How long does it take to become a good contemporary dancer?

by Nikaj Lado
(Nampa, Idaho)

Okay so I have one year to learn contemporary, I feel like I can do it after I am flexible, because I learn quickly. How long does it take to become a good contemporary dancer?

Comments for How long does it take to become a good contemporary dancer?

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 12, 2012
Answer from Maria
by: Maria

Dear Nikaj,

The time to become a good contemporary dancer depends on several things like:

- Your own physiological and physical conditions

- Your learning skills

- Your previous knowledge or experience with movement or other types of dance

- The training method and frequency with which you study

- Your psychological maturity

For example, if you are an eighteen years old experienced ballet dancer, you might become very good at contemporary dance in two or three years with a very frequent training.

If you are an absolute beginner at any type of dance, it may take you eight years of very frequent training (at least four times a week, six times ideally) to become a very good contemporary dancer.

However, remember that contemporary dance is not reduced to just acrobatic or physical skills. Contemporary dance is also about intelligent ideas, ethic values, creativity, social and political experience and other issues.

So, flexibility, force, coordination, expressivity and other common dancing skills are just one part of what you would need to learn. There's a whole universe of thought and feeling to discover when practicing contemporary dance. That's why I say it may take you eight years at least if you are just starting.

Still, professional contemporary dancers usually consider themselves as within a continuous learning process. Contemporary dance is the reflection of the dancers' desires and it evolves together with them. So, there are always new things to learn or discover.

I tell you that, just to make you aware of the fact that the learning time is not so important in contemporary dance. More important than that is the PROCESS of learning and the constant experience it offers to you and your life.

So, if you want to join in, just do it. Every dancing second counts as a vital experience, just at the moment it happens.

Give it a try and you'll see!

I wish you a lot of fun.


Mar 02, 2016
Beginner HELP
by: Taylor

I have been thinking about learning contemporary dancing but I'm only 10. I have had no practise except I do a bit of Irish dance. I'm worried my flexibility will hold me back I am rubies at does gymnastics and flexible stuff. It takes lots of time to become a really good dancer but I feel like it will take me longer than others, I'm tall for my age and I do running and many other sports. I have so many hobbies I'm worried I will lose time to dance plz help

Mar 02, 2016
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Taylor,

You are at a very good age to start, so don’t worry about that. If you want to be a dancer of a professional level, it is better that you focus on dance as your main activity. Using a lot of time in many hobbies and other activities may make your learning process slower, indeed.

Apr 09, 2016
Is my age bad ?
by: Tia

I'm a 14 year old girl and love watching people dance and I have always wanted to start contemporary dance lessons but I'm worried as I'm not very flexible and that I'm too old to start I have only taken street dance lessons before so I have no experience with contemporary any tips ?

Apr 11, 2016
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hello Tia,

My tip for you is to read my replies at the following chats:

Is is too late for me to succeed professionally in the dance world?

Can I start dancing at 16?

Warm regards,


Jun 22, 2016
Dancing for a few years but nothing's changed
by: Jada

So I'm 14 turning 15 and I started dancing when I was 11(very late to people I know) and it was with my church company and they had good teachers and by my second year I was in company. But I didn't feel like I was getting more from the classes. Now that I'm in high school and my schools a performing arts school and I see the girls that are in higher levers of dance that are so good and they've danced since they were like 2 but they were just babies so no real dance skills could have came until they were like 10 or so, right? So I'm just asking how long will it take for me to get to a good level? Because these girls are taking master classes at 15 and doing auditions for like New York and stuff.

Jun 22, 2016
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Jada,

Please scroll up, and read my first reply in this same chat. That's the answer.


Aug 28, 2016

I am a 17 year old girl and I am a very good Bharathanatyam dancer( Indian classical dance) I have been learning Bharathanatyam since 13 years now I wanna learn contemporary and also do a decent course !!! Am I on the right track ??? Is it possible for me to become a good contemporary dancer and if so in how much time

Sep 05, 2016
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Gowri,

Yes, it is possible, but everything depends on your own conditions and learning circumstances. If you want to do it, you have to go on and try to see what happens.

