A Late Start

On Wednesday, I attended a photo shoot with Misty Copeland, a soloist at American Ballet Theatre.  Misty started ballet at 13, which is pretty late for a woman, but fell in love with it and made the choice to pursue it as a career.  It's a good thing she did, too, since she's an absolutely beautiful and amazingly talented dancer.


I've also got a friend who started when she was 16, and her passion and determination to succeed is a model for any professional dancer to emulate.  Rather than being put into ballet exclusively as a little girl by her mother, she chose to dedicate her life to it later on, leaving no doubt or regret about the time she's spent training.  And in dance studios everywhere, there are scores of adults who begin dancing in their 30s, 40s or even later.  I also think that starting late can sometimes have its benefits--you're more mature, more physically intelligent, more able to make the right choices for yourself.


I'm always inspired by the love late starters have for the art.  They just want to, need to dance, which is a drive that lifelong dancers sometimes have to struggle to find within themselves.  It can be hard to have fun when you're in class, since self-consciousness and frustration can take over and spoil it for you.  When that happens, it helps to look to those people who are there for no reason other than pure and simple enjoyment, and often they'll be the ones who haven't been dancing that long.  It always feels so good to remember why you dance, doesn't it?

Latest Posts

Left to right: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Daphne Lee, Amanda Smith, Lindsey Donnell and Alexandra Hutchinson in a scene from Dancing Through Harlem. Derek Brockington, Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem

Dancers Share Their Key Takeaways After a Year of Dancing on Film

Creating dances specifically for film has become one of the most effective ways that ballet companies have connected with audiences and kept dancers employed during the pandemic. Around the world, dance organizations are finding opportunities through digital seasons, whether conceiving cinematic, site-specific pieces or filming works within a traditional theater. And while there is a consistent sentiment that nothing will ever substitute the thrill of a live show, dancers are embracing this new way of performing.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Alexandra McMaster

Start Your Dance Day With This Delicious Berry Breakfast Crisp Recipe

When it comes to breakfast, I want it to be easy and convenient but still taste delicious. My Berry Breakfast Crisp is just that. You can bake the crisp on the weekend as meal prep, then enjoy it throughout the week cold or warmed in the microwave. It freezes well, too!

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Liam Scarlett with Marianela Nuñez and Ryoichi Hirano during a rehearsal of his Swan Lake at The Royal Ballet. Andrej Uspenski, Courtesy ROH

Choreographer Liam Scarlett Has Died

Over the weekend, news broke that 35-year-old choreographer Liam Scarlett, a former artist in residence at The Royal Ballet, died suddenly at his home in England. "It is with great sadness that we announce the tragic, untimely death of our beloved Liam," Scarlett's family said in a brief statement. "At this difficult time for all of our family, we would ask that you respect our privacy to enable us to grieve our loss."

The cause of death was not disclosed.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks