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Is 49 years old too old to pursue ballroom dancin?
Posted by never_2late4fun
3/11/2012  6:20:00 PM
OK and i admit DWTS and SYTYCD has got me reved up. I have soem dance experience, took ballet for a year as a child and then some modern dance when i was in my 20's. I do have some minor health issues, autoimmune rheumatoid arthritis (mild to moderate, am on meds for it), and disc bulges in my spine (all 3 area) from overly exerting my body, hence resulting in an injury (im on meds for that too)
I really dont where to start. I cannot afford to pay any instructor. What i am doing is SLOWLY learning the samba on-line by watching instructional videos (on youtube and here on this site) It may sound silly, maybe crazy but i have to begin somewhere. Eventually i'd love to find a partner.

My worst fear is being told that my age will keep me from reaching my goals. Although it would be for social dancing first and foremost i won't dismiss any possibilities of competing, depending on the outcome of my physical health.



If anyone can offer some really good advice please feel free to share with me.Although this is all new to me i am driven. Thank you! ;)
Re: Is 49 years old too old to pursue ballroom dan
Posted by SmoothGeezer
3/11/2012  7:07:00 PM
You're never too old to start ballroom. Whether you will reach your goals, or not, depends on what those goals are. If you can't afford to pay an instructor, it's likely you won't be able to pay the expense of competition either. However most people find social ballroom very enjoyable, and that doesn't require competition, and that should be within your reach. Not being able to accomplish something because the body doesn't want to cooperate can be a little frustrating at times, but I'm sure you already know that. Just don't expect to look like the top level competitors and don't set your goals so high that they are unreachable.

I wouldn't start ballroom with samba. That's more difficult than some of the other dances and it isn't used as often. As a beginner you will get more mileage out of waltz, foxtrot, east coast swing, rumba, and cha cha. I would recommend starting with those. There are no problems with starting the learning process with more than one dance at a time, although I wouldn't recommend starting with all of those at once.

If you can't afford private lessons, consider some group lessons. Those are a lot less expensive. If you try to teach yourself, you won't be able to see your mistakes and won't even be aware of them. You could video tape yourself and compare that to a tape you might have, but when they are different, you probably won't be able to figure out why. That's where some help will be very valuable. You will need a partner (or someone to dance with) when learning. Dancing solo is not even similar to doing it with a partner.
Re: Is 49 years old too old to pursue ballroom dan
Posted by nloftofan1
3/11/2012  8:39:00 PM
I agree with SmoothGeezer. Instructional videos can be VERY helpful; you can watch a figure being done correctly (and listen to the explanation) as many times as you need. But it can't tell you "You're not doing that quite right, but if you make this change . . ." Group lessons are a very good suggestion. And look for dance clubs that may offer inexpensive lessons. There were seven professional instructors at the local USA Dance chapter's monthly dance last night, and the chapter also has inexpensive weekly dance classes taught by pros. And yes, dancing with a partner is very different from dancing by yourself.
Re: Is 49 years old too old to pursue ballroom dan
Posted by Bikeman_59
3/12/2012  5:55:00 AM
I don't think its too late.

I think life is made of of layers. BRD is another layer and should not be thought of on its own. At 49, you have accomplished other things and this should build on them.

Dancing is a layer that sits on top of music and music is a layer that sits on top of rythym. Simple swaying to a song you like is relaxing. Simple swaying to a song you like with someone is dancing. For me, watching 2 mediocre dancers is spiritual if they are in touch with the music.

