Starting Dance As An Adult

Starting Dance As An Adult

“I can’t dance! I’m too old!” … “I have two left feet, I’d be no good at it.” … “Who would want to see an old bird like me on a stage?”. As an adult, we seem to have a preconception that we can’t dance. But how can we overcome these feelings and find our place in class?


I did it, so I know you can do it.

APB, 2006
APB, Jan 2006. Photo by L.Arthur.

If someone had told me 15 years ago that I would be a dancer, studying dance and teaching others, I would have thought you were completely daft.

“Me? Dancing? No way! You’re joking!” I would have told you.

I went to clubs and would have a boogie on the dancefloor. I would dance with my friends and family at home. I would watch dance videos, loved musicals shown on the Saturday afternoon matinee movies… But attend a formal dance class? Study dance with an institute? Hell no! It wasn’t something I saw on my horizon. At. All.

But why? With all this music around me and with all this dancing happening, some would say it was only a matter of time.

On the other side of this equation was an amazing friend who wanted to go to a belly dance class, and far be it from me to say no to her (more on this below).

What’s the benefit of being an adult dancer?

Enjoying practising making music and dance with the “Zills in the Hills” atteendees, June 2019.

Taking dance classes can boost your energy levels, increase flexibility (you may still never do the splits but do you really need to?) and increase your overall happiness! Over a three-month project, researchers found that participants experienced higher energy levels, greater flexibility, improved posture, and an enhanced sense of achievement.

So that’s the science part of it. On a personal level, you might just end up having some fun and meeting a set of people that you wouldn’t normally get to talk to. Which might just also be a part of the fun!

You also have more life experience, which means you have more of yourself to bring to any thing you dance. After all, when we dance, we bring all of ourselves to the music.

So why did I take up dance as an adult? I used every excuse in the book to not do it, but my friend wanted to go, and who was I to say no to my friend who wanted to give something new a try?

Are you the friend who wants to go or the one that will help another find their way to a dance class?

Do something you’re terrible at.

You will never know if you can unless you try.

Taking a class as an adult can be hard. Your body will move in ways it’s not used to. Your brain will protest that you don’t know what you’re doing. You’ll offer up many excuses about why you can’t/shouldn’t do it. Like “If I didn’t start as a child, I can’t do it as an adult.” (lies) and “it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks” (incorrect).

But what’s really going on is we’re scared to be terrible at something.

Adults are suppose to be capable right? WRONG!

We’ve convinced ourselves that we can learn things instantly. But, it doesn’t matter if we can or not. Not knowing something is a bonus not a problem. It means we get to experience the wonder of trying something new, the fun of working it out and the exhilaration of when you work something out.

As an adult dancer, I’ve cried, I’ve laughed, I’ve threatened to quit and found wonder in what I can do. The cycle runs over and over as I learn new things and find new ways of moving that I didn’t know before.

Try something new.

There are times when we are faced with the idea of needing to learn something new.
Something new and possibly fun.
Something new, possibly fun and not something which is deemed “productive”.
Then we decide that it’s not for us and we start finding excuses to prove it.

But why do you need to do that?

Why can’t you just have the fun?

Why not challenge yourself. Find a class (like an APB Dance class), give it a try. Bring a friend, or just take the plunge on your own!

Give yourself a break from the excuses for the night, give it a try without any expectations of being good at it or being able to even get anything more than just the feet right (or even just moving throughout the whole class even if you’re not getting it right).

“I can’t dance! I’m too old!” – My oldest dancer is in her 70s and the average age in one of my classes is 55! AGE IS NO BARRIER TO FUN.

“I have two left feet, I’d be no good at it.” – But isn’t that why you come to learn how to dance? You don’t have to be good at it in order to give it a try! ABILITY IS NO BARRIER TO FUN.

“Who would want to see an old bird like me on a stage?”. – Being on a stage isn’t what dancing is about. It’s just one of the many ways it can be presented. YOU CAN DO IT FOR YOURSELF… FOR FUN!

Maybe you don’t need an excuse. Maybe you do. Either way, come and join a dance class. You’ll never know if you don’t give it a try. And then… who knows where you’ll end up? But I can say, where ever it is… it’ll be FUN!


Did you want to give belly dancing a try? Why not get your FREE pass to our live online class! All you need to do is sign up to the APB Dance monthly newsletter and you’ll receive a free pass to access the live online classes that happen every week.

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