Too old for ballet?
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Maple

Palmerston, Canada

#1 Dec 1, 2006
Hi, I am 22 years old and have always wanted to take ballet classes. My father was a choreographer but because of certain factors, I never recieved lessons. There is a studio in town that offers lessons but I feel I may be too old to start beginner ballet. I cannot for the life of me do a split and I know this is a key for many ballet moves. Can you even learn to do a split if you're my age? My dream is to go on pointe. Even if I'm never in a performance, I'd like to at least end up on pointe after enough training. Any suggestions, advice, tips? Thanks :)
tessah

North Hollywood, CA

#2 Dec 1, 2006
Hey, i'm 17 and i thought it was impossible for me to learn beg. ballet last year, because i was starting so late, but i really wanted to take ballet lessons since i was little. I took a chance and attended one 1 hour class every week because it was my dream, and i'm glad i tried it because i would be regretting it. After exactly a year i've been promoted into ballet IV with other girls my age and will be starting pointe in a month. Also, i got my side splits in 9 months (still working on my front splits)!It's great and something i look forward to every week. Hopefully my story will give you hope to try it out. Good luck!
Maple

Palmerston, Canada

#3 Dec 2, 2006
Oh my gosh, that does give me hope! I was always told that unless you're taught splits when you are very young, you won't be able to do them later on. Ballet has always been something that I've dreamed of doing but never had the opportunity. Thank you :)
Emma

Japan

#4 Dec 3, 2006
You are not too old - you are NEVER too old - a 15-year-old girl called Merry earned a place in a ballet company, after starting at around that age - never think you're too old!!!! Dx Cause a miracle - give hope to the other older people out there!!!! Don't give up that hope, Maple!!! Dx

~ Emz
tessah

North Hollywood, CA

#5 Dec 5, 2006
NO wayy. People say things like that and it's just not true, I mean prove them wrong! Yea it is alot simpler when you are younger but it's something you can achieve. I am not close to flexible and stretching in one class a week will get you to do the splits in about a 9 months.:] I know if i stretched everyday i would probably have gotten them in only a couple of months. Live, laugh, & love! Really haha. That's what ballet has brought into my life! Yea, it sounds pretty corny but it's the truth.
Maple

Palmerston, Canada

#6 Dec 6, 2006
Just wanted to let you all know that after the New Year, I'm going to enroll in a dance studio near my house! I'm so excited! It's an adult beginner class and I can't wait to shop for a leotard, tights, and ballet slippers :) Thanks, everyone for helping me out!
Emma

Japan

#7 Dec 6, 2006
No problem, Maple - and good luck!!!!

~ Emz
Sarah

United States

#8 Dec 7, 2006
hope u enjoy it good luck maple
Dancer

Stepney, Australia

#9 Dec 9, 2006
Good job ballet is good for everyone it teaches posture discipline and is really fun. it is also pretty hard but one you get the hang of it its great
wanttodance

Ottawa, Canada

#10 Dec 14, 2006
well i also have a really strong need to do ballet and i thought i was too old. im 11 .
Dancer

Gawler, Australia

#11 Dec 14, 2006
wanttodance wrote:
well i also have a really strong need to do ballet and i thought i was too old. im 11 .
no way is 11 too old!!!!! 10 or 11 is the age that some people think you should start! you should go for it! actually, anyone should go for it. ballet is really fun to do at a recreational or proffesional level!
Jennifer

United States

#12 Dec 31, 2006
I'm 20 years old and just moved out on my own for the first time in a totally different state.(I'm from Houston, Texas and Just moved to Oklahoma...Not exactly the dance capital of the world) I need SOMETHING to do and did ballet until 4th grade when I took up cheerleading. I've gotten super lazy since graduating high school, can't do a split anymore and am a hopeless ballet dancer. I tried to take a modern dance class in college and was so behind and embarrassed that I dropped the class. I want to dance so badly and I don't know where to go or what to do. I'm terrified that I'm too old to learn and that I won't have near the technique that other girls in my class will have. What should I do, where should I go? I really want to dance and like others, would love to go on pointe someday! Any advice would be awesome!

