Forum: Highland / Highland - Adult Dancers

Starting as an adult
By fruitsalad
On Mon Jul 02, 2012 08:55 PM

Hi my first post on Dance.net. Having not had the chance to learn Highland dancing as a kid and fast approaching 30 I have begun looking for classes that will take adults. Sadly the response every time is the classes are for schoolchildren (hundreds of them at that) not adults, so I wonder if I am naive thinking I can start now. Has anyone had so much trouble starting later in life?

I live outside Glasgow in rainy Scotland but could go to Renfrewshire, Dunbartonshire or Inverclyde.

21 Replies to Starting as an adult

re: Starting as an adult
By GaelicWannabe
On Mon Jul 02, 2012 09:00 PM
I'm sorry to hear you are having trouble finding a teacher. I didn't start highland until I was 30, it's definitely not too late. Check out the sticky about "am I too old" under the highland-adult dancers tab. lots of good advice there. Good luck finding a teacher.
re: Starting as an adult
By LoriCook
On Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:36 AM
Dance classes should be for any age above 4 in my opinion. I was looking for competitions in Scotland for me (age 42) to compete in and the ones I wanted had age limits of under 16. Booooooo! Haven't found any restrictions for competitions here. I am an anomaly but got a lot of praise the last competition from adults who wished they were dancing. Ask the dance instructor where you should go to learn.
re: Starting as an adult
By LingScot
On Tue Jul 03, 2012 01:05 AM
You might check the university. I know Edinburgh University has a dance group that does both country dancing and highland, and my guess is that they would be happy to have an outsider or two, so Glasgow might have a similar situation. (Or, if there's an instructor for a university group, he/she might be more willing to take you on than someone who mostly teaches children.)
re: Starting as an adult
By kinsidhe
On Tue Jul 03, 2012 01:43 PM
Hi,

I'm sorry you are having a difficult time finding classes for yourself. I know how that is. I never had the chance as a child either and had always wanted to learn. I went through a period of time where I was unable to find someone willing to teach an adult beginner. Even gave up looking for a bit. Then years later finally found a place. I've been dancing for two years now and loving it. I get the sense that adult beginners have a more difficult time finding a place in Scotland-the paradigm has become so ingrained "highland dance is for children". I would love to see this shift back to "highland dance is for anyone who wants to give it a go!" We are out here and our numbers a growing!

Anyway I did a quick search for you: Have you tried either of these places?

I found this ad listed on this site: www.glasgowwestend.co.uk . . .

Highland Dance Classes

Kelvinside Hillhead Parish Church
Thursdays between 7.30-9.30pm
All ages and All levels
more info contact Merody Campbell on
merodyjcampbell@yahoo.co.uk

And found this site for a school in West Dunbartonshire. Might be a bit of a hike but maybe they can help.

www.leeshighlanddancing.co.uk . . .

I wish you the best of luck: Don't give up looking!
re: Starting as an adult
By jiggy_jen
On Tue Jul 03, 2012 01:50 PM
Hi,

I have sent you a wee PM, good luck in your search and please let us know how you get on

Jen
re: Starting as an adult
By Highland71
On Tue Jul 03, 2012 02:17 PM
In Scotland, look for any competitions run by Anna Bain. I have adult pre-premier dancers, and she said that she opens her comps to all ages- and since she runs 30+ competitions a year, that will give adult pre-premiers who want to compete in Scotland some options! Her school website has links to all of the comps that she runs: www.mckayschool.co.uk . . .
re: Starting as an adult
By fruitsalad
On Tue Jul 03, 2012 06:29 PM
You are wonderful! You wouldn't believe how hard it is searching for dance classes when you don't know where to look.

kinsidhe, from what I can see it is very much for little girls, never boys or adults.
re: Starting as an adult
By CantStandStillPremium member
On Mon Jul 09, 2012 04:55 AM
I take private lessons online via Skype ... if you have not yet had success trying to find live classes, I would recommend looking into that. The cost is actually very reasonable. I get one lesson a week, but you could negotiate with your teacher for a frequency and duration that suits your schedule and price range. Cheers!
re: Starting as an adult
By CantStandStillPremium member
On Mon Jul 09, 2012 04:56 AM
I take private lessons online via Skype ... if you have not yet had success trying to find live classes, I would recommend looking into that. The cost is actually very reasonable. I get one lesson a week, but you could negotiate with your teacher for a frequency and duration that suits your schedule and price range. Cheers!
re: Starting as an adult
By KirstenLeeSmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 26, 2012 05:06 AM
Hi Lori,

Do you mean age limits as in you couldn't compete, or the category was 16+?

