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Dancers: When is it too late to start?   You are logged in as Guest
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nickelscence

 

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan. 10 2021
 

Dancers: When is it too late to start? 

Hi all! I am 32 and two years ago I fell in love with flamenco. So far I have only been going to lots of concerts and taking classes once a week, which is not enough to notice that you advance. I may take a career break and dedicate myself to flamenco studies for a few months. But what do I want to get out of it? For a professional path I guess I am way too old to start now. Moreover, making a living out of it is difficult, even for the best of the best (I live in Spain, and the industry is very heavily hit by COVID). And just learning flamenco for the sake of it is not very justified either as it is not a dance you dance in a club with your friends like salsa - you wither perform on a stage or you are a spectator. If anyone here started late, please share your path and experience for some inspiration!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 10 2021 19:59:50
 
Piwin

Posts: 2976
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Dancers: When is it too late to ... (in reply to nickelscence

Welcome to the foro!

I don't have much to share that would be all that relevant to your questions (sorry!). I'd just say that there are foreign bailaores who have managed to do OK for themselves, some in Spain and others back in their home country. I mention foreign bailaores for the simple reason that they all, pretty much by definition for the most part, "started late", i.e. they didn't grow up in flamenco families or anything like that. So I wouldn't think it's impossible. Granted though, right now is not a good time for anyone in the performing arts really, but some day at least the pandemic should end (fingers crossed...).

The other thing is that I don't think it's necessarily as binary as you said ("either perform on a stage or your are a spectator"). If you get involved with a flamenco community, there should be plenty of opportunities to make friends, go to juergas, etc. where you can dance in a more communal setting. So it's not like you would get nothing at all out of it.

That said, tbh personally I'm doing it just because I like it and I've never really bothered wondering whether the time I spend on it is justified or not. Maybe at some point I really should start asking myself those questions coz I'm clearly not going to become Paco de Lucia
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 10 2021 23:57:50
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3218
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: UK

RE: Dancers: When is it too late to ... (in reply to nickelscence

Hi, Also with regard to the binary issue of performer/spectator when we talk about "playing for baile" there is playing for performance and playing for dance classes and they are not necessarily the same. Just sitting in a dance class playing compas can be an enjoyable and learning experience without necessarily being at the level to accompany the dance teacher (and singer) in performance. EDIT: just realised the question was about actually dancing, not accompanying dance - doh!

A 70 year old wanted to start learning the cello. Her friend said, "but it takes years to learn the cello" The lady replied, "well, I have the whole of the rest of my life"

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2021 9:37:45
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3066
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Dancers: When is it too late to ... (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

A 70 year old wanted to start learning the cello. Her friend said, "but it takes years to learn the cello" The lady replied, "well, I have the whole of the rest of my life"


That's the correct attitude. Age should never be an impediment to learning something new: a musical instrument, a foreign language, or anything else. The idea is not to necessarily become highly proficient; the idea should be to enjoy it as one's proficiency increases.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2021 13:41:37
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12345
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Dancers: When is it too late to ... (in reply to nickelscence

quote:

And just learning flamenco for the sake of it is not very justified either as it is not a dance you dance in a club with your friends like salsa - you wither perform on a stage or you are a spectator. If anyone here started late, please share your path and experience for some inspiration!


To be clear you are talking about DANCING, not guitar playing for dance. My close friend is in his 70’s. He is way into all kinds of ball room dance stuff which he does at medium level, including tango. He is single and loves to take advantage of the opportunity to dance with women when it arises. As far as flamenco, he loves it and has been doing Sevillanas, which is actually a partner dance opportunity and even though many will argue about how it is not flamenco proper, it certainly has flamenco elements involved. Probably for a lot of students it is a gateway to the flamenco world, as you need to learn how compas, zapateado, arms, turns, etc works with the music.

Anyway for years he has been doing the sevillanas very half assed for lack of a better word. The last time we had a flamenco festival he was upset that several ladies that danced sevillanas well declined to dance with him. He took it quite personally but I explained to him the importance of precise compas with the steps and that if he put in the time to learn it exactly right, the women would jump at the opportunity to dance with him. He was not very happy at this news at first....but after couple weeks of stewing it over, he asked me for help. Now he new the steps but as a musician I had to teach him how they fit. After a few months this old man was like a new guy...we went to spain last year and he was dancing it up with strangers down in Andalucia and did a great job socializing on his own. He got bold enough to take an actual flamenco class and was a little apprehensive because now he knows what is involved to get the compas correct. So, my main point is it is absolutely doable but it takes some dedication and time.

Ricardo

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2021 14:36:38
 
rombsix

Posts: 7369
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Dancers: When is it too late to ... (in reply to Ricardo

Maestro Marlow, you fixed the old geezer!

PM me who this is by chance because I may know him from the Argentine tango world in the USA

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Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2021 16:18:46
 
Brendan

Posts: 216
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Dancers: When is it too late to ... (in reply to nickelscence

If it feels good, do it!

What are you doing between classes to speed your progress? I have a list of things that might help, but you may be doing it all already.

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https://sites.google.com/site/obscureflamencology/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 12 2021 14:54:56
 
ric

 

Posts: 61
Joined: Dec. 27 2010
 

RE: Dancers: When is it too late to ... (in reply to nickelscence

I don't know, I have been taking classes for years and still know very little, which is ok, as I don't aspire to be a performer, and guitar has taken center stage.
For most people, flamenco either gets in your blood, or it doesn't, which means you do it because you really enjoy doing it. To have a goal of becoming a professional perhaps misses the point. Do it because you love doing it. If something happens and you get gigs and perform, great, but someone here giving inspiration is not the way to do it. Just do it! And over time you will know.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2021 14:59:31
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12345
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Dancers: When is it too late to ... (in reply to Brendan

Here is the proof he got it together. People at this party know him for years and were in shock watching him dance with Sara. It was pretty triumphant!



quote:

Maestro Marlow, you fixed the old geezer!


_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2021 16:32:47
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