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Ballet Talk for Dancers
Kini

Is it rude ask to a man's age?

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Kini

Last Saturday between classes and rehearsals I had three different parents ask my age, I'm not young and probably suffer from some excessive age (love that expression) and while I answered honestly I was taken aback each time I was asked. Wish I had had the foresight to ask why they were asking but it was between classes and just answered.

 

I'll probably never know the reason for me being asked, but is it considered rude to ask a male dancer his age? I was taught it was rude to ask a woman her age, no one ever said anything about men.

 

EDIT: I should mention that all of my classes are adult, I rarely ever take the level 7 or 8 classes with the teens.

Edited by Kini

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Garyecht

I'd love for people to ask my age. In fact, when in casual conversations ages get in the mix, I love giving mine because people say I don't look my age. When they say that I always tell them they have become my best friend and we have a little chuckle.

 

I think for people over say 50 (or even less), it's good to let people know your age. Dance is associated with youth. Professional dancers are generally finished before they reach age 40. That there are older people who participate and find enjoyment in going to class is inspirational for other people. I think that not only applies to age but also to things like body type and experience (or lack there of).

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Redbookish

I'd say it's rude to ask anyone's age randomly like that, Kini! Next time, you'll have a pleasant response to their impertinence: laugh, and throw it back at them "Why do you ask?"

 

But like Garyecht, I defy the notion of dance being only for young people. In my current classes, I'm fitter & more flexible than most other students & at 55, I'm probably at least 20 years older than most of them.

 

I've always danced, and always will.

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Kini

Redbookish, you and Garycht agree with my wife, she too sees the questions as unusual but probably a complement. I'm over 55 and still doing 7 hours of class time a week and have never felt in better.

 

I was probably keeping my guard up and a little sensitive since I'm the only adult male in the studio, if the question comes up again I will counter with "Why do you ask" with a big smile on my face.

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Willimus

I am asked my age all the time when I take class. I take it as a compliment. I am well past 50, and although I have lost my flexibility, and I don't jump as high as I used to, everything else is still in place. I have no problem at all sharing the fact thati am 53. I have never been asked my age by a younger/professional or aspiring professional dancer. I figure they just assume I'm 100.

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Janneke

To be honest, I think it's rude to ask someone's age out of context, regardless of whether it's a man or woman. I would never hide my age either, and I don't mind being asked when the conversation naturally flows that way. However, I always learned "You should never ask a lady her age!" and I'm always surprised when people do so quite randomly.

 

Maybe I'm old-fashioned! :nixweiss:

 

Or... OLD? :whistling:

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draws

Good topic. I am one of three adult males in my ballet class and all of us just started taking ballet lessons. I started classes four weeks ago. What is interesting is not what I think but what others are thinking while I'm sitting waiting to take class in the waiting area in tights, white tee and slippers. My demeanor is a bit subdued since I am surrounded by parents and their students and all of them are younger than me (71) and I wonder what they are thinking. I often get side glances but nothing direct. I think that this is very funny since it's while I'm stretching and palming my hands on the floor in front of me with no knee bend. LOL.

 

Most of the parents aren't even able to touch their knees and that cracks me up. I do notice the direct looks through the glass when I'm out on the floor, doing plies, barre work and other steps. I just wonder what goes on in folks minds and it cracks me up. I love it and can't wait until my next, and next and next.......... Hilariously laughing :yes:

 

By the way, I haven't been asked my age yet and can't wait until someone does. Others have told me I look in my 50s and just smile and flattered. Then when I tell them, the looks are precious. However, I do feel it in the morning when I first awake. LOL!!!!!

Edited by draws

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gimpydancer

Draws - I bet the looks you're getting are more along the lines of "wow, that's pretty amazing, I can't do that and I'm pretty sure I'm younger than he is".

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draws

Yes, it's funny when I think of it but there is no substitute for hard work, good eating and lots of exercise. I will probably post additional responses as they occur but won't dwell on it until then. My goal has to be to stay focused on learning everything that I can and stay in shape as long at the good Lord allows. Thanks

Edited by draws

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Dave62

No one has asked my age. I'm in an adult class, with ages between, early 30's to 50's such as myself. I'm the only male in the class. The class ranges from 2 to 4 people weekly. I had all of the women in class as well as the instructor tell me they thought it was cool to have a man want to dance ballet. I guess it's not very 'manly' for most guys! But we who dance, know different! :) BTW I'm 52.

 

Dave

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Kini

Been a while since I reread this. It wasn't class mates or instructors that were asking but the parents of the teens which I found odd, but decided to brush it off as I don't have any interaction with the kids except for the partnering class and in there I'm only there to help with the class.

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draws

I am also finding that a few of the dads of the young lady dancers have stated to me that they wish that they could take lessons as well.

One is 55 years old and I have invited him to attend classes to try it out for themselves. We currently have 3 men taking lessons and it

is refreshing to see that others are willing to try. Dance can be an exhilarating experience especially for those who have

raised families and wish to improve their physical conditions while moving on in years. There is simply no reason Not To.

Edited by draws

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dansair

My age has been asked only once - by the teacher after my very first class. I don't think it was rude.

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Redbookish

That might be one of the few contexts when it is an appropriate question, dansair! From a teacher, so they can assess what's best for you.

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jimpickles

Just seen this one. As an older male (69 in a couple of weeks time - there you are!) I take ballet class and also occasional acrobatics classes, usually with much younger people. If I am asked my age, I can tell from their demeanour that it is going to be because they are surprised what I do at my advanced old age. But I think asking ANY personal question without giving context is rude, even if it is only a minor rudeness. It is up to the asker to give a context, and if not, then "why do you ask?" is entirely appropriate.

 

Jim.

PS - Not asking women derives from a sexist view of life, where women were expected to stay young and lovely all their lives, and so were not meant to age (or at least, it was not meant to be noticed), while men were allowed to get craggy and mature.

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