Not the right silhouette, flexibility, coordination, age … not true!
Perceptions are just that, they are not the reality. Beginning classical dance at an adult age is possible!
At Merlet, with passion and tenacity, everything is possible.
Dance is a passion but also a rigorous discipline. You have to work and shape your body, whatever your age. When you love you don’t count as we say …
Technique improves with each lesson until the pleasure emerges. Each step brings new sensations and new possibilities for the mind and body.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing Samantha, a customer of a Merlet retailer partner.
Samantha began classical dance at the age of 25. We thank her for taking the time to share her experience …
Samantha has felt passionate about dance since she can remember. There were no dance schools or studios near her home when she was a child so she had to wait until she started her adult life before she could find her first dance studio.
Still today there are geographical areas where there are no dance studios or certified teachers to give lessons to aspiring dancers.
It is important here for us to take a pause to thank the wide community of teachers, dance schools & studios that work tirelessly to continue to share their skills, their passion, to thousands of dancers of all ages across the globe.
At the beginning, Samantha had difficulties finding lessons adapted to her age group. 20 years on, Samantha still struggles to find lessons adapted to her level.
Lessons for adult beginners are more popular and accessible now which is great news for us all. Lessons for advanced adult dancers remain rare.
When you are young generally your parents make your choices for you. How does an adult choose their school, their teacher? What criteria are important?
For Samantha, it’s « the quality of the flooring, the atmosphere in the studio and the environment surrounding » that create the first connection as well as the « quality of the teaching methods, the values and care and attention to a dancer’s well-being ». Samantha admits that starting to dance later in life means you need to « pay attention to positions and body symmetry » to « preserve oneself to continue to dance for as many years as possible »
The time comes when a dancer has the irresistible desire to dance on pointe.
At what age is it appropriate to start dancing on pointe shoes? 10 years? 12? It’s a question that we are often asked. The answer is that there is no given age.
Your dance teacher will tell you when you are ready to dance on pointe. Motivation, endurance and hard work are all key. It is important to have learned the bases and worked on your technique to have the adaptability to go on pointe. Whatever the age you go on pointe, the same base work is required.
Adult and children’s feet are quite different however which makes the type of support required different.
Children’s feet are still growing and changing. It is important that a child wears pointe shoes that are adapted to their still fragile feet. The wrong pointe shoe can even cause unrepairable damage.
At Merlet, we put protection first and have pointe shoes specially made for children to protect their joints, their physical health and development.
Adult feet also evolve but more in shape and strength which means that the support required can evolve.
For your first pointe shoes, whatever your age, we advise you to get fitted by a professional in a dance shop. Your comfort and the protection of your feet are important factors to consider when fitting pointe shoes and whatever your level, age or the number of times you dance a week, only a professional can fit you in the right shoe for your foot.
Samantha went on pointe in her Merlet Prélude pointe shoes for the first time when she was 31. Advised by a specialised boutique in Bordeaux, La Danse, Samantha now wears the DIVA pointe shoe. She even added that she « has more foot ache with street shoes than pointe shoes »!
Her first experience on pointe didn’t seem any different to the children in her class. Samantha takes 2 lessons a week and has for the last 20 years. She also goes to summer festivals, dance events, and performs in shows with dancers of all ages… She remembers a time when there weren’t even any adult dance costumes for shows because adults didn’t dance. Thankfully that has changed ! Samantha shares that « putting on your dance costume puts you in character and getting up on stage and having the pleasure of dancing almost makes you forget the stage fright » For Samantha, « classical dance is grace, effort, elevation, pleasure».
Taking time for yourself to do something you are passionate about nowadays is not always easy, but it is necessary to keep a healthy balance in life.
More than an activity, an art, a passion, dance gives us a feeling of well-being and self-confidence.
« I learned how to feel confident, feet firmly on the ground, shoulders down, head high » Samantha tells us.
- Samantha’s advice: feeling passionate about dance and dancing is possible whatever your age.
Whatever your age, your silhouette or your experience, it is never too late to start or continue to dance.
- Our advice: There is no age to put a pair of ballet shoes on and start dancing! Your feet are essential to dance, take care of them! Always wear dance shoes adapted to your feet. Ask your teacher for advice and choose a specialised dance shop. They will help you find the right shoes for your foot shape that protect you and provide you with the comfort you need so that you can turn your attention to your passion – dancing!
At Merlet, my dance…. only my dance… is exactly that … the essential.