Dec 13, 2016
I want to be a trainee in Korea
by: Kasandra

Hi maria, im 13 turning 14 this march. I want to be trainee in Korea before I turn 15 years old. But the problem is I cant audition there because Im just a beginner. I want to tale classes. But theres no studios near me. If I take online classes, i have no paypal nor credit card. I watched videos always and I always stretching every morning. But still Im notgood at dancing. This coming week my grandma will stay here so I dont have place to practice. Can u give me somr advice? 💔

Apr 04, 2017
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Kasandra,

If you can not practice at home, put a pair of snickers on and go practicing to a park, a public stage, a football field or wherever there’s enough space. A dancer can´t stop practicing. If you really want to be a professional dancer, you should move to a city where you can study in a serious way, at a formal dancing school. If you can not afford that, continue searching in the web and follow the online classes available. Yet, that is not as good as attending an offline school.

Warm regards.

Jul 23, 2017
Can I dance contemporary
by: Anonymous

I am worried because I want to do contemporary but I have only had one year experience in hip hop and tap I am also 12 is it to late to be good at contemporary and if isn't how long will it take me to become great at contemporary

Jul 24, 2017
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hey… the answer to your question is written in the first reply I gave in this same thread. Just scroll up and read what I wrote the 12th July 2012.

; )

Oct 01, 2017
Am I too late?
by: Yahaira

Hi so I always wanted to do contemporary dancing ever since I was little (we didn't have that much money) now I have chance, but I just turned 14 and I wonder if I'm too late.

I'm flexible but the only thing I can't do anymore is the splits (which I'm teaching myself how to do again).

I have no dancing experience, except for the typical Mexican dancing (batchata, Cumbia etc.)

Is it too late for me to be a good contemporary dancer (I would probably want to be a professional but im still thinking). 😄😕

Oct 10, 2017
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Yahaira,

Please scroll up and read the first reply I wrote in this chat. The answer for you is explained there.


Oct 19, 2017
Contemporary ballet
by: Kassie

Hi! My name is kassie (I'm 13) I signed up for contemporary ballet due to my passion for Broadway. I will do whatever it takes to make it on to Broadway but I also have to work very hard I'm dedicated and consistent with my stretches and
practing singing, and dancing (I've been doing this for almost 2 weeks now) anyway I was wondering if I keep up with what I'm doing every day and work hard enough for what I really want could I be successful learning contemporary ballet? Or did I start to late? And what age would I be well experienced with it? Thank you for taking the time to read this.


Oct 23, 2017
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Kassie,

Please take your time to read the first reply I wrote at the beginning of this chat. That will explain what you want to know.

; )

Oct 26, 2017
I want to be contemporary dancer
by: Asmi

I am 12 years old.I am a little bit fat but tall also.I have too much interest in contemporary dance.All my friends tell if you want to be dancer you need to be thin and flexible.And I am too much worried.And I heard that contemporary dance is too hard to learn.

Oct 31, 2017
Learning to dance is not necessarily difficult
by: Maria

Dear Asmi,

Learning to dance is not difficult, if you follow an adequate process. Please take your time to read my first reply in this chat to understand better.

If you want to dance, you should do it. You can only know what you can do if you try it.

; )

Nov 26, 2017
Dance contemporary
by: Anonymous

Hi I’m 13 nearly 14 and I’d like to do contemporary I used to do a bit of ballet but I stopped do I need to do it again or can I just learn contemporary or will it be a lot harder if I don’t do ballet as well? And how long will it take to be good at it so if say I started now at like 14 when would i be able to say I’m sorta professional in contemporary? And how many times would I have to do it in a week to be good at it. I read the threads above and didn’t see my answer xx

Jul 04, 2018
by: Anonymous

hi, i'm a 17 year-old and i recently decided to persue dancing as one of my passions. i have absolutely no dancing background except taking contemporary dance on summer over the past 3 years. i'm afraid because my lack of flexibility and time, plus my age, would be a problem if i continue.

Jul 05, 2018
Dance if you love it
by: Maria

Hey there...

Do it if you love it. The practice will give you the answers. Everything depends on your goals and dedication.


Aug 21, 2018
Finally starting at 22
by: Rachel

I have wanted to learn how to dance for most of my life, but am only just beginning now at 22. I do not have any background experience in dance and am currently (and will continue to be) a powerlifter. I’ve always been told I have a "dancer’s body" naturally (5 ft, 125 pbs) but lack a lot of the mobility dance seems to require. Are there any tips or resources you have for beginning and improving in contemporary? Thanks!

Aug 21, 2018
Tips for Rachel
by: Maria

Dear Rachel,

My main tip is that you practice daily (six days a week).

