Swing Discussion Boards > Am I a fool to begin rock n roll dance lessons at age 55?

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Mikefbolen, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. Mikefbolen

    Mikefbolen New Member

    I am a male turning 55 years old in a few months. Other than
    some free style bar dancing I never learned to dance. I took
    an adult school four week intro dance class, I hated the class
    but stuck with it since I had a desire to learn. I would like to
    take further lessons, I was thinking maybe I am to old and should
    just forget about it.

    What is strange I always loved music by Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis
    Chuck Berry, Bill Haley and other rockabilly music. I want to learn
    to dance to this type of music and learn one slow dance.

    Recently I went to a high school fund raising dinner and dance,
    a few couples much younger than I were dancing a swing
    dance. It really look like fun and they look very impressive.

    Should I take some lessons or just forget about it. Maybe Iam
    to old to learn or is rock n roll dancing at 55 just ridiculous?

    What do you think?

  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Go for it, Mike! 8) :D You can do it.

    Welcome to the forums.
  3. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member


    As long as you are in good physical condition there's no reason for not doing so. :D 8)
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    And, chances are, you'll end up in better physical condition if yuo do so. The benefits of dancing are fantastic. :D And there are a lot of them -- physical, mental, you name it.

    Hmm. That rings a bell. I think there's an older thread that pertains. Gotta find it. 8) :D
  5. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Welcome to df Mikefbolen! I hope that I don't sound too preachy, but...

    My first piece of advice is get rid of the word "fool". Fools are those who don't try and work at getting what they want.

    Age should not matter. Perhaps it will take you a little longer then others who are younger, perhaps you may have to start with songs of slower tempo, or take more breaks then a younger person, but if you want to learn go for it.

    As for hating the dance class I don't like all the classes that I take. Some instructors just don't teach in a way that I can learn really well. Perhaps you can try a different instructor?

    There are people of all ages in df who have started dancing, from the very young to the very old. I personally have helped out people of around your age who have come to swing and other dances not knowing how to dance at all, so you are not alone. They take the survival lesson at the beginning and then that's it. A one hour lesson!! It is a little more difficult as a leader, but still it can be done. Even if you can do just one move. We all start from somewhere...and everyone was where you were at the beginning, not knowing much.

    The most important thing that I have learnt about dancing is "attitude". I go to each class ready to make the most of it. If I don't get the moves being taught, I'll write them down so that I can practice more at home, and so I've still learnt something. Or, perhaps, it is something as small as correcting how I move my hand to execute a particular move, or frame. If I've found that I've learnt something, no matter how small it is, I'm happier person for it.
  6. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Go for it, Mike. I'm 52 and had never started to learn any kind of dancing until I was 48. There are several in my Lindy classes and West Coast classes who range in age from late 40's to early 60's and older. We have one guy who's at least 82. You're never too old to start learning to to dance, but why wait any longer?

    Of course, you do need to know your body's limits and don't ignore what you need to do to warm up. We have a swing camp coming up, Camp Hollywood, so I've stepped up on my work-out program in preparation.

    And if you're worried about what those young girls will think of you, don't. They're happy to have somebody to dance with. I routinely see people of all ages (well, teenagers and up) dancing with people of all ages. And often, it's the young girls who ask me to dance.
  7. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    I'm not sure about her date of birth, but I think Marilou Henner is only 3 years younger than you. Have you seen her lately? She looks awesome. I read her book on health, and it matches up with Gary Null's books on perfect health. Actually, her book surpasses Null's book. Both of their books match the book of Dr. Day.

    I hope you get some classes that you like this time around. I wonder what made the classes you had in the past so miserable.

    Yeah get started on the dance style(s) that you want to do! Just think about how if you were already doing it, you wouldn't quit now, would you? To not start is the same as quit because you're already into it :)
  8. learningtodancewell

    learningtodancewell New Member

    starting lessons...

    Good luck bro!

    I am about to turn 50 and started my lessons in February. It has changed my life. I LOVE it.

    As I get better the ladies like it more and more, too! It just keeps getting better and better.

    I posted here shortly after I started dancing and everyone at DF was so NICE. Just like at the studio where I take my lessons. Everyone ENJOYS this stuff and they are happy to share and be patient with the newbie.

    They are even more happy to share and be patient with someone who shows promise.

    Now the ladies grab me to dance! :D All I have to do is show up for some fun.

