Am I Too Old to Dance?Before I started dancing again in 2013 with a gap of 10 years from the initial 2 years training I had, the question “am I too old to dance” was a frequent search term that appeared in the history of my internet browsing. My research had given me a mixture of answers, some included a very abrupt “yes, you are too old” and some gave a slightly hopeful “No, you’re not too old, you can join a local adult dance class for beginners”.

Before dancing again, I often dreamt I was back in class and I that I was making progress, I also visualized myself performing and it made me very happy for that moment. Those thoughts were very powerful and although they made me happy at the time, I was left feeling sad because I knew that I was denying myself of something that is part of who I am. However, I eventually got over thinking I was too old and so I decided to do anything within my power to dance again. This was 3.5 years ago at age 23.

Now, after 3 years of fulltime dance training and a lot of work on self-development I dance nearly every day and my life is filled with dance. I write, create, perform and teach. Furthermore, the difference I see in myself is phenomenal because following my passion has made me feel alive again.

Age does not matter. You might think this is an exaggeration but I can assure you that it is not. During my training I met a lot of dancers who were aged between 18 – 50 who were doing the same training as me and handling it just as well. So, if you dream about gracing the stage and gliding across a dance floor, you should not ignore it. There is a reason why these thoughts keep cropping up. There is a reason why you light up for that split second when your visualization is so strong that you feel that it is real. When you see your energy in the best possible light, you feel and see your best possible self. That’s why you keep getting drawn to it, so I absolutely urge you to dance again!

Here are a couple of things for you to consider that might help you along the way.

Forget About What Other People Think

First of all, it is important to completely disregard the opinion of other people. If I would’ve listened to people in my life, including some of my family members who told me to do a real course and not a dance course, I would not be here writing this post today. Plus, who is anyone to tell you that you can’t dance, you haven’t got the ability or that you just won’t make it? Its one thing for someone to have the audacity (even if they are dance teachers) to say something so strong to another person, but it is another thing for you to listen to them. Don’t listen to anyone, they are often talking from insecurity or fear that you might actually make it.

Don’t Accept Excuses

Dance is hard. Dance is really hard and when faced with challenges that are either physical or psychological, the first thing you will want to do is to give up. Don’t give up and do not accept any excuses from yourself. None! If you have time to watch TV, you have time to dance. If you have time to visit your friends, you have time to dance. It is similar to people who make goals to lose weight, excuses get in the way. Do not let them. Make a promise to yourself and stick to it. Even if you don’t want to dance full time, but you want to go to one class each week, absolutely commit to it and in a year your will see massive results in the way you feel about yourself and in your ability to dance.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Anyone

Although inspiring, it can also be off putting to see the world’s most talented dancer when you are thinking about going back into dancing. It can encourage self-doubt “I’ll never be that good so what’s the point” or “my feet don’t look like hers” the list goes on. You will neve be another dancer because you are you so focus on yourself and all will be fine. It’s great to have inspiration and high expectation of yourself and your ability, but you can’t expect to walk into a dance class for the first time and be the best dancer in the room. Instead, use the people you look up to and the people who you are training with in order to see what is possible. Sometimes I go to classes that are really on another level just so I can keep setting the bar higher for myself and so I know I will keep pushing to be better than I was yesterday.

Through being around dancers so often I have come to learn that there are dancers out there who can’t live without performing and there are those who have no need to perform and who just want to have dance as a part of their life. Teaching is an option or how about community outreach dance? If you’re a good writer you could write about dance or maybe you could create dance on bodies who can perform; choreographers don’t necessarily have to be great dancers, but they do have to be able to understand dance and communicate their ideas efficiently and effectively. Can you do that? Do you want to do that? The opportunities are endless. You just have to know what you want, write down a few ideas and go for it.

I will leave you with this quote in the hopes that it encourages you to find your passion in dance again. “Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion” –  Martha Graham.

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