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Thread: Am I too old?

  1. #1
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    Default Am I too old?

    I am 53, soon 54 in January, and I was wondering if I was too old to become a bellydancer? I am a construction worker and I am very agile and flexible, and no one believes that I am 53 years old. I have never sun tanned and my spanish heritage lent alot to staying younger looking than my real age. I have no crows feet, or lines in my forehead and can easily pass for early to mid 40's. So I thought I might be able to get away with a young woman's dance. Belly dancing is an amazing art form and I never get tired of watching you ladies dance. My husband said I should take up the dance.
    Any advice would be helpful. I only wish I had taken this dance up in my 30's.
    I am happy I found this site.
    Who is the oldest professional bellydancer?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Erik's Avatar
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    Just a humble fan POV here, but as the dancers see your post and reply to it, I believe you'll find that it isn't so much about age and how old you look.

    Quote Originally Posted by donna marie View Post
    Who is the oldest professional bellydancer?
    Helena Vlahos may not be the oldest but she is ten years older than you and I think she may still perform professionally. She is American Cabaret Style, which some consider true bellydance and others do not, but that's another story.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    to the forum. I started dancing at a couple of months before my 54th birthday, I am now 63. I started mainly for a fun activity and to meet people, because I had been living overseas for many years & felt I needed to get out & about. Gyms never interested me "senior citizens" activities certainly didn't interest me & I saw an ad for BD classes, decided that it would be fun, took 2 private lessons to see if I would like it, fell head over heels in love with the dance at lesson 1 and have not stopped since. I will never be a restaurant or similar venue dancer (this is where I wish I had started 20-30 years earlier), but I dance with a troupe at local venues, nursing homes & I now teach. I know a number of dancers in their 50s ( 2 are in the troupe I dance with along with a 27, 35, 42, 43 yr olds - I am the oldie), 2 ladies in their 70s began a beginners class last year & love it but have no intention of becoming professional or semi professional, they just want to dance So to answer your question - are you too old, absolutely not! get out there and learn, have fun, enjoy. You don't need to be professional to dance, but after a few years you may feel you would like to share your dancing with others and could dance at student haflas, or senior citizen venues eventually teach, so there are opportunities, or you may just wish to just dance for the love of it. I have 2 teachers, one turns 50 in 2 weeks the other is 37, so you can see all ages are involved in bellydance. It's fun & addictive, you make new friends and you get to dress up in sparklies, what more could a girl ask for Just be prepared for the addictive qualities of the dance, once hooked there is no escape, your heart, your home will become inundated with all things bellydance & Middle Eastern & even your car (my car sports number plates in bright pink with a registration of RAQS & the only music in the car are Middle Eastern/Bellydance music CDs & you are bound to find a hipscarf or 2 on the back seat as well)

    So forget age, just go and follow your dream
    ~Mosaic

    PS: I don't know who is the oldest professional dancer, but There are a few around that would be in their 60s, possibly even early 70s. But most would now be passing on their skills and knowledge to younger dancers.
    Last edited by Mosaic; 11-12-2011 at 10:14 PM.
    Dance is like glitter, it not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle, you find it everywhere and in everything and it's near impossible to get rid of. (unknown)


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    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    You would not be anywhere near the oldest person to begin belly dance in one of my classes. You also wouldn't be as old as the teacher.

    Welcome to the forum.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

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    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    Hi, donna marie, what a pretty name. We're glad to have you join the forum, and glad to see a new budding "chickadee" (a term of endearment used by Zorba)! Erik is absolutely right---bellydance isn't about age or how you look, it's expressing what's in your heart through the music and the dance. There are a lot of mature people on this forum, including myself. I started taking classes when I was 46; I am now 50, and having the time of my life!

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    V.I.P. Lydia's Avatar
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    Hi there.....to old ?????? must be kidding!! no way .....please please never think that,i have crowfeet big ones ! nobody ever told excuse me you have crowfeet ...we are blessed dear ...this passion if it hits you its something you will never leave untill your teeth fall out and hair is gray,your bones ache ....you will still go and make the best of it...oriental dancing is for everybody its good for you makes you happy ,i have a student is class from 67 she is dancing between all the teenagers everybody likes her because she is trying realy hard ...so you see ,you are just a ,,baby,,if you are 80 perhaps you can think am a getting to old for this art....so dear welcome to the forum have a great time and welcome to the addiction called,,bellydancing,,

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    Welcome!
    This is honestly one of my "issues" with public perception of this dance. It is not a young women's dance, or even a womens dance- it is a folk dance in the sense that real folk do it. Kids, young adults, midlifers, mature men & women- it is an expressive art & you're not done 'till you don't have anything left to express, IMO.

