Is it possible to learn something new at an older age? Can more mature adults learn how to dance? One of the main questions I get asked by potential students before they begin taking classes with me is if dancing is something older adults can pick up. Let’s explore some reasons why this is such a common question.
The body is less flexible
One of the main things that one has to pay attention to when learning how to dance is how they prepare their body to engage in this activity. The older our body gets, the more time we should spend stretching and strengthening our body. For an hour of dancing, I recommend stretching a minimum of 20 minutes. Taking this practice even further and incorporating a regular stretch session every day will definitely help you stay limber in between your lessons.
Our reaction time slows down
Dancing requires your brain to make a series of quick decisions. Dancing is movement that is rhythmically in sync with music. Music is created with an array of sounds that create different rhythm patterns at different speeds. In order to keep up with the speed of the music, you must first learn the musical patterns within the song, and then match your movements to these patterns continuously. Moving from one movement to the next without stopping as you keep up with the music can be challenging and intimidating. The more you listen to music, the more your brain will start to recognize rhythm patterns. The more your brain does this, the faster you’ll hear these patterns. Getting your brain on board first will allow the body to follow quickly thereafter.
The body tires quickly
Stamina is key in any physical activity but when picking up a new hobby such as dance, you may feel like you won’t be able to keep up, and this thought can be detrimental to your growth if you let it affect your determination to dance. The good news is that the more you do it, even if you get tired, the more your body will get accustomed to the workout and then before you know it, you will be able to dance for longer periods of time.
Confidence level decreases
One of the things we have to deal with as we age is the decreased level in confidence that tends to creep on us. Ever heard the phrase, “Can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” Where did that even come from? I do not and will never subscribe to that way of thinking. Unfortunately, this belief runs rampant amongst many of my older dancing students. They think that because they’re older, they won’t be able to grasp the concept of movement, and they’ll never be able to achieve certain things. While it’s true that the learning process will have to be slower, and it’ll take a little longer to acquire the skills needed to dance, it is not impossible. Sticking through something you’ve committed to learning such as dance will increase your confidence level a lot.
So, can you learn how to dance as an older adult?
As long as you are willing to take on all the obstacles you’re bound to come across, you can absolutely learn how to dance and even be great at it. You may think that the things that will stop you from dancing are all physical things that come with growing older, but it is actually more mental than anything else. Believe in yourself, push through and show up for yourself every day. The toughest part of learning a new skill is showing up.
Where can I take classes that are geared towards older adult students?
Finding a teacher that will help you get started with dance and reach your goals is very important. There are so many dance teachers out there, and finding the right match can be a daunting task if you’re not sure what type of teaching style will help you excel when you start dance lessons.
I currently offer dance classes that are geared towards older adults who are starting their journey with dance and have little to no dance experience. I have been working with beginner level students for almost 20 years, and my teaching style allows me to adapt to any student’s specific needs.
For a more in-depth guide on getting started with your dance lessons, check out this post.
If you’d like to learn more about the classes I offer and even read what some of my current and former students have to say, check out my teacher profile.
How many of these have you come across in the past when attempting to learn something? Do you have any questions about learning how to dance? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll catch you all on the next post!