Contemporary dance for beginners?

by Jessica Lee
(Las Vegas)

Hello,

I am a huge fan of contemporary dance. I am 18 years old and I would love to get involved in lessons. But I have one question. For those of us whom have never taken a dance class in their lives, how would we go about beginning contemporary dance? Should we take other dance classes first? (ballet, jazz, etc.)

Thanks so much!

- Jessica

Comments for Contemporary dance for beginners?

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Feb 21, 2011
Answer from Maria
by: Maria



Hello Jessica,

Ideally, you should start with basic contemporary dance classes for beginners of your age. It is important that you ask the teacher about the level of his class, because if you start trying difficult things, without a proper and progressive learning, you might loose your enthusiasm, thinking that you are not good for it: and that is not true.

Every person can learn to dance contemporary, but a slow and adequate educational process of coordination, body and skills is necessary. Sometimes it is not easy to find the perfect class for your needs (concerning level and age). In that case, try the one that's closer to it, keeping that aspect in mind, when it comes to evaluate if you like it or not.

There's something else you might want to consider. Contemporary dance classes differ a lot from one teacher to another. This is because it is not a rigid choreographic style, but opened to many possibilities. So, if you have the option, try or go and see the class of several teachers, and then choose the one that fits your personality the best.

Taking classes about other types of dance will always help, though you must know that you'll be incorporating other ways of coordination, positions, choreographic vocabulary and even psychological attitudes by doing that. There's nothing wrong with it. It's just more knowledge and more skills. The only thing that might happen is that you get used to those ways of moving and when trying the contemporary mode, you'll have to reorganize yourself to stand correctly into it.

I strongly recommend ballet to you, but ONLY if you find a class (again) FOR YOU LEVEL of abilities and knowledge. Ballet is a powerful method to develop dancing skills, but if done improperly it is highly counterproductive.

Jazz and other types of dance can also help you a lot in your learning process, if they fit your personality.

You can also try body-mind practices like yoga or workshops like pilates. They might not be oriented so much towards scenic and dancing skills, but they are very good to prepare your body, physiologically for it.

I wish you the best for your start. And don't hesitate to ask more questions if you have them. We'll be glad to share your experience.

Welcome to the magical world of contemporary dance.

Kindly,

Maria

Aug 13, 2011
CONTEMPORARY
by: x

how old is to old to take an contemporary beginners class? im a 29 year old guy...

Aug 13, 2011
Answer 2, from Maria
by: Maria

Hi there!

You might think I'm exaggerating, but it's never too late to begin taking contemporary dance classes.

Off course, you should go gently and be careful and attentive to the response of your body. Do not try acrobatic and difficult things at first.

But believe me, no age is an obstacle to try contemporary dance, if you understand that it is an enriching experience and a learning process, more than a result.

Go for it and you'll see!

Feb 05, 2012
j
by: Anonymous

heyy .. what do i do if i know a bit of conetemporary but i am scared to sstart a new class

Feb 05, 2012
Give your new start a try... it will be more than o.k.
by: Maria

Hi there!

What are you scared of? When you are in a contemporary dance class, you are always under control of what you do, no matter what the teacher says. So, if you keep this in mind, there's no way that the exercises could hurt you.

Now, if you are shy and that is what gives you the fear, I would recommend you to try giving less importance to what others think of you or of how you dance. Focus in your dancing experience and enjoy. You will see that once you try and realize that nothing wrong happens, you will loose fear progressively.

If you are afraid for another reason, you would have to tell us what that is, so that we see how to give you a hand.

Give your new start a try... it will be more than o.k. It will be fun and exciting...

Apr 24, 2012
Contemporary dance
by: Ryan p

Hi i have got a intervew for a college dance cource on thusday and iv got to come up with a contemporary dance pece can i use modern dance with it and what is comtempory dance

Apr 28, 2012
Reply for Ryan
by: Maria

Dear Ryan,

You can find a handy definition of contemporary dance in our special page for dance terms. Just scroll down the following page till you find the word:

Dance Terms

I guess you can indeed use some modern dance vocabulary within your contemporary dance piece, but that depends on the indications that are defined by the school you're applying too. I recommend you to better ask someone at the college.

