Dance has evolved in so many ways throughout the years and one of the biggest ways it has evolved is in the belief of having to start at a specific age to be a successful dancer. Recently so many adults have gotten into dancing and not only are they becoming successful in the art, they are keeping up with people who have been dancing twice as long as they have! In short, becoming a dancer in your adult years is 1,000% possible and if you have enrolled in your first dance class or if you’re even thinking about doing so, here are some wonderful things to know before you start your journey and some ways to help you prepare for your first class. Let’s get started!
“AGE IS REALLY JUST A NUMBER!”
Not long ago it was always believed that to be a successful dancer, you had to start at an early age. The theory behind this was if you started young, you would gain a certain amount of knowledge that you possibly couldn’t obtain if you started in your later years. However, this idea is just a myth, and do you know what usually happens to myths? They get busted! Yes, the widespread belief is that you must start dancing at a young age in order to succeed in the art but in today’s day in time, more and more adult dancers are proving that theory wrong. And even though it’s great to have the story that you’ve been dancing since you could walk, realistically, everyone doesn’t have that story and that’s perfectly okay! Just because you are beginning your training as an adult doesn’t mean you can’t be a great dancer. Ballet dancer Misty Copeland began her training at age thirteen, an age that is considered “late” in the ballet industry, and now she’s gone on to be the first African American Principal Dancer in ABT history. Check mate!
“WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER TAKING UP DANCE.”
The reasons for why you should take up dance are honestly endless but one of the biggest reasons you should consider taking up dance is if it’s your passion. If you have found yourself gaining a desire to start taking dance classes, if you have that undeniable urge to start getting into dance, I highly suggest you follow that feeling because it’s there for a reason. Maybe it’s something that you’ve always wanted to do growing up, but you didn’t get a chance to or maybe you started as a child but stopped and now you want to get back into it. Maybe your curious to know what it’s like to take a dance class. Whatever the reason may be, if you really want to start dancing, you will thank yourself later for doing so because you followed your gut. Anything you have a desire to do will bring a feeling of fulfillment once you start chasing after whatever that desire may be. Another great reason to start dancing is for the sake of fitness. Dance has a TON of health and fitness benefits such as being a great source of cardio, strengthening, toning body fat and increasing stamina, just to name a few! It’s also improves musicality, builds your self-confidence and is a fantastic way of teaching you how to set and reach your goals!
“IS THERE ANYWAY I CAN PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME FOR MY FIRST CLASS?”
Of course, there is! For example, if you’ve decided to take up ballet, one way you can get yourself and your body prepared for your first class is by doing 8-16 releves once a day to give you a head start on strengthening your ankles, something that is very important in ballet. Another way you can physically prepare for your classes is by doing subtle, low impact stretches. This is great preparation for any class in any genre seeing as those fluid range of motion is important in every style of dance! Aim to stretch once on an everyday to every other day basis to start your journey to greater flexibility even before you take your first class! Remember to only stretch after a short warm up, such as dancing around the house to a couple of songs on your playlist to get your muscles ready for your stretching session. Never push yourself too far. Listen to your body and be safe. You will get more flexible with time! And lastly, a great and fun way to get yourself familiar with the style of dance that you’ve enrolled in, is by watching few beginner level class videos online from your favorite choreographers! Doing this can really get you familiar with the style of dance and range of movement that will more than likely be used in your own class! There are even tutorials that are available for purchase online from choreographers all over the world, so don’t be afraid to give them a try in your spare time!
As you begin on this new journey in your life, amid all the preparing, hard work and dedication, always remember to have fun. If this is your passion, don’t darken the experience by being too hard on yourself or feeling inferior just because you’re a beginner. We all have to start somewhere and as you continue on this new adventure, you’ll find yourself improving day by day, more and more. And if you are still on the fence about whether you would like to sign up for dance I hope this post encouraged you a little more to take the plunge! I wish you good luck on your first class and I’ll see you in the next post!