Sunday, March 21, 2010
Am I Too Old To Dance?
While I'm waiting for my fab webmaster to post a new video, I thought I'd address this question. When I teach adults, I hear the comment, "I'm too old" a lot. And I admit, I have used it myself from time to time. But in reality, the answer is a resounding, NO! It's never too late to begin dancing and you're never too old to continue. My personal goal is to dance until I'm in my 90s! I want to be that very old woman still doing demi-plies and tendus at the barre alongside the youngsters. And I'll probably only be doing demis - no grande plies! LOL!
The key to lifelong dancing is patience. Be patient when you are injured. Be patient when you are learning something new. Be patient when you approach the barre, the center and jumps. I think the biggest mistake dancers make - regardless of their age - is that they rush in too fast. They don't warm up their muscles properly before they begin their barre. They don't work properly when they jump. They don't take time off to heal themselves after an injury.
1. As you get older, your muscles need more time to warm up. Think of them as frozen rubber bands: they need to thaw out before you stretch them.
2. Dancing properly at the barre - working on alignment, keeping your heels down when you plie - has a major impact on your work in the center. If you don't demi plie properly with your hips lifted up the front, your weight over your toes, and opening from the top of the thighs, you will definitely feel it in the center. You won't maintain your balance for turns and you won't get decent height in your jumps.
3. Injuries happen for a multitude of reasons as you age. Simply walking down the street in the wrong pair of shoes can tweak your ankle or your arch. Now imagine that in dance class. Sometimes things just happen and you can't prevent it. Accept it and move on. Don't blame yourself or your technique (not always!).
4. Injuries take more time to heal. If you don't give yourself time to recover, you will find yourself nursing that injured body part again and again. Rest. Rest. Rest. There is always another day to dance, another class you can take. A few days or a week away is NOT the end of the world.
Remember, the goal is to dance for the rest of your life, not just today. Take care of your body, work properly, pay attention to what is changing within you - and you'll dance forever. With me!