Best of lucks in your interview!

May 30, 2012
Gymnastics in Contemporary?
by: Emily

I've been taking gymnastics for a while, and I want to start contemporary dance. Would it help in dance to be able to do backhandsprings and back walkovers? Also, people in dance videos always seem to be doing stuff on a wooden floor. Do dancers always do stuff on a hard/wooden floor?

May 30, 2012
Reply for Emily
by: Maria

Dear Emily,

Your whole gymnastics background might help for doing contemporary dance (including the back handsprings and the back walkovers). But that depends on the style of contemporary dance you do. Some styles are not so acrobatic and search for other expressive issues.

Dancers do not always do stuff on a hard/wooden floor. Again, that depends on the style or specific aesthetic project.

To widen your understanding of the many different styles and expressive possibilities of contemporary dance, I suggest you take your time to browse all over our website. Contemporary dance is so broad that you will need to really explore contemporary-dance.org to have a first idea. Anyway, here are some pages you could visit:

Scroll down till you find the definition of contemporary dance here: Dance terms

Contemporary dance videos

Contemporary dance pictures

Contemporary dance history

Warm regards,

Maria

Sep 24, 2012
scared to start dancing now!
by: Anonymous

Hello! I recently just watched So You Think You Can Dance season 8, and it was marvelous! Everyone knows how to dance contemporary!(well, almost everyone!) That really inspired me, and that kind of dancing is so beautiful, I just fell in love with it. The problem is, I came to know about it this year, and I'm only sixteen. I really want to to start dancing it when I'm eighteen, but there are so many odd possibilities. I'm a bit shy; but I really want to try, especially when I start college. What should I do? Will I actually get good enough, or is it just going to be a waste?

Sep 24, 2012
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there!

You may still become an extremely good dancer (regardless of your age) but that depends on the time you dedicate to it from now on and on your talent for dance.

If you want to be a professional (or as good as a professional), you should start right away (don't wait until you're eighteen) and take classes daily. Otherwise, you can just take it easy and enjoy it. That's a great way to be a contemporary dancer as well.

For some starting tips, scroll up the page and read my first answer in this thread.

There are a lot of other useful threads in our forum for you. I recommend you to take your time to browse around and read. Here's the link to the main page of the forum:

Forum for questions about contemporary dance

Don't be scared to start. Even giving it a try can be a tremendously funny, interesting or healthy experience. I guarantee that...

Warm regards,

Maria

Dec 29, 2012
Contemporary Dance
by: Charles T

I am a 17 year old male and I love to dance. I have wanted to be a contemporary dancer for quite some time, but I haven't taken classes in years nor can I afford to do so. I just wanted to know, what could I do?

Jan 02, 2013
Reply for Charles
by: Maria

Dear Charles,

If you can't afford to take classes, you may want to try to be a self-taught dancer. Nowadays that is a lot easier thanks to the internet, Youtube and all the dancing videos you can watch there for free. It is off course not so easy as if you had teachers but if you really want to dance, you can try that out.

I gave some tips for self-taught dancing to Titta, from Finland, who has a similar situation. You can read them in my answer at the following page:

Tips for self-taught dancers

Warm regards,

Maria

Feb 17, 2013
For admission ( Contemporary Dance)
by: Ashwin

Hello,
i am Ashwin based in India and i am a huge fan of contemporary Dance form and i want to learn this dance style. Please kindly provide the information on the same and I am a bigenner in contemporary dance. I am a dancer and past 10 years I am in to Dancing, I am in to Indian Classical and Bollywood and i am very much flexible to do any dance style and want to learn new dance forms. I would like to know of any sponsorship opportunities which can facilitate me in getting admission . I would be very grateful if I get any assistance in this regard. Mail me at (Ashwintalented@yahoo.co.in)

Best regards,
Ashwin

Feb 19, 2013
Reply for Ashwin
by: Maria

Dear Ashwin,

I had sent you a personal e-mail explaining that contemporary-dance.org is an online website only. I guess you did not get it or maybe it was filtered by your server to your junk folder.

