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Thread: Am I too old?

  1. #11
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    I knew one gal who celebrated her 88th birthday by performing her first solo. It was friggin' AWESOME!

  2. #12
    Senior Member walladah's Avatar
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    Default I think i have written this again, but as far as i know...

    Arab people say that "no (belly)dancer is really good before her age of 40", because before that age she does not really have life experience to dance with.

    So, yes, you are too old not to bellydance anymore! You have no justification now, not to be a bellydancer!
    welcome to the bellydance universe, welcome to the forum!
    By the way: as it has already being written, oriental dance is addictive, and makes you and everything around you sparkle (metaphorically and literally)!!!

  3. #13
    Senior Member Erik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donna marie View Post
    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
    I couldn't agree with you more. Our culture has been youth-obsessed for many decades now. I got into a discussion about this on a different web site a year or two ago. If I remember correctly, the clubs and restaurants which employ belly dancers will keep them below a certain age, not necessarily because they want to, but because they feel they have to. It's business and there is money on the line. The positive aspect is that it gives younger dancers a chance to perform and establish themselves, but someday those dancers are going to age and be replaced too. It is sad.

    I read your post on the other thread. You might want to consider becoming semi-professional. It would be more fun (and less like a job) than if dancing were your only source of income, and you would be more free to turn down the gigs that you didn't want to take. I'm a professional machine operator, and I enjoy it, but I would enjoy it a lot more if not for the knowledge that my survival depends on it. On the side I harvest pecans and recycle aluminum and copper. These don't pay nearly enough to live on, but I really enjoy doing them. No schedule. No time clock. No boss.

    As the others have said, the main thing is that you enjoy what you are doing.

  4. #14
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Never too old to learn! I have students in their 70s - one with a double hip replacement. What can limit you is any serious injuries, arthritis or problems understanding what your body is doing. Even then some people can work around these.

    But if you want to go professional there are some issues you need to consider. Looks is one - but it sounds like that is not a problem for you. But more of an issue is the time it really takes to become good enough to go pro. Personally, I'd say someone who makes it after only 5 years would have to be talented, dedicated and have good teachers (and the older we are the slower we learn). The other issue is resources - ie time and money to get the basics and then go beyond doing isolation drills. Pro costumes are not cheap either.

    So welcome! But realistically, this isn't a way to make money after your retirement!

  5. #15
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    The oldest professional dancers I can think of are Morocco (must be now in her 70's?) and the mother of Suhaila Salimpour (don't know her age), but does she still dance?

    I have often found that the statement of "no (belly)dancer is really good before the age of 40" (I have heard the version of 35 more often) is rather insulting for people who had a lot of life experience before that age (everybody has/had different lives). The same as I find it insulting that western culture is is youth-obsessed now. Age shouldn't matter

  6. #16
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    No reason to be insulted, Amulya dear. It's just one point of view. Frankly, I think the age in question should be raised to sixty.

    I'm making money as a teacher during my retirement but that's because I have a few decades of experience and the good fortune to live in a place where the competition for teaching jobs is not too stiff.

    Dance for the joy of it or don't dance at all. If one aims at belly dance as a career and nothing else will do, disappointment is likely to ensue because there is one hell of a lot of excellent competition out there. Even if one is able to make a living or partial living from dance, it eventually becomes just like any other job. You have to get up, suit up, and go oonstage with a smile on your face even when your back hurts, it's snowing outside, and you'd really rather stay home with the cat.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  7. #17
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    The short answer is no. The long answer is HELL NO!

    Did you know that there is a saying in bellydance that you can't truly dance until you are 40 because until then you haven't lived enough?!

    I think that saying answers any questions about age just nicely.
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
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    Email kyabrambellydance@gmail.com for more information.

  8. #18
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    Shanazel is right: it just becomes another job with the good and the bad. Often people think it's all glamorous, it is NOT! Yes the costumes are, but that's about it :P

  9. #19
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    you are not too old to start at all. I think I was 44 when I started and I'm 55 right now and still love it. I actually perform at workshop shows one to two times a year and enjoy it. Go for it and enjoy and and ignore anyone who says you are too old to do it. The only thing that can restrict you, is you. Have fun and enjoy it.

  10. #20
    Senior Member walladah's Avatar
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    Default Shanazel, I think that we should march for raising the good age...

    of bellydance over 60!!!

    By the occasion, Amulya, you are right that life experience cannot be counted by the age - we can see this in all bellydancers' dance. On the other hand, i love this "statement", not only because it is fair to all women telling them that turning 40 is not a disaster (quite opposite to the western culture's youth-happy-go-lucky-obsession), but also because, as i am less than that age, i keep my "brains into my head" and i know that i am not good enough, still!!! good case for practicing more, "to cover up for lack of life experience"...

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