Can I start dancing contemporary
at 16?

by Stephanie

I am 16 and I want to dance contemporary. I have never danced ballet, or modern dance; just a little of hip-hop.

How can I start?? with ballet? please help me, I have no idea... and sorry for my bad English, I am latina.


Hi Stephanie,

YES! You can start dancing contemporary at 16.
You know what? Most of the pioneers of modern and contemporary dance started taking classes at that age or even later.

Nowadays, the practice has spread a lot and there are official schools where you need to be a child to be admitted. But that is the case of academic tuitions in which students are prepared for achieving skills that are acrobatic and highly refined.

You can also achieve that if you want, according to your conditions and the time you spend from now on to the practice.

If you take ballet classes, that will help you a lot. Ballet is a type of training that develops skills used when dancing contemporary. But, the study of ballet is not strictly necessary.

You can also look for schools that offer contemporary or modern dance classes. Try different teachers, if you have the possibility, to see which style fits your personality the best. And from there, off you go…

Browse over our page about contemporary dance schools if you haven´t found the places in your locality yet.

If you’re wishing to do this professionally, better look for a school with long-term planning and official certifications. If you just want to give it a try or don’t want to engage much yet, an academy for amateurs might be enough.

Good luck with your start. Let us know how you get on and don’t hesitate to reply with more questions if you have them.


Comments for Can I start dancing contemporary
at 16?

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 08, 2012
Is it too late?
by: Andrea C.

Im 16 going on 17 tomorrow,i havent had any training with dance of any kind,but i would love to learn how to dance in contemporary and tango,its one of my passions,but where do i start??

Feb 09, 2012
Reply to Andrea C.
by: Maria

Dear Andrea,

There's already one thread in this section that answers your question. You will find it through the following link:

Contemporary dance for beginners

There's also a link in this same page, just above, within my answer to the first question of this thread. That link will take you to our directory of schools, where you can search for possible places to start taking your classes.

I can provide you with the information about contemporary dance, as that is the topic of my website. Unfortunately, I don't have much specific information about Tango classes yet, so you will need to continue searching in the web and offline for that type of dance.

I also recommend you to browse over the entire section about questions from beginners. You might find related information that can possibly help you and you can also share with others that are in the same moment as you are.

Good luck with your search!

Warm regards,


Apr 12, 2012
Is it too late to learn dance at 20?
by: Anonymous

hi... I’m 20 yrs old... and i love contemporary dance... I really want to pursue my career in dance but I have never learned any kind of dance forms before and my body is also not so called flexible though I’m slim and working on it since past 2 months.... is it too late to learn dance at this age....

Apr 12, 2012
Answer from Maria
by: Maria

Hi there!

It is not too late to start dancing at 20 years old neither, but as with all careers, that also depends on your own general abilities for dancing and art. In any case, if you want to do this professionally, you will have to work hard.

Please read my answer to the first question of this thread, because it also applies to you. You will find it above, at the beginning of this page. And I'm also sure that the following two threads will be of help for you:

Is it too late to succeed professionally in the dance world?

Contemporay dance for beginners

Best dancing!


Feb 22, 2015
can i start dancing at 9

can i start dancing at 9 because I can't even do a cartwheel,splits and handstand
please help me

Feb 22, 2015
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Sure you can. That’s actually the best age to start.

But make yourself sure that the classes are for your age and level. That’s important. You should not take classes that are more advanced.


Apr 01, 2015
by: Dan

Hi! I am 16 and I want to start contemporary dancing in a few months. How long will it take me to become really flexible?

Apr 01, 2015
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Dan,

Flexibility is a physiological condition that can be improved, but it usually takes a long time.

Depending on your physiognomy, you may gain one or two centimeters per year on a muscle, if you practice daily.

Yet, enormous flexibility is not strictly necessary for contemporary dance, as it is for ballet, for example. That depends a lot on the aesthetical projects you work on.

Jul 08, 2015
Start comtemporary dance at 16?
by: Anonymous

Can I star contemporary dance at 16? I have done gymnadtics most of my life so I am really flexible and can do many acro. Also I've done modern dance, tap and jazz, but never ballet and I'm kinda worried.

Jul 10, 2015
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there!

Yes, you can start at 16. If you want to know more, read the first reply I wrote above, at the beginning of this chat. It applies to your case.

; )

Aug 06, 2015
by: Anonymous

Hi ! My name is yousra, where i live there is no dance schools, i'm 16 and i really want to start dancing contemporary, please is there any chance to learn it from free sites ? Thanks

Aug 07, 2015
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Yousra,

Please visit the following page:

Free videos about contemporary dance technique

I don’t recommend you to study from videos, if you are a beginner, but if this is the only option you have, give it a try.