    Have fun!
  9. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    If your head is in the right place, the only thing ridiculous IS NOT learning to do somethaing that you want to do.

    The reason I ask about your head being in the right place is . . . "what is your bottomline reason for wanting to learn?" Once you answer this in 'your own head and heart,' then press on if that what you want to do-if you get the right answer.

    The exercise is great . . . you'll use all the muscles in your body . . . relationships with friends cannot be compared to anything that I know . . . your self-esteem should skyrocket . . . your apperance should improve (anot saying that there is anything wrong with it now - this is general for anyone) . . . your agility and flexibility should improve . . . and lastly, you'll remember how to count again! J/K . . .

    How can I qualify the information?
    I'm older than you . . . still dance eveyday . . . still compete . . . still want to learn more dancers!
  10. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    well.. let me go all the way and say that i've seen people with disabilities and on wheelchairs dance.. the happiness on their face is something i will always remember.. never saw such pure joy before.. i actually got partially jealous.. truely ..and i know i'd do the same in their position.. now what do U THINK? .. u got a body that works and more importantly the heart to work it .. what more can u possibly need? :wink:
  11. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    Dang right, Mike! Dance! 8)
  12. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Re: Am I a fool to begin rock n roll dance lessons at age 55

    Another thing you will find as you learn swing is that you will also grow to love the more "classic" swing music from the late 1930's through the 1940's.

    If you don't already have some leads on where to learn (did you ask any of the couples you saw dancing?), one of us may be able to make recommendations if we know the area you lived in.

    Also, there are different styles of swing. West Coast Swing (WCS) is more sedate and can be danced to a wider range of music. However, I believe that East Coast Swing (ECS) is more in line with what you are looking (second opinions are welcome here), besides which ECS will more naturally lead you into Jitterbug and Lindy (and the aforementioned prior two decades of music) and Charleston (Lindy style) and Balboa and Shag, etc, which are all loads of fun and can be mixed together.

    And then when you start to slow down at about 85, you can switch to WCS [grin]. But hey, like I said, we've got one guy in Lindy who was a Navy fighter pilot in WWII, which makes him at least 82 now.
  13. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Re: Am I a fool to begin rock n roll dance lessons at age 55

    Which doesn't mean you've slowed down, it simply means that WCS dancers are the only dancers still capable of being able to think on our feet! :wink:
  14. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Re: Am I a fool to begin rock n roll dance lessons at age 55

    I forget who said it here, but I still remember:
    "We dance Lindy in order to feel like kids again; we dance WCS when we're ready to be adults again."

    BTW, I meant nothing disparaging about WCS. While my passion is still for Lindy, I'm working to build up my skills in WCS as well. After all, WCS was where I had learned the basic skills (the rhythm patterns, the whip, and being able to hear and follow the music) that I carried with me into Lindy.


    15. Listen to your body, you aren't as young as you think; leave the aerials to the young and the foolhardy.
    16. Nurture skill in several dances to provide you options on contra nights at Glen Echo.
    17. Nurture skill in several dances so you can go dancing and still avoid your ex.
    Dizzy's Desiderata
  15. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Re: Am I a fool to begin rock n roll dance lessons at age 55

    That's what I keep telling myself . . . yet I keep trying to learn Lindy!!!

    I honestly knew that you meant well . . . I was just having fun too . . .

    Wish I could put my WCS knowledge to work for me in Lindy. I've worked hard at not having to count and to be very smooth . . . with Lindy, no longer can I forget about counting, but now I have to bounce. :? :? :?
  16. dr daffy

    dr daffy New Member

    welcome to the forums :)

    go for it and have a great time :D
  17. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    Ditto! 8)
  18. peachexploration

    peachexploration New Member

    Re: Am I a fool to begin rock n roll dance lessons at age 55

    Too old? Absolutely NOT! Go for it, Mike. :D My mom is 78 and you'd swear she was 28 with the way she moves. :banana:
  19. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    Someone recommend dance styles that go with the type of music he talked about.

    I know the name of one of the styles that will be mentioned. It's big and it's bad. There's so much to it that it can keep you interested in learning more chops infinitely. It's easy to find classes in it in the US. Its name is....
  20. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    I think maybe we scared Mike away with our enthusiasm.


    The scariest thing my one teacher says right after she demonstrates the tricky new move she's about to teach us:
    "It'll be fun!"

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