Other than that, I recommend you to be curious and do research frequently. Inform yourself about the current events in the world and about everything that is related to your practice (techniques, aesthetic trends, choreographic methods, etc.).

You can start by reading all the articles in this website. They will give you a first glance and may help you find your main interest about dance.

; )

Dec 12, 2018
Beginner dancing
by: Anonymous

Hello I'm 20 year a beginner and I started learning dancing (hip-hop). I know it's too late for my age but I think I have passion and I'm really serious. I'm self-taught cause in my town they don't have dance classes...
I trying learn K-pop choreography I dance everyday at least 2 hours, do you think I can be at least average/good in one year and half?

Jan 09, 2019
Reply for anonymous beginner
by: Maria

Hey there,

That depends on your talent, discipline and other circumstances. But two hours a day is a good rhythm.

Don't give up and you'll see for yourself.


Feb 07, 2019
Too old?
by: Velibor


I have an age old question, but a little bit different circumstances. :)

I am 31 y.o. and I want to engage in dance.
My wish is to focus on ballet and contemporary and/or modern.
For the time being, I have to think about my finances so I gave myself a year to make a switch in career that would give me more free time to start training/taking classes while still being able to make a living.

I am an absolute beginner considering dance (or any sort of movement training besides running, hiking, free climbing, biking, yoga, calisthenics and parkour, but nothing professionally) although I am not a newbie in arts (though my field was music so far).

My question is: with consistent work and dedication, do You think it might be possible to enter the world of professional dance and performance even perhaps only on local/national level?

My aim is to begin training in local studios and see how I feel, than perhaps go into academic education or other diploma/certification programme. Ambitious, I know. :)

I wanted to dance for years but was not able because of life circumstances and I am certain that performing arts is where I want to direct my energy, time and effort. Dance is something I have a strong passion and desire for and would like to begin with and see where it takes me.

Thank You very much!



Mar 18, 2019
Can a free style dancer be contemporary dancer over time ?
by: Kat

I'm 18 and I've been a free style dancer since the 7th grade. But recently after quit a hip hop dance club, I wanted to explore and experience new dance forms. And contemporary dance has always caught my attention, but I'm worried since I've been doing hip hop for so long. It'll take me some time to be flexible and coordinated with a contemporary dance.
Is it possible for me to still be able to learn this dance form even after 6 years of free style hip hop ?

Mar 18, 2019
Contemp dance
by: Veil

I started to take contemporary classes at 35. I somewhat have sports background and I have been practicing yoga regularly, but this seems much harder.
I have trouble with shoulder rolls or wheel or splits, seems like I'm afraid (I was always afraid of being upside down or doing something wrong with my spine) and also not that flexible, I feel like I am never going to do them. Other people in class do them a lot better and faster. What is interesting though is that I feel like dancing on any type of music, as if something inside me clicked and I dont want to stop. I got discouraged somehow, I dont know if its too late for me to continue with this considering my age and does the fact that I dont do those poses right away makes me not a good for learning contemp?. I mean, I dont know how long it normally takes to do them or how flexible or fit you are supposed to be...

Jun 03, 2019
I have no flexibility
by: Anonymous

SO it’s been going on for a year that I love dancing but I’m just afraid because I have no flexibility what so ever and I’ve tried stretching and nothing works what do I do also my parents think contemporary dance is to hard for me but I really like. Plus I have no dance background at all I’ve never danced before and I’m starting at 11

Jun 05, 2019
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there!

You are very young. Continue with your stretching exercises and take a lot of classes. That will show you the way.


Sep 01, 2019
Aspiring Dancer please help
by: Maya

I’m a 13 yr old girl with no previous dance training. I do soccer and I am about to start taking track. I am not flexible at all but I want to be, and my friend and I are thinking of taking contemporary dance class, which starts next week. Is it ok to start by doing contemporary? My friend does not want to do ballet, but I kind of want to. Can we start by learning contemporary and then switch over to ballet in a year or two?

Oct 03, 2019
I am 47 years old.
by: Natalia H

I am 47 years old. If I staring to dance contemporary and it takes me 8 years, do you think I will be a dancer at the age of 55?
It is worthy? I love dance I am planning to go to Florence and do my best. Give me some advice.
Natalia. .

Oct 31, 2019
Reply for Natalia
by: Maria

Dear Natalia,

Eight years is a standardized amount of time which is considered to be needed to become a professional dancer. It refers very much to the development of physical skills.

