Started dancing in my 30s, how good can I get?

Question By User orualandpsyche

I see amazing dancers have usually started off when they were kids with ballet, tap or even gymnastics giving them great balance and flexibility. I started salsa and bachata in my 30s and just wondering if realistically I could get to a high level? Has anyone learnt to dance later in life and done well? I feel it is the fast footwork and flexibility that is letting me down at the moment!

Answers

User Superbacano

I started dancing at 35 (39 now). You can get as good as you want. It still is a matter of training and aptitude (which isnt age restricted).

I, too, am not great at the faster foot movement. But I never was… Yet, I’m told I’m a relaxed/light and clear leader, with musicality going for me. So I get my joy from that.

Point is: there are different aspects in dance to excel in. Go find what you are good at/makes you happy within dance. That will attract people wanting to dance with you.

User majaestic 

Age means nothing. I see dudes in their 50s fkn killing it at socials! Dance doesn’t discriminate

User double-you   

Whatever “high level” is to you. No, you likely won’t win ballroom competitions at a high level.But you can get good at salsa. 30s is nothing. Your body still very much responds to training and you can get faster and you can get more flexible.

User rehabbinit 

It does not depend on age solely. Age is almost nothing as I see broken down 22 year old girls and women in their 50s with exceptional movement. It depends on how much time/ effort you put into maintaining your body.

what are the factors of dancing great:

1.movement coordination

2.flexibility

3.balance

– A. (and a little bit of ) strength .

– B. sense of rhythm

– C. Cardio

By the time people are 30-35 most of the time they lack MINIMUM physique for dancing.

If you want to be a good dancer you need to mimic what the real professionals are doing: at least to a degree.

World championship level dancers do:

– strength training with weights+body weights : you don’t need to be jacked but you need basic strength to be able to do movements effortlessly. So instead of working with high loads and low reps you need to do high reps low load training 2-3 times a week with as much movement pattern as you can ( squat, lunge, horizontal pushing+pulling, vertical pushing+ pulling, behind the back excercises and so on). I see lots of guys and girls who are just too weak for dancing and it makes their movement not looking good, just weak… Also sprints are very good for the dancers as it teaches good trunk stability and quick feet and its good for explosive muscle tissues ( that will put a pop on your movement and that makes it smooth). agility ladder and/or jumping rope is very good for the feet movement.

– flexibility / mobility / balance training: active and passive, static and dynamic stretches. 4-5 times a week. Yoga is a great option. I also see lots of stiff people in the hips not being able to transfer their weight from one foot to another…

– train sense of rhythm: you can cross train it by learning basic level of piano or guitar or whatever instrument.

– Cardio: low intensity running 2-3 times a week. That way even if you dance 3 hours you wont get sloppy because you are out of breath. This can accelerate learning as you don’t get new bad habits during sloppy dancing.

– keep clean diet: you want to fuel your body with the best stuff possible: no junk. That way you are lighter on your feet, stronger more flexible. Also you get smarter therefore easier to learn and concentrate.

+ hours and hours of dancing…… but that part you know. Most people think they will be exceptional dancers just by practicing dancing only. You are in the wrong and you can see that in any sports: who crosstrains and isolates certain aspects of the game got way way better :D​

Maybe you don’t want to commit 10-12 hours total weekly… But then commit 4 hours to be better in these areas. Pick the ones you think are holding you back.

User tvgtvg 

Hmm, started salsa at around 35 ( 57 now) , i am fast enough, flexible enough , don’t look very good on the dancefloor from “ style” perspective, could not place well in a contest but am generally considered to be in the top 10% of leaders in social dancing. I don’t have time, or motivation, to do as the previous poster said, and spend huge amounts of time and effort in training, which implies i will never be able to compete. I also do not want to compete, because i hate to conform to what other people think is musicality and the right music to demonstrate that on. I social dance about 2* 4 hours per week and do about 2 mini festivals with 2 days of workshops per year to get new impulses With this i hope to stay a relevant social dancer for at least 15 years more:-)

For me connection and then playing with musical timing, mixed with a few sharp and fast patterns with a good partner is the thing i am looking for. One of my regular partners is a former Balket dancer . Hardly any of the other women can even come close to her posture and elegance. She is however not the absolute best in musical timing. Each has its strenghts

User gumercindo1959   

Another older guy here. In my 40s but started in my mid 30s. Went on1/on2 route and eventually got pretty darn good. I put myself against most leads in my area. You can absolutely get really good unless you’re hampered physically, Thankfully, I am not and can do anything a 20 year old can do. Keep doing what you’re doing.

User edach2he 

I know a dance instructor who started dancing in her 30s.

 https://www.instagram.com/p/B6BjH0iB5hc/ 

she’s the one on the left.

That’s just from a quick instagram search, I’ve seen her do performances with all kinds of tricks and having social danced with her I can say she’s amazing all around.

So yeah you can get really good starting at you 30s

User projektako 

I’m over 40 now, there are some guys now in their early 50s. Frankie Martinez is in his 40s… I’ve been his student for over a decade. Seen him teach world champs, teachers, and performers from all over the world. Eddie Torres is still going.

I’d like to think I’m “decent”… Can pretty much hang with anyone, even “pros” and even though I’m definitely not 20 anymore, I can show those “youngsters” how it’s done.
I’m pretty much proof that there’s no upper limit to your skill as a “student.” And if you take care of yourself, you can minimize your physical limitations.

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