-Jennifer
Jennifer

United States

#13 Dec 31, 2006
By the way, please email me with any advice!
[email protected], and they got my location wrong! It's Oklahoma City!
Dancer

Adelaide, Australia

#14 Dec 31, 2006
I think its really great that people like you are determined to dance. After all, sometimes young children do ballet and decide to give it up as they get older. This could be due to boredom etc. So if more mature people wern't starting ballet, there would probably be very few teenagers or adults doing it.

You probably won't remember much ballet from when you were little. You probably have good co-ordination from cheerleading though.

Splits do come with practise and time. Ballet is not only about doing splits and being flexible. If you watch a ballerina, she is flexible (see how high they get thier arabesques) but she also has other great qualities which you may posses.

As for being a hopelss ballet dancer, ballet is not something that comes naturally. You will not necessarily be graceful or elegant to begin with. This is what is taught it ballet class, by the way you carry yourself etc. As you have had no training since grade 4, it will not be expected that you be a brilliant dancer to begin with.
This is a goal to work towards.

You are not too old. On this website- and others- many people contemplate being "too old." Whether it is a 12 year old or a 30 year old, you are not too old to at least enjoy dancing itself, and partake in lessons and even exams.

Technique is also something that comes with practise. Turnout does not come easily, but with practise and sufficient training, it will eventually come. Patience is the key.

You may be able to find a school that runs beginner classes- adult or teenager, depending on what suits you.

As for pointe work, you shouldn't be younger than 11 or 12, or maybe even 13, before attempting it. This is due to bones in the foot etc. Also, several years of training in soft shoes is required before attempting pointe. This is becuase turnout and strong leg muscles are required in pointe work. Of course, every individual is different. Unless you have a foot condidtion etc you should be fine when your teahcer tells you it is time. You should always tell your teacher if you have a foot condition etc.

Also, never attempt pointe in socks, barefeet or ballet slippers. In fact, never attempt pointe work until you have pointe shoes and are in class under the strict guidance of your teacher.

I would suggest calling ballet schools around your area. Ask about beginner classes and where you could progress from there- i.e. if you would be able to join a more advanced class in the future etc.

Also, you may be interested in other styles of dance as well as ballet. Jazz, tap, hiphop, highland, irish and modern are some other styles you mat be interested in.

So, with all this in mind, just go for it. Dancing does not have to be all serious training- it is for enjoyment!
Denisse

Williams Lake, Canada

#15 Jan 6, 2007
am i too old to be starting ballet classes at 14? though i've done some classes when i was 6-7 but stopped. i want to continue, but i want to know if it is too late.
Dancer

Camp Hill, Australia

#16 Jan 9, 2007
no way your not too old to start at 14. No one is ever too old to start. Ballet is a great thing to learn- seriously or recreatinally. It is really. fun. It isn't too late. I don't know if it's too late to go pro, but just read the forum about proffesional dancer stories, there are two stories there that are very inspiring. Just go for it and have fun!
ballet girl

Manchester, UK

#18 Jan 9, 2007
i dont think you are.and of course you can learn to do the splits at your age because i couldn't do them and thought i never would be able to because it looks so impossible when you see how far you far still to go to get in them but i was really determined still so i warmed up and stretched out so that i couldn't pull my mescles badly and then went as far as i could go in the splits, i held it there while i went through the alphabet and though i endured the worst pain, i watched tele while doing it to put me off. then i came out of the position and sat for a while till the pain went but then went back into them and found i could go a bit further down.keep doing it till you feel so worn out and you have achieved alot and just keep practising every day so that your body remembers the pain lool =]. you will be doin the splits in no time!
Dancer

Adelaide, Australia

#19 Jan 9, 2007
arnt you meant to feel a pull when you stretch but not pain?
Maple

Aurora, CO

#20 Jan 10, 2007
Hi, everyone! Well, I had my first ballet class last night and what fun that was! Everyone, including my teacher, was super nice to me and very supportive. I thought I would be the oldest person there, but I was actually one of the younger ones! Yay! I had a blast and the hour just flew by. I'm signing up to be in the recital and am very excited!:)
Dancer

Kensington, Australia

#21 Jan 11, 2007
cool congratulations. this story should give courage to alot of new starters.

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