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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Why is it sometimes too late to start Ballet in your Teens ( 13-16 )


Shobana Patrick

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Why is it too late to start Ballet in your teens ( 13-16) ? My friends keep saying that they don't want to start ballet because they're too old to, but somehow i figured it would be a whole lot easier to start at 13 perhaps, because it would be easier to learn faster... :rolleyes:

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Shobana, who said it is too late to start? Are you accepting something told to you by people who have never studied ballet and have no knowledge about it at all?

 

It's actually never too late to study ballet, as long as one is healthy. Expectations of a professional career might be a bit optimistic if someone was starting as an adult, and yes, even 13 is late, but, if you remember the answer to one of your other questions about starting pointe at 16, the answer was that it is not too late, but that it is unusual to have a professional career when starting ballet that late. But, as someone on that thread posted, there have been pro dancers who started that late. They are rare, and definitely exceptional in terms of their facility and also the training they received, but it can happen.

 

People starting at in their teens might be able to learn faster, but that has nothing to do with being able to "do" it faster or better. The brain is smart, the body not so much. It takes a LONG time to train a dancer, and starting before things get set in the body is much easier. Learning to pointe your feet correctly, rotate your legs and maintain that rotation throughout all of your steps and exercises, coordinate all of the movement with the whole body involved, including port de bras and use of head, building the strength and flexibility needed to jump and to work on pointe, all take years to develop. Since pointe work usually starts around 11 to 12 years old, and requires a minimum of 3 years of training first, then starting by 8 is optimal. That does not mean one cannot start later, though. :rolleyes:

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Hi Shobana! I just started ballet in September and I am 15 and I really love it. I knew before starting classes that I would most likely never have a professional career but I just like to take classes!!! You should tell your friends that it is never too late (my whole ballet class is 13-16 year olds) and they should definately look into classes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I started ballet when I was 14, about a year and a half ago. My studio is relatively uncompetitive, and is more focused on personal achievement and being your personal best, so that's the mindset I have about ballet. I probably will not be a professional ballerina, but that doesn't mean I can't take classes and enjoy it! :clapping:

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