I do not give classes offline. If you are looking for a dance school, try browsing through our directory of dance schools. You may find a right place for you there:

Directory of contemporary dance schools worldwide

There are not many sponsorship programs for dancers in the world, but we also have a directory about it. Look there. One never knows...:

Dance scholarships

Warm regards,

Maria

Apr 13, 2013
Too old for it?
by: Nhung

I am 18 now and I want to start contemporary dance. I gave up ballet 5 years ago and my body is not anymore so flexible. My 2 teacher said that I had talents for dancing but I am now afraid that it is too late to take up dancing again. What level could I reach if I start now?

Apr 18, 2013
Reply for Nhung
by: Maria

Dear Nhung

The level you reach depends on how much you dedicate your self to study and train from now on.

I believe, you can definitely make a dancing career if you start again, at your age (18).

Please, read all my answers in the following related thread (they answer to your question too and they will show you links to other chats that may be useful for you):

Can I start dancing contemporary at 16?

Warm regards,

Maria

Apr 25, 2013
BEGINNERS
by: Anonymous

hey

please assist me i am the girl of 21 yrs i want to involve myself in dancing ballet isn't going to be possible for me

Apr 25, 2013
Maria's reply for the girl with 21 years old
by: Maria

Hi there...

Hey, don't worry if ballet is not possible for you.

If you want to learn contemporary dance, I recommend you to scroll up this page an read my first answer in the chat. I think it fits just what you're looking for now.

All the best,

Maria

May 03, 2013
Advice
by: Anonymous

Hello. I'm 12 years old and I would like to start contemporary dance lessons. I have never taken a dance lesson before, I only dance in my living room when no one is watching. Do I need to take other classes to be a beginner contemporary dancer? And how much do you have to weight? I'm 12 years old, 5feet and 1 inch, about 120 pounds.

May 04, 2013
Maria's reply for the girl that’s 12 years old
by: Maria

Hi there!

Hey, if you are concerned about your weight, please read my answer here:

Do you have to be thin to be a dancer?

To know what to do for starting, please scroll up the page and read my first answer in this same thread.

There are also other chats in our forum that may be of help for you. Take your time to explore and read:

Dance questions from beginners

Index page of the forum

All the best!

Maria

May 05, 2013
Help
by: Lauren

Hello! I have wanted to start taking classes for Contemporary Dance for quite some time now. I am almost 16, but I won't be able to take them until I am 18. I'm only worried about two things. One, I am VERY shy. Will that become a problem? And two, I am slightly overweight. Would my weight get in the way of my dancing?

May 06, 2013
Maria's reply for Lauren
by: Maria

Hey Lauren...

I wrote something for shy dancers in a related chat. Please read my answer there:

Tip for shy dancers

I also wrote a complete answer for dancers who are concerned about their weight. Please scroll up a bit to the comment located just above your question and read it. You'll find the link to that answer right there.

Warm regards,

Maria

Jun 15, 2013
Contemporary dance
by: Lax

Hey there!

I'm 15 and I've experienced contemporary dance before,3 years back.Just recently I joined back the dance classes again and am just wondering how long exactly does it take to master the contemporary dance?

Jun 18, 2013
How to start my dancing career
by: Anonymous

Well im 18 Year old male and i been dancing for four years now mostly on bboying and choreography, well my question is that i want to start my dancing career now i mean if i would Of been like some of the crews that attended ABDC then my career is pretty much set off to travel and performed even if i lost on the show but the thing is that i never been on the show or have connections to start my career so my Question is how can i start my dancing career i live in a small town 30 min away from dallas so their isnt much here only when i go to dallas but even then i dont work yet and dont have a car yet so i need tips on how can i start my career now that im 18 and i really want to start it off so i can be out there be known for my style of dancing and everything? Thank you for the feedback..

Jun 18, 2013
Maria's reply for Lax
by: Maria

Hi Lax,

We have a thread in the forum that answers to your question. Please read my reply there:

Hoe long does it take to learn contemporary dance?

Greetings!

Maria

Jun 22, 2013
Marias' answer for the anonymous 18 years old male... ; ) sorry, you didn’t leave your name
by: Maria

Hi there!