BTW, I started at 49 and I'm 52. I'm hooked.
Re: Is 49 years old too old to pursue ballroom dan
Posted by Vicky
3/12/2012  3:39:00 PM
My husband and I started ballroom dancing about 10 years ago when he was 59 and I was 57. We are still dancing, but never did any competitions, just social dancing. Now we help an instructor teaching lessons at our local American Legion and Moose Lodge. If you want to learn, find a group class that is reasonable and you should be able to catch on quickly. I would recommend taking Rumba instead of Samba. Most dances (wedding receptions, New Years eve or other opportunities to dance in public) it would be more likely to hear a Rumba than a Samba. We dance 3 or 4 nights a week and love Rumba, Swing, Cha Cha, Waltz and Fox Trot. Good Luck!
Re: Is 49 years old too old to pursue ballroom dan
Posted by craiguerabbitry
3/12/2012  6:00:00 PM
I to have health issues (liver diseas[auto-immune],thrombopenia, a total hip replacement[last year], and a few others). I was tired of sitting on the side-lines and watching others having fun on the dance-floor. I decided that I wasn't going to sit on the sidelines, I was not going to let my ailments dictate my life. I decided it was my turn for some fun. I searched and searched for a place to learn and finally found one. The studio I go to offers private lessons and group lessons. I took 1 introductry lesson for $25 and I felt great when I left and that was when I decided it was for me. The studio holds group classes every week with a different dance being work on. There are also 4 -5 week classes on specific dances (last month it was the Hustle and this month the ChaCha) for $10 per class. They aslo have "Dance Parties" every other Friday which are a lot of fun. Everyone there, staff and students, are so friendly and helpful to each other.

Oh, I am a 57 year old widowed mother of 3 with six grandchildren. Please don't let your age or health issues hinder you from exploring the wonderful world of dance.
Re: Is 49 years old too old to pursue ballroom dan
Posted by ladydance
3/12/2012  6:33:00 PM
49 is definately not too old. We just had a 71 year old man sign up for lessons at our studio. Our oldest student is 89 years old. As the others have said, you can't learn from a video and samba is one of the hardest latin dances to learn. Check out your local school boards or colleges for inexpensive group lessons. Independent studios often offer group lessons at a very good price. Private lessons are not necessary and can be quite expensive. You need to try dancing with a partner. Almost everyone can do the steps by themselves, the real challenge comes when you are connected to someone and trying to follow their lead. You say you would love to find a partner, well, you won't if you are dancing in your livingroom watching a video. So take some group lessons and then find some dance parties and dance as much as you physically can. Dancing is a social activity first and foremost. I started dancing when I was 47. I am now 56. I teach, compete and take 2 -3 hours of lessons a week plus I dance socially as much as I can. I am lucky to have a husband to dance with and he is (almost) as serious as I am about it. I have met wonderful people and plan on dancing until I die.
Re: Is 49 years old too old to pursue ballroom dan
Posted by never_2late4fun
3/12/2012  8:01:00 PM
WOW!!! You people have really inspired me! I thought about purchasing some videos but the thought of eventually seeing them end up in my closet (and after reading your stories) made me quickly change my mind! I'm glad you all responded and i can't thank you enough! ;)
Re: Is 49 years old too old to pursue ballroom dan
Posted by peter.200285
3/12/2012  9:01:00 PM
49 years are not too old for ballroom dancing you can surely do it. Just want to give one advice, its better that you start learning ballroom without the target that you have to learn it, simply dance to enjoy life.
Re: Is 49 years old too old to pursue ballroom dan
Posted by waynelee
3/14/2012  7:26:00 AM
49 is not old!! My wife and I started ballroom dancing 4 1/2 years ago when I was 62 years old. My only regret is that I did not start earlier in life. We both love it and we both compete, separately with our instructors, and together as an "amateur couple".
Re: Is 49 years old too old to pursue ballroom dan
Posted by ballroominspired
3/23/2012  9:20:00 AM
I started BRD when I was 46. My husband was 50. I am now 57 and he is 61. We loved BRD when we started, and we love it more now. So, to me, 49 is definitely not too old. Frankly, I don't think any age is too old.

One of the better dancers in my studio is in her mid 70's. She started around 16 years ago, I believe. That would mean she started at around my current age. By the way, she looks absolutely fabulous on the floor.

As to learning BRD, I would recommend group classes (as several other contributors have suggested) if you can't afford private lessons. Learning all by yourself will prove to be quite difficult.

Best of luck and enjoy.
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