Just be careful and remember to warm up before trying to do difficult things.

Nov 15, 2015
by: Anonymous

Hello xx
I am 12 and I have always loved dancing since u was 3 but I could never get classes as we were quite poor but now I can. I want to do modern,contemporary,ballet or acro but am I too old to become flexible?

Nov 16, 2015
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there!

Flexibility can be gained, whatever your age, but the process is slow.

Please read my reply at the following chat to understand better:

How to be more flexible

Feb 14, 2016
starting dance at 18 to get professional
by: 17

I am 18 years old and I started taking dance lessons for hip hop and contemporary at 16.I already knew bollywood pretty well.But I could not focus on dance in the past two years as much as I wanted to.Now that I am finally going to get free of my other commitments I am pretty sure that I can give a lot of attention to dance.If I start working really hard now,will I be able to be a professional? Both my teachers tell me that I have a lot of potential.I have also gained strength and sense of motion and balance.I am naturally very flexible (because of my hypermobility syndrome) and already have mastered my splits,oversplits, handstand,cartwheel,and most of the other basic and some intermediate stuff for contemporary and hip hop .But I am too afraid that starting so late and focusing on 2 dance forms at the same time is going to cost me a lot....but I want to dance professionaly very eagerly...please help..

Feb 15, 2016
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear 17,

It may take you a lot of work, yes. But you can only know where you’ll get if you try.

If you focus on learning one dance genre only, it may be easier indeed. Yet, you can start with both genres and depending on how things go, you may decide how to continue in the future.

Being a dancer is difficult, regardless of the age you start at. But if that’s what you love, what else are you going to do?

; )

Mar 01, 2016
should my daughter do ballet
by: Erin

My daughter has been dancing for 2 years now she does modern,acro and lyrical her posture and leaps aren't so strong should she take up ballet to improve her leaps and posture or will it improve later as she progresses

Mar 04, 2016
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Erin,

Ballet can be very helpful to improve the dancing skills needed for modern dance, acro and lyrical. It may help, if the class and method taken are appropriate for the level of the student. Yet, if the classes and method of your daughter’s current teachers are good, they will also make her improve her posture and leaps. It all depends a lot on the quality of the learning processes.

Warm regards.

Mar 05, 2016
Can I start dancing at 15?
by: Isabelle

I danced competitively for 5 years when I was young and learned technique and then quit to do cheer. I wish I would've kept going with dance because it's really my passion. But in worried I'm too late and I'll be behind everyone else because I won't have the same skills as everyone my age. I would like to work one on one with someone until I got caught up. I'm really determined. Would that be possible?

Mar 07, 2016
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Isabelle,

That may be possible, but you need to focus and work hard. Start the practice and keep trying for a good long period of time. Learning to dance is a long process and one needs to be patient.

Apr 23, 2016
Can I start raining at the age of nine
by: Sarah

Can I start dancing acro at the age of nine Because I want to learn how to do cartwheels hand stand split crab etc.... Please tell me

Apr 25, 2016
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Sarah,

Yes you can, but always with a qualified teacher.

Don't try difficult acrobatics on your own or with friends that don't have good knowledge of the topic.

; )

Oct 03, 2016
Something wrong with me...
by: Nikolla

Hi, I'm almost 17 years old. I started to practice New Style Hip Hop dance at home before 8-9 month. In the begining I started to watch Les Twins and their choreo and I tried to imitate their style. (That was big mistake I think, because everyone needs to be themselves). I want to be famous like Twins or other famous person . I want to be some kind of spark in other's eyes. Whatever, now I have the speed and I learn much faster new steps than before, but I don't have previous motivation like from begining. When I go to dance I dont do it with pleasure and I stop after few moves or I dance forcibly. Is this because I dance alone at home, or it's because I'm not born to be a dancer? I don't know what to do? I'm very confused...

Oct 05, 2016
acro dance
by: Anonymous

hi I am 11 years old turing twelve soon I want to learn acro dance and be flexible and be able to do flips and stuff i do ballet but i am not really flexible

Oct 10, 2016
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there!

We have a chat about tips for becoming more flexible. You can read it here:

How to be more flexible

Nov 12, 2016
16 years old
by: Anonymous

Hi I started ballet at 15 years old and I am now 16, I did gymnastics for many years but I wanted a change. Next year I want to do jazz, contemporary/lyrical, hip hop and maybe tap. And there is this competition team at my dance school. I'm wondering do you think I'm too old to be able to do comps next year or the year after, I'm willing to work hard and learn a lot

Nov 14, 2016
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there,

I think you are in a great age to do all this things you're planning. And you also have a lot of background work, so your age is more than o.k. Go for it!