    On the other hand, it is good to have realistic expectations as well. Depending on the opportunities in your region, it may be unrealistic to dance *professionally* (or not, depends on your region & your ability!) but that does NOT mean you are too old to dance! You don't ever need to perform to find joy in this dance, and there are opportunities to dance publicly (or semi-publicly in the dance community) without worrying about the professional dance sphere, if that's what you choose to do.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post
    to the forum. I started dancing at a couple of months before my 54th birthday, I am now 63. I started mainly for a fun activity and to meet people, because I had been living overseas for many years & felt I needed to get out & about. Gyms never interested me "senior citizens" activities certainly didn't interest me & I saw an ad for BD classes, decided that it would be fun, took 2 private lessons to see if I would like it, fell head over heels in love with the dance at lesson 1 and have not stopped since. I will never be a restaurant or similar venue dancer (this is where I wish I had started 20-30 years earlier), but I dance with a troupe at local venues, nursing homes & I now teach. I know a number of dancers in their 50s ( 2 are in the troupe I dance with along with a 27, 35, 42, 43 yr olds - I am the oldie), 2 ladies in their 70s began a beginners class last year & love it but have no intention of becoming professional or semi professional, they just want to dance So to answer your question - are you too old, absolutely not! get out there and learn, have fun, enjoy. You don't need to be professional to dance, but after a few years you may feel you would like to share your dancing with others and could dance at student haflas, or senior citizen venues eventually teach, so there are opportunities, or you may just wish to just dance for the love of it. I have 2 teachers, one turns 50 in 2 weeks the other is 37, so you can see all ages are involved in bellydance. It's fun & addictive, you make new friends and you get to dress up in sparklies, what more could a girl ask for Just be prepared for the addictive qualities of the dance, once hooked there is no escape, your heart, your home will become inundated with all things bellydance & Middle Eastern & even your car (my car sports number plates in bright pink with a registration of RAQS & the only music in the car are Middle Eastern/Bellydance music CDs & you are bound to find a hipscarf or 2 on the back seat as well)

    So forget age, just go and follow your dream
    ~Mosaic

    PS: I don't know who is the oldest professional dancer, but There are a few around that would be in their 60s, possibly even early 70s. But most would now be passing on their skills and knowledge to younger dancers.
    Hi, thank you for the encouragement, that is aweful sweet of you. I have always loved dancing, I used to go to clubs but now I don't drink and don't want anything to do with nightclubs so I quit dancing. But I am going to find a good dance class, I think it would be so much fun. As for the age thing, this world is madly in love with "youth" and it just so hurtful to those of us who are young in our minds and body, and age is just a number. I know some 30 year olds who are truly "old", they have no drive for life, no ambition, they just nothing in common with older people who are older in number but truly young in spirit and mind. Thank you very much, I will share my experience when and if I can find a good teacher. What makes a good teacher? donna

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
    Just a humble fan POV here, but as the dancers see your post and reply to it, I believe you'll find that it isn't so much about age and how old you look.



    Helena Vlahos may not be the oldest but she is ten years older than you and I think she may still perform professionally. She is American Cabaret Style, which some consider true bellydance and others do not, but that's another story.
    Hi Erik, thank you for the encouragement. Like I was saying to another person who wrote me, I am amazed at the older people I know who are truly young in mind, body and spirit who seem to be younger than some I know who are in their 30's. This culture of youth has done much to damage the self esteem of those of us who are older, mature in our thoughts and experienced in work related occupations. Where I live a 30 year old with no experience applying for a job where a 50 year old has applied before will get the job because of their 20 year age difference. It is just disgusting that an employer would rather hire a 30 something with no experience with life than a 50 year old with more to offer. Europe is not like this I hear, this is more a hollywood phenomenon is the "in" thing in North America. In Europe older women are esteemed as being more desirable than a 20 year old girl. And yes a 20 year is still in many ways a girl and not a woman when it comes to mental maturity and life experience, but this is not to insult the beauty of youth, I think the young should enjoy their youth, because one day they will be our age and some will understand the hurt they inflicted on older women because of their attitudes and discrimination of ageism. donna

  10. #10
    Member Indigo Shimmer's Avatar
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    I was talking to my mother ( in her 80's ) the other day and she said that as women mature, they get more adventurous while in contrast, when men mature, they get more cautious of trying new things. ( Apparently, my father has reached this stage! ) Women are like, "Shoot! I've made it to this point. What have I got to be afraid of? Who cares who's watching and what they think? Sure, I'll try that!" Maybe this is why older women are more desired in other countries?? ( One American's perspective here. I'm not speaking for everyone. )

    All I know is that as I've matured, I've observed patterns in the way things happen around me. I was searching for a way to get healthier, keep active and stay flexible. I know that normal things, like going to the gym or joining a group diet plan, would just not work for me because it was too "normal' and not "unique" enough. Unusual things work for me. They always have. And maybe I've had my fill of being a tomboy and now that I'm getting older, I want something to make me feel pretty and feminine again. I think any woman, at any age is entitled to that.

    Now 45 is not old! But its too YOUNG to be feeling as old as I was feeling. Yeah, I'm still a beginner. Who cares?! I like the way BD makes me feel and I REALLY like the side effects! I walk with my chin held a little higher and people notice that.

    Who cares about your age? Go for it and don't forget to have fun!

    Indigo S.

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