Dancing In Your Thirties
Tips and tricks for newbies and returnees
It’s never too late to learn to dance or pick up your dance practice again. Just look at these amazing dancers, in their 70’s and 80’s! And the benefits of dance as exercise are truly endless.
Here are some tips for all levels of dancers coming back to the barre.
So you want to learn to dance? Great! Maybe you’ve had a few babies, couch surfed for a few years but now need to get your bum in shape.
So what should you expect your body can do?
In time a lot, but for now just the basics
A good teacher will design and pace the choreography to the student’s level. Don’t take a class filled with 16 year old ingénues. That’s like trying to emulate an Olympic diver #bellyflop. Take it slow and you’ll see results.
Emulate the teacher as much as possible within reason
You do need to dance the choreography to see results in your fitness and body shape. Messing around at the back of class practicing your jazz hands instead of doing the set choreography will not help you progress.
A good teacher will give you options for movements to suite varying levels.
Tips for newbies
Get yourself the right kit
Woohoo, shopping! Buy something you feel comfortable to move and sweat freely in. Don’t make the mistake of showing up in something so tight you spend half the lesson pulling your undies out your bum.
Just For Kix and Danskin have a huge selection of styles for every dance type.
A word on shoes
Don’t arrive at class with the wrong shoes. Your feet will curse you later. Your teacher will recommend either a shoe choice or going barefoot.
If you have knee, foot or ankle issues, start out with a pair of Capezio or Bloch dance trainers.
Protect your joints
Avoid jarring and abrupt movements for the first few months as you allow your body to adjust. Let the teacher know if immediately something hurts.
A word on sweating
Yes you will sweat. And this is a good thing as it means your body is warming up to ensure ease of movement. It’s also a sign your bod is working hard, losing inches, toning up and getting fit! Embrace the sweat. The sweat is good. The sweat is your friend.
Life got in the way there didn’t it? You wanted to keep up your four times a week dance schedule but then you met (hot guy/girl) or you started (college/ job/ mommy duties) and it just didn’t happen. Never fear! Your body remembers and is aching for you to start again (it’s also aching in other ways but that’s beside the point).
So what can you expect your body can do?
Muscle memory is a powerful thing
For the first few lessons go with the flow allowing your muscles to remember the movement. Get know what your body is capable of doing now.
Dancer memory is also a powerful thing
You will want to go beyond what you think you are capable of doing. But take it easy on yourself. Aim to hit those lines or perfect the perfect arabesque in a few weeks. Calm down that overactive teenage dancer brain.
Tips for Returners
Quit the comparison!
Just because you know what level you could be at, doesn’t mean you have to get there right now. Dance for yourself, to keep fit and not to compete or show off. This will be a revelation and will ensure a steady lifelong practice.
That leotard you wore when you were 17 won’t cut it.
Not only will the ol’ pink leotard not cut it, it probably won’t fit.
Your body may hurt
A good massage or stretch will assist the day after your first few classes. Take care of your body and respect if for bringing you back to something you love to do.
Dance is one of the world’s most expressive, beautiful, inclusive and spiritual arts.
It only takes a tiny step into a new class to discover its joy.
What are you waiting for? Book your class today!