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  1. #11
    Member Starmouth's Avatar
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    Motorcyclemama, you are certainly not too old to start dancing, and if you join a class you will probably get opportunities to perform at community events and student haflas, on your own and/or as part of a troupe.

    There are millions of different costuming options for people of all sizes and in general the belly dance community is very accepting of older/larger dancers.

    Give it a go! You could end up as hooked as the rest of us.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    THIS -- this is exactly what you can expect to get out of it.


    You certainly don't have to have "performance" as your ultimate goal for learning to dance. When I quit ballet I swore I was never dancing in public/performing again. The thing I liked so much about bellydance was how easy it was to just self-express with a limited movement vocabulary. You get some great music, learn 3 or 4 movements, and you really CAN express your self through movement. It's awesome.

    Mama -- do you need teacher suggestions for Nashville? I know some older (and by older I mean my age -- 40s) teachers in the area you would probably enjoy studying with. Also, save the first weekend of March of 2012 because the ever-fabulous Ranya Renee is going to be doing a workshop in Nashville, and you will LOVE her!
    This gets me excited! Please share the info. for the instructors you know.

  3. #13
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Dance because you love movement, music, and expanding your horizons. Dance because it's fun. Dance because it's good exercise and a great way to meet new friends of all ages. Dance just for the hell of it.

    Thirty-six old, my god, I didn't even have my second baby until I was thirty eight. I went back to school at 42. I'm still teaching belly dance and occasionally dancing for public audiences at 56. I started riding my own motorcycle again at 55 after ten years of looking at the back of my huisband's head and made two 1200+ miles trips this year. I got my first horse after I turned fifty and started riding again despite arthritis and extra weight after a 28 year streak of no horses at all . In two weeks I am on my way to Germany to perform children's theater at a dozen military bases over a three week period. Thirty six old? Good grief. I hadn't even gotten started at that age. And whether you know it or not- neither have you.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  4. #14
    Member LilithNoor's Avatar
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    Echoing what everyone else said- that ain't old!

    The oldest member of the ATS troupe I dance with is in her seventies, and she didn't start learning bellydance until well after she had her free bus pass!

  5. #15
    Senior Member walladah's Avatar
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    Default More hints from personal experience:

    1) if you think you have some weight you do not want on your body anymore, you start a healthier meals schedule and preparation routine, but in the meantime you find a design you really like (it can be a bedlah or a dress or a tribal costume [tip:tribal costumes are the most flattering for ANY type of body-shape] and you invest in it, so that you have already a nice costume to perform.

    2) Performing might not be so far away, esp. when your friends and neighbours will learn about your new art. Actually, you will be the one to postpone performing...

    3) working with DVDs is fine, esp. if you do not have a teacher nearby. Make sure you can dedicate 1-2 hours at least in studying with the DVDs per week (just like as if you went to a dance school). However, in case you have a good teacher nearby, the best is to go there and attend the classes, no matter what the age of the other students might be. Are you going to punish yourself because other women in their 30s are not interested in taking bellydance classes?

    4) Do attend Ranya Renee's workshop if she visits your area and definitely buy her DVDs, watch her youtube videos and anyway, she is a marvellous dancer and teacher with a vision about bellydance. Do attend the workshop by any teacher that you think is good and visits your area (usually in workshops, local teachers also take part, so ages vary - but in any case, forget about the age of the others in the room, honey!).

    5) Try to find a friend of yours who might be interested in working with you on th DVDs (so that it does not get boring, being alone in front of a PC screen) or in attending classes at the dance school nearby. In case you have no such friend, make one!

  6. #16
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    I will echo everyone else here. You are at the perfect age to learn. I was in my 40's when I began and I"m still dancing. I perform once in a while at workshop shows in my area due to living a distance from lessons and such. Remember age is only a number. It does not have to restrict us at all. I love bellydance, try to do it as much as I can and bemoan the fact I don't have enough hours in the day to do as much dance as I want. Go for it and don't let your selfdoubts confine your ambitions. To quote a lady I used to babysit for long time ago in the 60's whose sister worked in the middle east as a belly dancer. "you have to have a belly to be a belly dancer". To quote another good stage play "real women have curves" Go for it and enjoy yourself.

  7. #17
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yame View Post
    Expect to have a lot of fun and meet new people... you won't regret it!
    To be honest, I didn't enjoy my first six months of bellydancing at all. I had a horrible teacher & I kept getting trampled in every class. It was awful. It took me a long time to find my niche in bellydance, but I don't regret it at all. I knew from the start that it's what I wanted to do so I kept at it. That's why I gave the advice I did to MM - that everyone's experience will be different even if they start the same class at the same time. I know that the girls doing the trampling in my class were too busy having a great time to notice me getting in their way!

  8. #18
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
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    First thing you have to do is get rid of the idea that you are old. I swear, I laughed out loud when I saw what you wrote about being 36 years old as being an old lady because that is too funny! That is when a woman is approaching the height of her beauty, wisdom and her own belief in herself.

    On that note, 46, 56 and 66 are still not that old, and look at Aunt Rocky who still gets gigs in her seventies! So please, just dump the idea that you are old because it is totally the opposite! It really is true that you are as old as you feel, and I don't plan on getting old at all!

  9. #19
    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    Just to agree with the comments already made.
    Who told you that 36 is old?!
    Most dancers I know, and especially those I enjoy watching, are into their 40s, 50s and beyond. There are plenty of teenagers and 20-somethings in the Bellydance world too. It’s great to watch their (admittedly at times enviable) energy and ability, but you can also see them mature and change as they grow in experience.
    Once you get beyond the stereotype of the young nubile hips and glitz, ii is all about the emotion; expressing yourself, connecting with the music, revealing the joy (or sadness) you feel within yourself and with whatever audience might happen to be in the line of fire. Elegance has nothing to do with age or shape.
    If other people have told you you’re too old, they have a restricted view of the reality.
    If YOU think you’re too old, get out there and prove yourself wrong!! You already want to.

    Expect to have fun, make friends, gain confidence, get thoroughly addicted to it, and still be doing it when you ARE old.

  10. #20
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duvet View Post
    Most dancers I know, and especially those I enjoy watching, are into their 40s, 50s and beyond.

    Yes, and what's surprising is that for many of them, you would never know they were over 30. There is something in this dance that encourages a curvy body while discouraging wrinkles. It's magic

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