I'm only asking because I didn't know they could restrict it so you just couldn't participate due to age- I'm an older competitive dancer and where I'm from I've never heard of having no category and being denied a group in which to compete!

If this is a possibility I'm shocked!
re: Starting as an adult
By LoriCook
On Thu Jul 26, 2012 05:55 AM
The ones I was looking at were smaller comps in Scotland and it said specifically "under 16 only". I would love to compete in my husband's hometown of Ardrossan but the way I read it I am WAAAAAYYYYY too old!
re: Starting as an adult
By LoriCook
On Thu Jul 26, 2012 06:44 AM
Just spent some time looking at various Scottish highland games and very few, even the larger ones, will let anyone over 16 compete unless they are premier. As a Novice, there are only a few I could compete in. Some games only allow Premier dancers. I feel bad for the adults in Scotland who would like to compete. Surely there are some?
re: Starting as an adult
By kinsidhe
On Thu Jul 26, 2012 01:19 PM
I had trouble finding one to compete in in Scotland whilst I was over there but was able to compete last year as a Novice at the Inverkeithing games. Had a wonderful time. There are some out there but it takes some looking.
re: Starting as an adult
By Dormouse
On Thu Jul 26, 2012 08:14 PM
I teach in Scotland and have two adult beginners, possibly three by next summer - would anyone like to pm me with the dates they are thinking of coming over and see if we can get a section set up? x

PS - Fruit Salad, is your name K*m?
re: Starting as an adult
By fruitsalad
On Sun Jul 29, 2012 04:01 PM
Dormouse where do you teach? Oh and I am not K*m, whatever that means.

So competitions are also stacked against adults? Just when I may have found classes in my area.
re: Starting as an adult (karma: 1)
By Highland71
On Mon Jul 30, 2012 07:21 PM
Hi Fruitsalad,
Competitions are not 'stacked' against adult pre-premier dancers. There are many opportunities for pre-premier adults to compete in the UK, that said, some areas can be bit more conservative than others in terms of their age groups (I mainly notice this in England, though). There are many comps in Scotland that will have 'and over age groups' and like I said in an earlier post, Anna Bain's competitions all allow dancers of any age to compete- I know this because I asked her about my 50 year and 59 year old beginner dancers! If ever in doubt, contact the organizer. It may not have occurred to them that an adult wanted to compete in a pre-premier section. Don't give up hope of competiting- there are loads of opportunities!
Good luck!
re: Starting as an adult
By fruitsalad
On Wed Aug 01, 2012 06:36 PM
Apparently you can't pm until you have made 20 posts or something. Hope you see that Dormouse.
re: Starting as an adult
By thereelthing3
On Wed Aug 01, 2012 08:46 PM
Hi fruit salad, I also sent you a PM! My daughter goes to a class in Kilmarnock and you might be able to get there. We used to go to Glasgow for class. There are 4 adults in the class of varying abilities, although they are not competing. Get back to me if you would like details.
Regarding competitions Brodick highland games,Arran Sat 4 th August, Kilmarnock comp, Sun12th Aug, and Cumnock highland games Sunday 19th August accept any age of dancer.
When I was new I went on one night and posted a whole load of replies, so I could PM!
re: Starting as an adult
By wilter
On Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:47 PM
It shouldn't matter what age you are for dancing! I was in a dance group in my 30s, and we did a couple competitions every year and had a blast!! Good luck to you!
re: Starting as an adult
By fruitsalad
On Sat Aug 04, 2012 06:47 PM
No it 'shouldn't' but sadly it does to some people. And its not unique to dancing - many piano teachers would rather take children than committed adults.

I did get your PM thereelthing3 as I can receive them but not send.
re: Starting as an adult
By GhillieMcInnes
On Mon Sep 03, 2012 01:59 AM
That's so great that you're starting! I started in my forties. The first teacher I approached would not take adults, but the second did, and she now has six adult students, three of which are now premier!

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