Jan 20, 2017
No experience
by: Lele

Hi, i'm 15 and wanted to know if its too late for me to start learning modern dance, without having prior knowledge or experience in ballet or dance in general.

Also, are therr any reliable schools where i could learn modern dance as a beginner? Do i need to know ballet first?

Thank you

Jan 22, 2017
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Lele,

You don’t need to have prior knowledge of ballet, or any type of dance, to start learning modern or contemporary dance. However, there are schools that make this demand, because ballet is a powerful and very complete dancing technique.

To find a dancing school, visit our directory:

Dance schools

Please take your time to read my replies above in this chat, to understand more about the age issue.

Warm regards. Maria.

Mar 15, 2017
by: Anonymous

Hi, I've been a dancer since I was 3 and trained really hard until I was 16, I would take classes every day from 4 to 8:30 and then even did online school so I could get more hours in when I was 15. All of a sudden when I was 16 I felt like I lost all my energy and love to keep dancing and decided I need to take a break, I decided to go back to actual school and I took a dance class there while I was 17 but after that I haven't danced for a year and now I'm 18. I really want to go back into dance and become professional but I'm scared it's too late for me and lost all my confidence that I used to have

Mar 16, 2017
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there,

If you really want to dance, I recommend you to try again. You will only know if you can do it if you go for it. No one can say what may happen.

Apr 19, 2017
Can I join a company?
by: Lullaby26

Goodevening,one of my biggest dream is to join a company of dance (big or small I don't care) or even become a backup dancer afetr studying abroad. I'm 16 (17 in May) and I have two years and a half of dance background and I'm really flexible according to my doctor.. On september I'm changing my dance school for one more difficult, stronger and that takes you very far. I'm really afraid to be late and not to succeed.
Thanks for your answers.

Apr 19, 2017
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Lullaby26,

I guess you’ve already read my replies in this chat, especially the first one above. If you haven’t, I recommend you to do it.

There’s more about the starting age in our FAQ (frequently asked questions) page. Visit that page and read my reply for the first FAQ. You’ll find the page here:

Contemporary Dance FAQ

Warm regards

Apr 28, 2017
New type of dance
by: Anonymous

I'm 13 years old and I've been dancing jazz for about 3 years . I've wanted to try contemporary for a while also but Is it too late to start?

Apr 29, 2017
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there!
No, it’s not too late to start.

Find a long answer to this question in our FAQ page.


Jun 15, 2017
I'm not really sure...
by: Candi

I know, I know, people keep saying that it's not too late. I'll 14 years old, yet if I try to join my dance of choice (ballet) I'm going to be REALLY far behind!
Is there a class for my age who have never taken ballet before? Or am I going to have to join a class of really experienced dancers!? Also, I have had stage fright for quite some time, I'm not really flexible, I hate makeup and the costumes, so recitals would be a nightmare for me!
Yet, I can't stop thinking about ballet, and how much fun it is for me to dance. I just don't know if dance is right for me.

Jun 17, 2017
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Candi,
You should not take a class of an advanced level that you don’t have yet. Your task is to find a school where there are classes for beginners like you. Ideally, everyone should be around a similar age, but this type of classes may be also shared with people of a wider range of age (younger or older than you). If you like to dance as much as you say, you should try to do it. It’s only trying that you will know what your possibilities are.

Stage fright is something that you’ll learn to manage with practice, as everything else you’ll have to learn; and there are ballet performances without makeup and with casual clothes. That’s ballet that involves modern or postmodern values. You may fit perfectly into something like this. If a lack of flexibility becomes a problem, you may find out that you also fit in another close dance genre like postmodern or contemporary dance. But you can only know if you try.

If you haven’t visited our FAQs page, I recommend you to go there and continue reading my reply for the question: Is it too late for me to start dancing? Here’s the link:

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions at

; )

Sep 19, 2017
by: Anonymous

am 16 wanna start dancing but my body is too stong..wen i was 13 i was flexible and practicin flips

Sep 21, 2017
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there...

It's all about practice. Start practicing again and you'll see.

; )

Oct 14, 2017
Too late?
by: Anonymous

I am 12 years old and I really want to start contemporary dance, but I don't know if it is too late, or if I won't be able to catch up to other people and if they will make fun of me. Is there such thing as private lessons?

Oct 17, 2017
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Sure, there are private dance lessons. Just ask the teachers at the nearest school.

