How old is too old to start Ballet?Natasha Aguiar
It’s never too late to start learning ballet, just as it’s never too late to start learning a language. The main thing you should ask yourself is why do you want to start learning ballet now and if those goals are realistic and achievable then go for it.
The majority of ballet classes for beginners are offered to under 6yr olds or over 30yr olds! There’s not much on offer to those in between and yet the question most often comes from 12 – 16yr olds!
For the teens who are late starters, we understand it can be a tough age to start. It’s easy to compare yourself to friends that have been dancing for years, maybe they are already on pointe, and you’re either going to stand at the back of their class and be completely lost or find yourself in a beginner’s ballet class standing next to a 7yr old, feeling just as foolish! However, if you really want to learn, then persevere with the older group of students whilst also attending some basic classes and with time things will become easier and start to fall into place. Ideally, If you can find a group of friends who would also be interested in learning ballet then perhaps your local dance school would be willing to start a beginners ballet class for teenagers. The ideal class would focus on keeping things simple but interesting perhaps working towards your own numbers for a stage performance. Just remember this is your journey and you are dancing for yourself!
For parents of younger children then starting classical ballet between the age of 2 – 6yrs means the child will find it much easier to learn as the muscles in the body and neural pathways are still connecting and setting up. Movements learned at this age will stay in the muscle memory for a long period of time. Younger children learn the foundation steps of dance such as hopping, skipping, marching and jumping with their feet together, classes will also focus on developing an awareness of posture as well as different types of rhythms and musicality. Younger children are more flexible than older people and starting ballet early means they can work on their flexibility and develop it as they grow. The emphasis in Beginners Ballet for the Younger Years is on having lots of fun whilst learning.
Adults over the age of 20yrs wanting to start beginners ballet can now usually find adult ballet classes quite easily as it’s becoming a more popular form of keeping fit and flexible. The emphasis in these classes should be on developing the movements and learning the basic steps so each student can at least achieve the ability to perform in a dance number. Also important for adults is to maintain and develop flexibility and motion as well as core strength. These beginner’s ballet classes should be fun and social so they foster a love of dance.
Starting ballet can happen at any age, just keep your expectations realistic and dance for the love of it and your own self-development.