It’s Not Too Late To Dance
August 17th, 2019 by Elizabeth Radabaugh
Many people discover their passions later in life. With that discovery comes the question: is it too late to pursue my passion? When it comes to dance, many people have been dancing since they were practically infants. Does that mean that everyone has to start at the same age to be at the same level? Absolutely not! There are many paths to success. It’s easy to understand why someone might be intimidated to start dancing later than most, but nothing is impossible! With a bit of hard work and determination, anything can be accomplished at any age. For all the late-blooming dancers out there, here’s some helpful tips on how to do your best.
1. Check out these role models
It’s going to be hard at first, but you have the potential to catch up to your peers. Consider some of the many successful dancers who started off later than most: Willdabeast Adams, a massively successful hip-hop dancer did not start taking dance classes until he was fifteen years old! Now, he is a viral star, owns his own dance company, and has danced for some of the biggest names in music. Janette Manrara, T.V. star of SYTYCD and Strictly Come Dancing, didn’t start her dance training until she was nineteen!
One of the biggest names in the world of ballet, Misty Copeland herself, didn’t begin her dance training until she was thirteen. If you ever think it’s too late to dance, just turn to these superstars of dance. Sure, they probably had to work a little bit harder to catch up, but just look at the payoff! These incredible dancers are living proof that no one is “too old” to start dancing.
2. Have faith in yourself
It can be especially hard to look at everyone else your age with more years of experience and think that it’s impossible to reach their level. It’s not. There will be some frustrations, but you have to be easy on yourself and have patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day! Try not to focus on all the time you haven’t been dancing, but rather on all the time you can spend improving! Dream big, and don’t let your fears of “not being good enough” hold you back. As long as you give it everything you’ve got and do it with passion, you can thrive.
3. Take risks, and learn from your mistakes
Don’t be afraid to have some trip ups along the way. Believe that if you keep at it,you can reach your goal. Just like everyone else who has ever succeeded, you will have some failures too. Making mistakes is the best way to learn. Know that over time, things will start to get easier. Believe in your own unlimited potential! It is so important to be kind to yourself. In time, all the time spent will pay off and you’ll be able to look back at the leaps and bounds you took to get where you are.
You have to put in the work. Chances are, you will have to work harder than the experienced dancers in order to get to the place you want to be. This requires putting in some extra time. If there’s something in class you’re having trouble with, don’t be afraid to stay after class and ask the teacher to go over it with you again. Your teacher is probably used to dancers who are already familiar with the basics, so they may not always take the time in class to give the extra help you might need. But if you ask for help, your teacher will be glad to give it! In your spare time, go over your trouble spots again and again.
Practice makes perfect! Don’t be afraid to ask your friends for help too, teaching can help them improve their craft as well! As long as you put in the extra work and dedication, you’ll get where you want to be in no time!
5. Focus on YOU
One of the biggest roadblocks you may have as a new dancer is an affinity towards comparing yourself to others. It is difficult to avoid doing this in your everyday life, but in this circumstance it may be especially difficult. If you’re in a situation where everyone else around you has years of experience that you don’t have, it’s easy to get down on yourself. Instead of spending your time worrying that everyone else is better than you, focus on yourself. Try to not busy yourself thinking that you “can’t” do something or that you will “never” be as good as someone else.
The key to success is a positive attitude. Do your absolute best and put in the work. Look to talented dancers to learn and grow from their talent, but try your best to not lower yourself in comparison. You bring a special component that only you can bring to your dance!
In the words of dance icon, Martha Graham: “Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” Although a new dancer starts off lacking some technique, they can make up for the years as long as their heart is in it. Most of all, you have to love what you’re doing. If you’re having a good time, then all the world will follow in your footsteps. Good luck on your dance journey and always remember: you have the potential to do anything you set your mind to.
Aran Abilock is a writer for StarQuest. He loves mac and cheese, theatre, and all things Pokémon!