Look, we have two related threads in our forum.

Please read my replies there to have your answer:

Career plan for dance

Dancing career possibilities

Warm regards,

Maria

Jul 08, 2013
Do I have to be able to do the splits to join a contemporary dance class?
by: Saniya

Hi,

I started ballet when I was 3 years old. Then I stopped at the age of 5. And just last year I joined ballet again, and again I stopped (after a few months)...

I kinda lost my middle splits, and I can barely do the front splits..

This year, I decided to do contemporary, but I'm afraid if I can't since I lost my splits..

Can I still join contemporary?

Jul 08, 2013
Maria's reply for Saniya
by: Maria

Dear Saniya,

You can still join contemporary dance classes. The splits are helpful, as any flexibility you reach with your body is. However, contemporary dance has many expressive and choreographic possibilities and it is not strictly necessary to have them.

Go for it!

Sep 12, 2013
homedansing
by: saniya

im 17 year old student..iwould like to learn contemporary at home.....is it possible without joining any class...?

Sep 13, 2013
Maria's reply for Saniya
by: Maria

Dear Saniya,

Learning on your own at home may be possible, but that depends on many things. Please read my reply at the following thread, for ideas on how to use the internet to study dancing:

Thread with an answer for you...


Maria

Sep 26, 2013
is it to late?
by: lily

Hello, I just turned 18 i love dancing is my life ive been dancing since 4 . Ever since my sister passed away I decided not to hide anymore & just come out my shell when i did people could see that little 4 year old girl nd the passion ive always had..
i love all tipes of dance & i dance with a group of other dancers in 42st and I've always wanted to do ballet and contemporary dancing . I just started working so I could pay for classes because I couldn't offord it
but is it to late to start at 18 ???

Sep 26, 2013
Maria's reply for Lily
by: Maria

Dear Lily,

You know, your question is a common question among dance lovers. In fact, we already have a thread in the forum about that topic.

Please read my reply in that thread to get your answer:

Is it too late for me to start dancing?

... it is not too late... don't worry ;). But read the whole answer recommended above. It will explain you why.

Warm regards,

Maria

Nov 03, 2013
Question
by: Jazzy

I'm wanting to try modern dancing and make a career out of it but I have no experience in dancing what so ever. What should I do and also should I try ballet first to form a strong technique for modern??.

Nov 05, 2013
Maria's reply for Jazzy
by: Maria

Dear Jazzy,

You should look for a place to start learning. I've already placed the link that guides to our directory of dance schools in one of the chats above. Just scroll up and you'll find it. Otherwise, you can also visit the directory from the navigation menu that you'll find in the left column at every page of contemporary-dance.org.

And concerning ballet, I'd say it would be great if you can take classes. Ballet is always a good complementary training method for almost every dancer. So go on, but be sure of taking a class of your level.

Greetings!

Nov 24, 2013
Advice
by: Anonymous

Hi, Im a 15 year old girl and I think I'm interested in learning how to dance contemporary. Ive seen so many dances & dancers and I fell in love. Is it to late for me to start? If not where do I began?

Nov 25, 2013
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there!

Look, if you scroll up three comments, you will find a link with the answer to: is it too late for me to start dancing?

The answer to ‘where to start learning contemporary dance’ is the very first answer I wrote in this thread. Scroll up to the top and you’ll find my answer to Jessica Lee there. It applies to you too.

Warm regards,

Maria

Dec 14, 2013
Pointe and Contemporary
by: Violet

Hi I am 14 and started two months ago contemporary and ballet.
My dream is to go on pointe (as just a beginner) but also to be a really good contemporary dancer, is it possible to do both?
Should I stop contemporary, do one year of two classes of ballet per week and then re-start next year contemporary AND ballet?
What is going to help me more?

Dec 16, 2013
Maria's reply for Violet
by: Maria

Dear Violet,

If your dream is to dance on pointes, you should take daily ballet classes from now on. If you feel that you still have enough energy to take contemporary dance classes simultaneously, it's o.k. to take one or several contemporary dance classes weekly too. But that depends on how much energy you have, depending on the rest of your daily engagements.

