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Redsam

What's too old

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Hi,

 I am a 39 year old man and have always wanted to do ballet, I started an adults ballet class  last January and am absolutely loving it, only regret that I didn't start 30 years ago. I would like to do the Rad exams and am not sure if I am too old or would it be odd for some one my age to do it? 

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I don’t think there’s anything to stop you from getting involved in exams if that’s what you want. Only thing I would say is I’m 43 and wouldn’t attempt some of the dancing I could do at 19, not sure my bones and muscles would cope! Don’t push yourself to the point of injury. 

😊😊😊

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Thank you, I love a challenge and will push myself hard ( not to the point of injury) I don't know my limits but am keen to find them. 

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Yes lots of adults do exams. The challenge will be to find a syllabus class that you can go to. Are you near London? The other syllabi (istd, idta, cecchetti etc) also allow adults to take exams although I have a feeling that the RAD may be a little bit more set up for adults and make more allowances. You’re only 39 though so shouldn’t need that!

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I am in County Wicklow in Ireland so not close to London. I will speak to my teacher and see what she recommends. Just didn't want to ask her any silly questions. I like the way you said "only" 39. that makes me feel better as most feed back I get from other places is that I am too old, so thank you for that!! 

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Our own Dormouse is much older than you - I hope she forgives me for saying that! - and does ballet exams. Don’t let age hold you back, Sam. 

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I took grade 6 in my late 30s. Yes some teachers will write you off, mainly due to their own inexperience I think. A good teacher should be able to teach any enthusiastic student! Maybe start working on your flexibility now as I think that can be one of the issues with starting a bit later

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Lots of adults doing exams, even in Dublin. Three of our ladies did RAD I/F before the summer, some older than you, one grade 3, one grade 5, both older than you by some distance. I’ve ISTD 3 + 4 planned in the Spring and I’ve got a decade on you. (Also, hello other dancing male in Dublin. Not many of us …)

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I find my teacher to be excellent, thank you very for the advice. I feel confident now to go for the exams and not letting age be a factor, I think I missed the cut off point this year so I will have to wait until spring, but that's ok as I can work on my flexibility and be even more fabulous 😉 thank you all! 

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Colman, yes I think we are a rare breed here. good to know I'm not alone.  

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1 minute ago, Redsam said:

Colman, yes I think we are a rare breed here. good to know I'm not alone.  

 

I’ve actually come across a handful in the last year. 

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Absolutely not too old! I did ballet when I was younger and then went back to it a few years ago. I was completely hooked again and wanted to go down the exam route so I did my RAD grade 6 earlier this year just before I turned 45. I also got my first ever pair of pointe shoes last year which was a proud moment! I'm not as flexible as I was when I was a teenager (although it is slowly coming back!), I get out of breath and sweat more than I used to but in some respects I feel stronger now. I have more control over my legs and my posture is much better now. I think you also feel more confident as a performer as you get older. The tricky thing is finding adult classes but I have a very supportive teacher that lets me join in with normal classes. I was nervous about being with teens to start with but they don't seem to bat an eyelid at me being there and have been really great. My advice is to go for it!

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I took RAD inter last year aged 50.... bit of a bucket list tick off!! And I know of other adult dancers older then me who have taken it too.....so age is no barrier! Was disconcerted to be in exam with children though (poor judgement by rad hq imho & I do q the safeguarding of that????) Uf I take another exam I will do all in my power to ensure I am not in with under 16’s as I think that was not helpful for any of us! 

The schools regular adult ballet class was a mix of relative beginners & returners - they did Grade 3 RAD with I think about 10 taking the exam... for some their first ever ballet exam & for others revisiting childhood interests! I’d say in various adult classes I do ages range from 19-85 & any one f them would be capable of taking some exams! The new Discovering Rep seems popular with adults )though personally I find it a bit of an odd mix). 

Go for it & good luck!

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Another MUCH older dancer here. I agree with NeverTooOld that it's harder getting flexibility and stamina but I'm definitely stronger and have a clearer understanding of technique. I'm definitely more focused and determined than when I was younger. I think I've become a more confident performer too and know how to make the most of what I can do.  I passed RAD Inter last year aged 65, RAD Grade 6 earlier this year and will take Grade 7 next spring somewhere around my 67th birthday. Go on, you can do it!

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I am blown away with the response I have gotten here!! you guys are a real inspiration! thank you all so much for your advice and encouragement! I feel much more confident now. Thank you!! 

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I think the best thing about being older is you are truly doing it for yourself & can get total pleasure from the whole thing! 

It is not always easy to find classes at right level nor always teachers prepared to enter an adult (I got knocked back by my usual school but by compete luck of being in right place at right time found another with one more adult who was keen to do exam so happy days!). Ignore the feeling of needing to be loyal to one teacher/school .... I now will go wherever I find the right class - when time/funds are willing! It’s all about me! 😉🤣

Edited by Peanut68
Typo
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Hello Redsam and welcome to the Forum!

 

We've got quite a few adult dancers who contribute and I hope you will continue to join in too.

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12 hours ago, The_Red_Shoes said:

I agree with NeverTooOld that it's harder getting flexibility and stamina


Harder, slower, but possible (unless you’re carrying limiting injuries or health issues, obviously)

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A good teacher should be able to work a way to adapt any elements of a class to cater for all....even if at times it might just be to focus on musicality or acting; 2 key components in successful ballet that actually perhaps should be touched on in classes more... IMHO!

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Never too late to enjoy ballet class! I love teaching my adult classes with ages ranging from 19 to 60+ . I am happy to encourage working for exams too with members of the classes taking syllabus Grades and Classwork Assessment exams as well as individual and team Medal exams.  I have one or two gentlemen in class regularly and it is great to have the opportunity to work on the male syllabus and technique.  We had one gentleman join us as a beginner in his early/mid-forties, he worked through the grades and on to Intermediate as well as taking medals from Bronze through to Gold Bar 2 - passing all with Distinction/Honours. He was working on Gold Bar 3 and Advanced 1 when he moved away. He also worked on Pas de deux which featured in our dance school shows, where the adults are invited to take part alongside our students.

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Another oldie here. I've been doing ballet classes for 25 years and I didn't start until I was 37. I miss doing syllabus classes; I can't fit any in with work, gym and life in general, but in the past I did RAD grade 1 to 6, BBO to grade 8 (I prefer the BBO syllabus to RAD) and some Cecchetti (confusing with the different arms) and some IDTA. I intend to carry on with class until I drop dead. I have been in a few shows too, which are always great fun.

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Redsam, a belated welcome to the forum.  In my experience, you're far too young to be worrying about being too old :)  There are loads of people much older than you are in my class, and some of them are taking exams. 

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😁 after all the positivity and sound advice you have all given me I am not feeling old at all now. My next class is on Saturday so I will talk to my teacher then about the exams.

 I don't use any social media because of the negativity attached, so it's a breath of fresh air to be part of a forum with such positive helpful people. Thank you all again and look forward to future discussions. 

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Too old? If you're in a box you're too old (m/39, started 36)

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