; )

Dec 08, 2017
Too Afraid
by: Catherine

Im 16 and I have never took any classes but I do love to freestyle to hip hop. The thing is, I have always loved watching ballet and gymastics but I am not flexible enough to be on their level. I am too shy to take classes and want to be self-taught. Can I still be good self-taught from youtube videos etc. or do I need to take dance classes to become better. Thanks you ! xo Have a great day :)

Dec 11, 2017
Self taught dance
by: Maria

Dear Catherine,

The best option is to do both: take offline classes and study on your own with videos or tutorials. To be self taught is possible, but I’d recommend you to have social interaction and try to have as much offline experiences as possible.

; )

May 09, 2018
by: Anonymous


May 14, 2018
Sure, you could be a professional dancer
by: Maria

Hey there,

Considering your age, I'd say YES, you can become a professional dancer. However, I must say that the age is not the only factor that counts here. You need to follow a regular learning process and be disciplined.

Go for it!

Jun 30, 2018
Hi I am very poor in studies but I am really good in dance so after class nine can I take the training of dance without passing class twelve
by: Samanta majumder

Hi I am very poor in studies but I am really good in classical dance so after class nine can I get training of dance without passing class twelve

Mar 14, 2019
This dance class will be so perfect for all of us
by: Adonia

Hi I am 15 going to 16years of age I don't really know how to dance but can you help me learn how to dance please

Mar 18, 2019
Reply for Adonia
by: Maria

Dear Adonia, does not offer online dance classes (for now). If you want to learn to dance, you need to take classes, wether offline or online.

The content that you will find in is the perfect complement for the classes. Take your time to explore the whole website and read as much as you can.


Mar 23, 2019
Is it possible?
by: Anonymous

Is it alright if my daughter wants to try contemporary dance at age 14 without having any dance experience?

Apr 01, 2019
Reply for a Mom that has a daughter that wants to dance
by: Maria

Hi Mom,

Yes, it is alright if your daughter starts dancing contemporary dance at the age of 14 without having any dancing experience. But it is important that the class she takes is of a 'BEGINNERS LEVEL'. The clue is always the level of the class. The age is not so critical, as long as the student feels comfortable, even if her/his classmates have other ages.

Aug 27, 2019
I am 15
by: Anonymous

Hi,I am 15 years old now. When i was seven I started gymnastics and dance classes. But I quit shortly after a year in both of them(due to scoliosis).Now after many years I have slowly grown back an interest in doing jazz and lyrical. I have taken my first lesson as of today in a class with people my age I could sort of keep up but I still feel like their is a huge gap in my knowledge and ability. I just wish I had decided to keep doing it when I was seven I feel like that time is lost now. It’s not that I don’t think I can learn an ok amount in the span of three years and if I really liked it I could go to this studio in college it’s just the feeling that I’ll never be as good as I could have been if I had stayed with it when I was seven. Do you think there’s any possible way if I practiced a lot I could get as good as I would be if I had stuck with it? I just feel too old....

Dec 29, 2020
Please let me know!
by: Anonymous

hey there! i want to learn contemporary dance but i’m not flexible at all and it’s very hard for me to try doing contemporary dance because of that. I know it’s not recommended to learn ballet but should i try learning it?

Dec 30, 2020
Ballet for contemporary dancers
by: Maria

Hey there!

Yes. Ballet is a very good training technique. You won't regret its practice.

; )

Mar 30, 2021
need help dance
by: anyla

hi im anyla im 16 i love to dance like dance is my dream i was wondering if i can try for a dance school like i think im good as a dancer please i need help i go to norwalk school highroadsplease i live in bridgeport ct

Jul 01, 2021
Reply for Anyla
by: Maria

Dear Anyla,

Yes, you can try for a dance school. Why wouldn't you?

However, I'm not the person who will admit you in the school. Only after going for it you will know...


Jul 25, 2021
Is it too late to dance professionally one day
by: Anonymous

Hi!! I’m 16 years old and started dancing on and off since 8, and got serious at around 14. I would love to dance professionally one day but I’m really doubting myself and not sure if I can do it or if it’s too late. Is it possible to be a professional dancer even if I have to start train a little after college and start a bit later?? My teachers say I’m improving a lot but I need to catch up some.

And I’m talking about contemporary, jazz, hip hop, ect. I take ballet but I would not want to pursue that professionally.

I’m willing to put in tons of hard work, I just don’t wanna do it if there’s not gonna be a place for me in the dance world.

Jul 27, 2021
Is it too late to dance professionally...
by: Maria

Hi there!

Please visit our FAQ page. You'll find the answer there.

; )

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