“It’s never too late to pursue your dreams!”, says Lacey Flowers, one of our instructors at BCH. Lacey didn’t begin formal dance training until the age of 21. Many “would be” dancers are discouraged from starting ballet at older ages thinking that if they didn’t begin at age three or five they’ve missed the boat on their dance opportunity. This simply isn’t so. Lacey, after having a very late start, has been able to incorporate ballet in both performance and teaching into a successful career. We are privileged to have her on staff to pass on her knowledge, skill, and love of dance to our students.
Misty Copeland, a female soloist at American Ballet Theatre in New York, who has been in the media recently with her new Under Armour commercial, had her first dance class at age 13.
Closer to home, consider former student Meredith Neel who came to BCH at age 15 with no prior training. She quickly showed her potential and was dancing difficult solo variations by the time of her graduation 3 years later. She was accepted into Houston Ballet Academy’s year round training program which is an outstanding achievement.
For many dancers, it is not about dancing professionally later in life – although many young dancers start out with that dream – but it’s about the overall development of character and personal skills that will be the remaining legacy of ballet training started at any age. Meredith states, “I am no longer dancing, which was a very difficult decision for me to make. Even though I had only done it for a short time compared to most dancers, it had become an extremely important part of my life. Currently, I work for an international freight forwarding company, and am preparing to graduate with my bachelors in business administration at the end of August. I think anyone who has been classically trained would agree that ballet equips you with tools to succeed in many aspects of life. I have no doubt that my classical training has been an advantage to me in both my educational and professional pursuits.”
At Ballet Center of Houston, we have classes designed especially for older beginners. In Level 1C, students ages 9 and up with little or no prior ballet experience, can advance more rapidly and eventually catch up to their same age counterparts in other classes. We welcome dancers of all ages, skill levels, and abilities to join us for classes to learn discipline, teamwork, and ballet skills; gain grace, strength, and flexibility; and enjoy beautiful music, movement, and artistry.
See the link below for more examples of professional ballet dancers who began their training at older ages.