At your age, the time needed to achieve a deep level of experience is the same, but the achievements depend a lot on your health and physical conditions. It is worth the experience, off course, but you need to avoid comparing yourself with young dancers and you should focus directly in the deep values of dance, that go beyond physical acrobacies.

Dance is always a rich experience, but it needs a wise perspective to be understood correctly .

; )

Dec 08, 2019
Educated but not proper.
by: Kim

I am 17 years old, and for almost my entire life I have been a dancer. From ballet to praise dance. However, since I moved to the United States I have not been properly educated in dance. I never gave it up. I continued growing personally in all areas of dancing, but I did not really get formal training or preparation. Is it bad that I try to aspire to dance this way? I cannot afford dance courses and my studio time sometimes is limited. Is it actually possible to commit to dance even if I do not have an instructor? I know it is harder that way, but what about possibilities?

Apr 22, 2020
Is this a bad time
by: Allanna

I used to do rythmic gymnastics at the age of 6 and i quit when i was about 9 or 10. i was really flexible and had no ballet skills. I am 13 now and i have gained back some of the skills that i had.

Apr 24, 2020
Reply for Kim and Allanna
by: Maria

Dear Kim and Allana,

Each person's life is a unique situation. If you want to dance, just go for it and give it a try. The process itself will show you the options and possible paths.

Earning a salary from dancing is difficult even for professional dancers that have done a complete and proper educational process. So, this idea should not be the measure to decide if you dance or not. Dance may bring other uncountable benefits to your life, but you need to figure out what place you give to the practice in your unique life circumstances.

It's amazing. Give it a try and you'll see.


Feb 25, 2021
I am 14 and want to be a dancer
by: Anonymous

I am 14 years old an have no experience in dance or gymnastics. I want to start dancing contemporary but I am worried because I have no experience, am not very flexible and I think I am starting too late. Can I start dancing at this age with no experience, and if so, where can I start dancing at this age?

Feb 25, 2021
Reply to: Can I start dancing at 14?
by: Maria

Hey there!

Your question is one of our Frequently Asked Questions. Please search for the FAQ button in the navigation bar and visit that page. You'll find your answer there.

And to find your dancing school, visit our directory. You'll also find the link in the navigation bar!

; )

Mar 07, 2021
Am I too late to start?
by: Tilda

Hi! I am 13 years old and I don’t know if I should start because I feel like everyone will be better than me and I will be going on my own and I will not know anyone. I have some experience with Irish dancing as I have done it for 8 years now. I am not that flexible. I have always wanted to dance and I dance all the time if it’s from pirouettes to jumping I love it. I don’t know if I should quit Irish dancing as I have invested so much time into it. Please help, thanks

Jun 05, 2021
Where can I start
by: Ava

I am 14 and I want to start dancing contemporary. I have no experience in dance. I can't find anywhere to start as a beginner learning dance at my age. Where can I start learning contemporary at 14?

Jul 01, 2021
Reply for Ava
by: Maria

Dear Ava,

We have a directory of contemporary dance schools. Please visit that page to find a place to take your classes:

Contemporary dance schools

Jan 01, 2022
Not good enough
by: Scarlett

So I'm 14, and I'm a little bit overweight (currently have lost pounds, and losing more! My goal weight is around 110 pounds, or 50 KG) and I'm 5 ft. I felt inspired for a couple years by
watching famous contemporary dancers. I've wanted to learn contemporary dance for such a long time, but my parents don't have the money too, and I'm afriad to get laughed at. I don't have a dancer body, and I'm short. I'm not tall and dainty like most dancers, I can't take classes (money issues), and I feel too old to leran. All my dancer friends have been taking dance since they were 5/6. I even have a friend who is 15 whose been taking contemporary dance and ballroom dancing for 11 years! I feel behind, and feel like I can't do it.

Any help or tips would be appreciated!

Mar 20, 2023
by: Ella

I've Been dancing since I was 2. I love it so much. when I was younger, i only took ballet. I fell in love with it. But now that i'm older, I take jazz, musical theater, and contemporary. Dance can help you build friendships in your dance company. It can also build confidence! I hope anyone will be willing to try dancing out if you haven't already!!!!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Dance Questions from Beginners.

Enjoy this page? You can pay it forward easily. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.


The Dance Thinker is our occasional E-zine. Fill in the form below to receive it for free and join us.


"The Dance Thinker"

Post contemporary dance announcements (workshops, auditions, performances, meetings and important news... it is free.)