Have I missed my chance to dance?

Photos from Royal Academy of Dance

Photos from Royal Academy of Dance

It’s the first month of the year. The month we decide to be better versions of ourselves, right? Getting up at 6am for that morning yoga, resisting those leftover Christmas treats and diving yourself headfirst into some brand new hobbies!!                                                         

For many of us, dance is one of those hobbies we’ve wanted to take up but never quite got round to do so. Convincing yourself year after year that you just don’t have the time. Before you know it, you’re married with five kids, everything’s a little less flexible.  I’m here to tell you, THIS IS YOUR YEAR! Whether you are brand new to dancing or have taken classes in the past, this article is going to lay out five simple points of exactly why it is NEVER too late to put on those dancing shoes!!

1. Do More Of What Makes You Happy

This new year brings new positive vibes. Instead of shying away from the idea of starting something new because you’re “too old”, stop for a second and ask yourself why you feel this way. Because society says so? Because you’re scared you won’t be able keep up? I say who cares. Everyone struggles to begin with. Even professionals. Everything worthwhile takes time and effort so if dancing is something you love to do, weather it’s on the kitchen tiles or at ballet barre, then do it. Lots of it. Live our lives in accordance to how society believes we should? Huh where’s the fun in that? Whether it’s for the fitness, the fashion or just to enjoy the music, do it for you!!

2. BeneFITs For You!

When it comes to dancing, regardless of your age, the health benefits can be bountiful. While you’ve got more physical improvements such as muscle tone, flexibility and better posture, it’s important to shed light on the cognitive benefits also. According to a recent study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience ‘dancing and the added mental challenge of remembering dance steps and sensorimotor demands, may be a better form of exercise than traditional fitness training when it comes to slowing the signs of aging.’

From a social side of things, nowadays it can be slightly harder to create friendships and particularly friendships that last. However, dance class is one of those rare times, where you can interact with people who share the same passion as you, build confidence together and work as a team to get past the first count of 8.

3. Be Inspired

In the dance world, it just so happens that the latecomers are some of most successful names in the industry. The list is vast, however to name just a couple; Misty Copeland, one of the world’s leading ballet soloists, did not start dancing until she was 14 years old, abolishing these conventional ideas that training must be started from early years. Of course, early practice is going to be beneficial in the conditioning sense, but inevitably, Misty and many others have proven it not to be imperative.

Another inspiring individual who didn’t start dancing until University age was artistic director of Grand Rapid Ballet, Gordon Pierce Schmidt. He claimed “‘You have one life to lead; if you feel that strongly about something you should pursue it.” Agreed?

4. Inspire Others

As we are inspired, so too can we inspire. By simply giving this ‘dance thing’ a go and having the audacity to challenge yourself, you are likely to be encouraging those around you. Sometimes without even realising, we’ve told a room full of people “if I can do it, you can do it”, just by showing up to the class. If you are one of those people who finds reward in giving to others, think how many people you could inspire to take up their OWN new hobbies and to break the status quos.

Additionally, who's to say it must be a revolution of people? May it merely be your neighbour, your sister or your child. By pursuing your passion, regardless of your age, your reminding them that everyone lives their lives at different paces and it’s ok if you’re living yours a little later than the rest. Be your own pacemaker (pun intended).

5. AbunDANCE of programs

In this day and age (especially in Hong Kong) dance classes come in numerous variations, that it’s almost impossible to NOT find a dance class suited to you. Whether its a specific level, a certain genre or just something that fits your schedule, there are many opportunities throughout Hong Kong that cater to the needs of newcomers and adult beginners.

TIP: Find one that suits you and don’t be a afraid to speak with the instructors. When students lay out the expectations of what they want to achieve in class, it gives the teacher a better understanding of how to run and adapt the class.

Check out RAD’s new ‘Silver Swan’ classes. Launched in 2017, the program offers ballet classes specifically for over 55 years+ and is designed to improve mobility, coordination and energy levels.

Still feeling unsure about taking the plunge? You’ll never know until you try!!