big fish in a small pond). I have no idea what is possible for me to achieve, or what would even be a realistic goal for someone like me. I asked about it a few times here and on df, but never really got a meaningful answer.
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TangoDancer
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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2010, 03:21:24 PM »

I only started dancing approx. 2 - 3 years ago (age 14 - 15) though still feel as though i have started too late...Zac

I began at 13. Hmmmm.......  Wink
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The most beautiful part of the dance is often found in between the steps... and in the movement within the stillness.
albanaich
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« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2010, 05:18:44 PM »

Well, Tessa Cunninghame, a World Champion WCS dancer (and an accomplished Ballroom and Salsa dancer) did not start dancing till she was out of college.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3ZxiPKmacg

However - she was a trained gymnast before starting dance.

I stared dancing very late - in my early 50's, but I did some ballroom when I was a teenager, and, I suspect more importantly, spent 3 years marching with  a flag that was 3 sizes to big for me when I was around 12. I had to march in time and somehow avoid being toppled over by the flag. As an consequence I've always have very good balance and timing.

I also worked as a manual labourer in my teens. There's a lot about catchng bags of cement, and swinging and 8lb hammer with alternate hands that relates to dancing. Check out video's of 'Gary Cooper' - the real live cowboy and manual labourer. He moves so well.

It's suspect its not the specific dance skills that are important, so much as the basic physical skills of co-ordination, balance and rhythm that are acquired when young.









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albanaich
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« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2010, 05:43:05 PM »

I think the difficulty with starting anything young (and Zac, you are very young) is that you get too focused, to early.

What gives you 'edge' or something different from everyone else is doing is different experiences, physical and mental.

I learned a lot from being in the Army. Physical abilities become sharply focuses when you are pushed to the limits. I discovered I was not physical strong, but had exceptional stamina and endurance. I was also confident walking the girders of a bridge at night and putting the locking pins in (I was an assault engineer) - I had good balance.

This was not a guess or someone else telling me. This was a sharp distinction. I could carry the machine gun and the ammunition when every one else was collapsing (and I'm not a big guy) I just 'had it'. Some of those guys who collapsed could do 100 push ups on one finger in a couple of minutes. Everyone is different and it is only when you are forced to the extremes that you discover what physical talents you have.

I think most dancers should do a martial art. Bruce Lee was a ballrom dance champion before he was a kick boxer. My son tells me that a lot of what he learned in Sabre works for dancing. I've found that a lot of very good dancers also do some kind of martial art.

Anyway, being a teenager iis not 'too old' by any measure
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mummsie
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« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2010, 06:13:31 PM »

That is a tough question.  Both my kids started doing social classes when they were 5 - my daughter did ballet from the age of 3 up to the age of 16 while also learning ballroom.  They both started competing when they were about 13 or 14.  Still 10 years on my son has only just elevated to level 3.  During this time he has had 4 different partners which didn't help.  He has done a very long apprenticeship but the rewards now have made it worthwhile.  I started dancing when I was 17 - my girlfriend dragged me along to a social class.  I fell in love with it and about 3 months later I was competing.  Competed for about a year and then gave up dancing when I became engaged - we were saving for a house and couldn't afford it.  10 years later the same girlfriend dragged me along to another social class and I did medals for about 10 years until dh decided that we needed to do something together and we started doing some lessons together.  When all these women started asking him to partner them for individual competition and then as AM, we decided we should start to compete again.  In the last 15 years we have 'retired' a couple of times but we still come back to it - we just love it too much to give up.  I doubt we will get much further in our dancing career as we only have 1 lesson a week but we enjoy what we do. mm
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QPO
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« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2010, 08:04:54 PM »

I was in my late 20s when I started dancing socially. I did my first competition at 31 - was kinda talked into it. I am now 36 (well, almosrt 37), and have done a number of pro-am competitions. I have a full-time job (which pays for my dancing, among other things), and some other life obligations, which prevent me from relocating to an area with bigger dance scene, for one (so at times I feel like I became a big fish in a small pond). I have no idea what is possible for me to achieve, or what would even be a realistic goal for someone like me. I asked about it a few times here and on df, but never really got a meaningful answer.

Depends on what your goal is, are we going to be able to win blackpool? perhaps not but who says you cant if you really want to. that is how I approach it. Each time I go out on the floor I do the very best as if I am at blackpool. I never think well this is a little comp it does not matter, each one to me it a world title!

37 you are young also! go for it.... Grin
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SwingWaltz
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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2010, 12:58:36 AM »

I started when I was 18, got dragged into dancing kicking and screaming by my then girlfriend. Danced socially for 2 years, did my first competition April 2008. Still have just as much fun as I did when I started, and still go to socials as often as I can (which is not often given the Uni thing).
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