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Starting Off
Posted by Katie_C
12/30/2010  1:09:00 PM
Hi,My name is Katie and im 14 im going to start ballroom classes but have a few questions Id love to have answered How fit do you need to be? Can you start at 14 or is it to late? Is it possible to get good at (if you work really hard at it) but havent a step in your body? and while awnsering the last questions bear in mind that im a banjo player and know what hard work at hobbies is!!lol! Thanks a millon Katie
Hi, Katie.
Posted by jofjonesboro
12/30/2010  1:38:00 PM
I started dancing in my forties so I don't think that 14 is too late.

Because you're already a musician, you have the most important trait that a dancer needs but cannot be taught and that is timing.

You seem to be a bit apprehensive about your physical condition. Unless you have some serious underlying problem, dancing is only going to improve your health, both physical and mental. Don't let that aspect concern you.

As with any other physical skill, dancing rewards hard work and patience. However, you must always keep in mind that being a dancer is a lifestyle and not a hobby. The old canard that you'll hear is "Dancing is a marathon, not a sprint."

Do you have a potential partner?. You'll learn much faster and have more fun if you can find one. I know that most teenaged boys in America would rather shave their heads than be caught on a dance floor but a few of them will surprise you. Try to find a partner as soon as you can but don't put off starting your dance education just because you don't have one now.

Where do you live and at what kind of studio will you be studying (a local independent or a franchise like Fred Astaire or Arthur Murray)? Also, do you know what kind of dancing you'd like to learn first?

Good luck and remember that we're always here to help.

Re: Hi, Katie.
Posted by yourfirstdance
12/30/2010  6:02:00 PM
Hi Katie,

I have been dancing since I was 21. Talk about starting late. Within a year I was competing. I have won everything from bronze to gold medals. If you have the desire than you can dance. I wish I could have started at 14. Thats a wonderful age to start at. I now teach and have been for over 30 years. By the way, you can learn timing, I did. I didnt have a musical note in me. My teacher helped me there. And if 14 is too old dont tell my oldest student that, she was 84 when she started with two hip transplants.

As far as partners are concerned I agree about the boys and shaving their heads. If you can get one to try they most often will love it. I have two boys of my own and even though I had to make them get up and dance one told me once he was up he really enjoyed it. My oldest even preformed with me. No boys? then get a girlfriend to learn the boys part. I had a friend do that after she learned following. You can switch places later so now you both know how to follow and lead. Great head start to being a teacher. Need to know how to do both.

Good luck
Re: Hi, Katie.
Posted by silver
12/30/2010  9:11:00 PM
When I was 14, my mother made me take a social dance class in junior high school. I loved it, but I wasn't exposed to other avenues for dance after that. I didn't return to dance until I was 39. I'm running that marathon JJ mentioned. I played the banjo, piano, and french horn as a teenager, and my musical experiences have been a great help in ballroom.

Dance knows no age limitations, so go for it and have fun!
Re: Starting Off
Posted by 27172717
12/31/2010  4:04:00 PM
Hi, Katie,
I am on my way to New Year dancing party organized by my dancing studio. And I am 64! I was dancing all my life without knowing what i am doing, but just short two years ago I was exposed for the first time into instruction in ballroom dancing. What a humbling experience it was! Being anywhere below 60 is a great age to start! I did at 62, and now i was dancing in a nuber of local and interstate competition including one state. I travel a lot and move around the country. I am startting agin in another place for a third time in two years. it is indeed a lifestyle not a hobby. I lost weight and improved my posture, but my sister who seen me dancing just a year ago and decided to do it too in her late 50s lost already 40lbs became fit and happy and now is winning her competitions left and right.

And talking about boys... I have a 16 years old daughter who wached me for a year before decided to dance too. Now she is starting agin as we moved again and can not wait. My 27 years old son still watches us from sidelines, but who knows? maybe one day...

Do it. Do not ask too many questions. Try. that is the only test...
Re: Starting Off
Posted by terence2
12/31/2010  11:30:00 PM
Hi Katie.. you are at the perfect age to begin.

There are several choices to be made; the social style or the more strict Medal test style ( are you in the UK ? or the States ? ) and the Smooth dances or latin/Rhythm.. the style you choose may be affected by classes available .
Re: , . response to JJs post
Posted by terence2
12/31/2010  11:38:00 PM
I have a little bit of an issue with the " if you are a musician " context.

I have, in the past,taught 2 World class musicians ( One a 1st chair symph. and the other a jazz drummer ) BOTH had problems with dancing on time to music.

Ive also come across this many times over the yrs with musicians who echo the same thoughts.

They disagree with HOW we sometimes apply steps to rhythms they are playing .

Re: Starting Off
Posted by belleofyourball
1/2/2011  11:54:00 PM

You could be great...just work as hard as you can and do your best. You don't have to start out in shape because ballroom will get you into shape and keep you in shape. It will be hard and sometimes your muscles will be sore but it is a good sore.

The great part of your age is that you'll learn the choreography much more quickly than most of the rest of us and your body is still growing so it can shape itself to be a dancers body!

Good luck and have fun dancing!
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