Time and money may be an obstacle too, but if you have them, you don't need to worry about mixing the techniques or taking too many classes. Students of your age that are prepared for being professional dancers, usually take two or three classes daily, plus rehearsals...

Warm regards,

Maria

Dec 22, 2013
dance without dance class
by: roch

How to learn contemporary all by my self as I dnt get enough time to join some dance classes


Dec 22, 2013
video link
by: Anonymous

Plz send me d video link fr starting contemporary plz. Plz do reply fast.basic steps n even warm up. Thankz

Dec 28, 2013
Beginners?
by: Naomi

Hi, I am 12 years old and I have been wanting to dance for about 2 years now. I am going to be honest i can't dance at all and i really want to learn especially contemporary, I admire it so much. But is there anything i need to learn first or can i just start off with contemporary? And is it too late for me to begin?

Jan 01, 2014
Reply for Naomi AND the previous question about a VIDEO LINK
by: Maria

Dear Naomi,

You can start off with contemporary dance. There's no problem. Just be sure to take classes that really fit your starting level.

It's not too late for you, don't worry. Please scroll up this page till the comment of the 26th of September and you will find a link with an answer for you about this topic.

Here's a link to find good videos to study (Naomi, this is for the visitor that wrote just before you did):

Videos for studying contemporary dance

Warm regards for both of you,

Maria

Jan 17, 2014
Advice/Suggest
by: Anonymous

Hi,

I am 25 aged working woman, dancing means a lot to me and feel great to watch others dancing. I regret i haven't learnt.
However i'm interested in learning dance, as this can also be a refreshment for me after work. Please advice can i get into Contemporary dance classes or suggest the suitable style for me.
Awaiting your reply.

Thank you.

Jan 17, 2014
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there!

Contemporary dance is indeed a suitable dance genre for you, as far as you feel attracted to it and continue to feel enthusiastic while and after practicing.

However it is very important that you find a class that really fits your level. Trying to learn in a class of a higher level is a reason why many people get discouraged.

Please scroll up and read my very first answer in this chat. I believe it might help you further.

Warm regards,

Maria

Jan 22, 2014
wanna learn contemporary dance
by: sandeep kaur

Hiii..i m sandeep and i really wanna become a good contemporary dancer.i just feel that my body is so good for it.but i m 22 year old and i am totaly begginer..what should i do for better start.i guess i am not too late for it..

Jan 24, 2014
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Sandeep,

Please scroll up till the beginning of the page and read my first answer in this chat. That will give a reply to your question.

I also think it's not late for you to start learning contemporary dance. Again, you can scroll up till the comment of the 26th of September. There's a link there to an answer that fits your case too.

Greetings!

Mar 04, 2014
after high school aka the dream
by: Marlen

hello this is my first time ever visiting this site and it seems very helpful. So here's the thing.. I've always wanted to get into ballet, and i did for 2 years at the age of 10. Sadly I stopped because I put myself down, it was very hard for me, and at the time it was the typical " its okay you find something your good at" but no it's not that way at all. I know that if you love something you'll do it even if its hard. So as of now I'm 17 years old i regret not pushing my self to continue ballet, and I know its a little far too late to start ballet. but this is why I'm here because this so called contemporary dance has made me want to experience dance all over again! I would love to start fresh in the dance industry or what so ever, but contemporary seems like it would fit me more. the reason why I'm commenting is because i want to start learning contemporary but I have NO experience plus i don't know what skills and experience i need to start contemporary, like do I need to know modern for example or something? do i need to be flexible? i hope i get a respond back. I really hope to do this as a career later on in life and i hope its not to late! thank you!

Mar 04, 2014
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Marlen,

It's not too late, you do not need to know modern dance or be flexible. Those are things that would help but that are not a mandatory condition to learn contemporary dance. However, you will need to study a lot and train hard.

Please scroll up and read my first answer in this chat. You will know there how to start. It would also be good if you read the whole chat and follow the links that I recommend to other young dancers like you. You'll find one about the "is it too late to start dancing" question, for example, that applies to you too.

Warm regards,

Maria

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