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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Am I too old at 18 to start?


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Hello everyone!


I have been interested in ballet since I was a child, but I hadn't have any opportunity to start learning.

I am already 18 and I know it's hopeless since I'm waaaay to old to start. Can you tell me some of your experiences about starting ballet late? Is it possible ever to catch up with other students who have been practising since their childhood?


Although I am old, I would like to mention that my body looks way younger than my actual age; people would give me 13 or 14 y., but even 13 is again too old. I have (how they call it) an "ideal body" and my weight is quite low (like average 12 y.o.). However, I'm not sure if my body is flexible enough since I am after all way older than I look.


Sorry for long topic.

I would like to hear experiences from late starters because I am not sure if it's worth even to start at such old age.

Edited by tikitak18
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Hello tikitak18, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers :)


You will find lots and lots of adult students here who started even later, sometimes much later, than 18. I'm sure they will respond and give you a great deal of information about their experience. I just want to say that it is almost never too late to start something you really want to do, and ballet is no exception. We do recommend that you find a really good school, and also that you take at least two classes a week. :yes:

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Welcome to BT4D, tikitak18. As Ms Leigh says, there are many adult dancers who read & post here, and several who first started dancing at twice your age! "Too old" is a description we do not recognise in the Adult Dancers' forums. If you read back through some of the threads, you'll see this. Here are some to start you off:


Anyone here start ballet as an adult?


Am I going to be any good?


Could we hear your stories?


I had my first class in a long time


Am I crazy? Dancing in my 40s

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Did you miss my introduction?

I'm 27 and starting again (took ballet and tap when I was 5 up to age 10 or 11) on Tuesday!!


You are never too old for anything, in my opinion!!

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Guest ingve

Too old is always a relative thing.



If you want to become a professionl ballet dancer. Yes, the chanc that you will be making a living as a ballet dancer is low. But if you want to enjoy doing ballet and dancing, I cannot imagine that there is a age limitation.


I was a professional dancer for 15 years. Now, after I finished I enjoy my 5 classes a week like I never did ( or managed) as pro.


For me now the ballet class has become my chance to enjoy physichally and mentaly a regeneration every day!


What I am trying to say is, you will never be too old to enjoy the pleasure of taking ballet classes ( with good teachers of course like victoria said.


have fun

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My story is like ineluctability's; took classes when I was a child but nothing important (floor barre etc.), started again after 8 years at the age 20; in 2006 September =)


Of course you can catch up with others, but no one can say that it is easy. It can be frustrating and annoying not to be able to understand/follow/apply given choreographies even at the barre at the beginning but after a few months you may find yourself in your school's spring performance with a solo dance like I did; and it makes you happier than you can ever imagine=)Go for it!

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That's so awesome Skyish!!

I went to my school's performance this weekend - and they had the adult classes performing along with everyone else - and it was totally cool and inspiring!

I am really excited for class now!

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I took my first ballet class three years ago at the age of 23 and have never looked back, im so glad I found the courage to attend that first class, it hasnt always been easy but has always been rewarding and fun :grinning:

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You are never too old to begin something new. I am 37 and us to take ballet as a child. I may be beginnning a new class in the fall. We will see. Good luck.

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I was interested in Ingve's comment:


"I was a professional dancer for 15 years. Now, after I finished I enjoy my 5 classes a week like I never did ( or managed) as pro.


For me now the ballet class has become my chance to enjoy physichally and mentaly a regeneration every day!"


I imagined that once you had been doing something at a high level professionally (with all the pressures that that entails), doing it just for yourself for recreation was somehow spoiled - because you know that you are doing it at a level well below what you were once, there is no NEED to push yourself, you miss the excitement of performance, and so on. I am glad to hear this is not the case. If Ingve or anyone else would like to comment, I would very much like to hear.


Many thanks,



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I think when you're a young dancer, class is the means to the end- performing, so the perspective is that it's more medicinal than 'fun'. But when you age, and when you finally accept that your body isn't going to cooperate and give those marvelous fouettes anymore, class takes on new meaning and is very enjoyable.


I think that the people who are thinking that class is spoiled for them haven't quite arrived at the "acceptance" point yet.

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  • 13 years later...

im also 18 and ive been in love with ballet since i can remember. but i wonder if i start, am i going to be able to continue ballet professionally ? and do i even have the right weight for it ?

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, sarah. If you read through this thread, and several others in the Adult Ballet Students, and also the Teen Dancers section, you'll see that there are many many journeys in dance. If you love ballet, you should start classes - or keep doing them if you are already studying this beautiful art. 

If you are starting at 18, you may well be too late to dance classical ballet professionally (most serious training starts at around 8 to 10 years of age). However, you can still dance! And you can still train for dance. Late starters with talent and the right kinds of bodies - anatomically speaking - can often go on to good professional careers in contemporary dance, or musical theatre (if they can sing).

Weight isn't really the issue: it's body facility that is most important.

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  • 5 months later...

LOL  You literally crack me up!!!!!  I started after turning 61 (yes, that is not a typo,  its just 16 inverted!)  No looking back.  There are many challenges starting this late.  Perhaps the most difficult is the truth to the adage that in general, it takes 8 years to learn ballet.  Beginning after age 60 prolly stretches that window a bit longer.  Then, urrrrgh, where will the body be, capability wise, at that point?  All that being what it is, I am super jealous of anyone who started in their 50's.  Or their 40's.  Or their 30's.  Or their 20's.  Anyone below that is just in their prime!   

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