How Old Is That In Cirque Years? The Truth About Aging In Circus

Sebastian’s First Silk Lesson at 7 Months

At the ripe old age of twenty four (you can’t see me right now, but I’m snickering in a very snarky way), I decided to run away and join the circus. Among the many sensitive and caring questions I got from friends and family was, “Aren’t you a little old for that? I thought you had to be born into the circus!”. The short answer is no, I wasn’t, and no, you don’t. Let’s unpack this, shall we? Here’s the straight talk about age and circus.

 

The Downside of Starting Later

You want the bad news first? You got it. Now, when I say “later”, I mean anything after sixteen (brutal, right?). If you are lucky enough to be born a Wallenda, you start training practically in utero. Some lucky kids get hooked up with awesome youth circuses like Circus Smirkus or Circus Juventas, and are performing at a professional level before they’re out of junior high. But what about the rest of us who didn’t discover this wacky world of circus until (gasp!) their twenties? Thirties? Forties and beyond?
The downside is this: you have to work much harder, and the older you are, the longer it takes to bounce back from injuries. Jumping in without a warmup is no longer an option, and you may find that you spend more time with frozen peas taped to your shoulders that not. BUT. That’s it. That’s the whole downside, people  – hard work and some frozen peas.
 

The Upside of Starting Later

I began my training with the utterly extraordinary Tanya Gagne, one half of the Wau Wau Sisters and owner of Big Sky Works/The Trapeze Loft (awesome space – check it out).  When I kvetched about my age, she set me straight in a hurry. She told me she had never felt so strong (seriously – you could bounce a quarter off her tush), or had mastery over so many skills; she assured me that with patience and hard work, I could have my dream.  She was right! There are real upsides to starting later: intense focus, greater vision, perseverance, resources, and more. Did you know that your thirties are a spectacular time to pack on major muscle? Our perceptions can age us faster than our bodies ever could.
 
 So, what are you waiting for, friend? Here’s a quotable from Julia Cameron:

 
“Question: Do you know how old I’ll be by the time I learn how to play the piano?
Answer: The same age you will be if you don’t.” – Julia Cameron, “The Artist’s Way”
 
Deep thoughts, people! If you’re using your age as an excuse not to try aerials, or anything for that matter, knock it off. Get going – there’s living to be done! Love and pull-ups, Laura
 
PS – check out this quick video from Marie Forleo about this very thing – highly entertaining! And comment on this post with your success stories of starting to train a little later – I wanna hear you!

As always, if you like this post, share it on your blog, FB, Twitter, and wherever else you crazy kids are posting things these days!

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70 comments on “How Old Is That In Cirque Years? The Truth About Aging In Circus”

  1. Steph Reply

    Ummm…it’s like you knew I needed to hear this. Hello….how did you get in my head?!?! Seriously, thanks. As one of the geriatric newbies, this makes me go….yes I can! Bring on the frozen peas!!!!!!

  2. Tanya Reply

    Laura Witwer is an amazing part of and teacher in the aerial and circus community
    here in NYC and we are all very lucky to have her!

  3. Glendyne Reply

    I agree with Steph, bring on the frozen peas! I’m 33 and just started aerial arts in July. I’m not as flexible as I used to be during my rhythmic gymnastics days, but it is encouraging to know that I can’t use age as an excuse to not do this. 🙂 I feel like I’ve broken barriers already by proving that you can. LOVE the pic of the baby in the silks… so adorable.

  4. Glendyne Reply

    I agree with Steph! Bring on the frozen peas! 🙂 I’m 33 and just started in July and while my progress is VERY slow, I’m making small improvements that I take victory in. And your comment about being able to pack on muscle at this stage of my life is super encouraging… bring it on!

    Oh and talk about “priorities”… I took the afternoon off work so I could attend a make-up class! 😀 YAY! I agree… there is living to be done.

    I love this blog.

    • Lewitwer Reply

      Glendyne – you’ll be AMAZED at how strong you can get!!! 33 is a great age to start! 🙂

  5. Haldis Reply

    Doing aerial was always something I dreamed about. Thanks to Jay Long (the director of the studio where I dance) and Laura Witwer, I finally got to see that dream to fruition. I started performing on the Lyra three years ago (at the age of 30) and I absolutely love what it has done to my mind, body, and soul. My body has never been in better shape. So take it from me, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are “too old” to do something. It is never too late to pursue your dreams. Thanks Laura!

  6. Caroline Reply

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for echoing my sentiments!! I started static trap at 23 – until then, I thought I had to be born into some crazy Russian circus family or it was hopeless. I’m 29 now and I’m more flexible than I was at 10 years old. Yay aerials!!

    I also LOVE that you link to Marie Forleo.

    I love your blog! 🙂

    ~Caroline

  7. Danielle Reply

    I started flying trapeze at age 50. 8 months later I could do all the basic backend tricks, I’m soon going to add a pull to my swing, I have swung out of lines and learned to work my own board, I caught a cutaway, a drive layout, pelicano, etc. I can do the splits again and I have gained MAJOR muscle! I also rock climb (outdoors and in the gym), do strength training almost everyday, do a lot of stretching, and will be taking trampoline classes soon. I’m having a great time and look forward to continuing to advance on flying trapeze. I might try silks, but I feel nauseous if I hang upside down for too long. Anyway, I get really sick of the comment “wow, you’re really in good shape for your age.” To me that’s like saying “You’re really in good shape for a woman (or a blind person, or someone with blue eyes, and so on). People in our culture give up on themselves after a certain age because that’s the message they get, that they should. I even got a comment about a small performance I was in “Aren’t you a little old to be wearing a tutu?” Hell no!!! Bring on the peas and the tutu and whatever else. I’m having fun!!

    • Lewitwer Reply

      Oh Danielle – I LOVE THIS! My first trapeze instructor was Tony Steele (still the only man who can talk me off the pedestle board). He was utterly fabulous (still is!) – it really changed the way I thought about age and physicality. At 64, my silks coach was literlly plummeting from the rafters in the most gorgeous drops you’ve ever seen. ROCK THE TUTU – show ’em what 50 REALLY looks like! 🙂

      • Jen Reply

        Wow wow wow awesomesuace …. Thank you I feel like training now. Bring it sore bum and shoulder, my ice pack is in the freezer.

      • Tina Reply

        Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m 38 and I just started aerial silks 2 1/2 weeks ago. I tell myself the only person I’m competing against is myself–can I stretch a little farther than last class, pull myself up easier, learn a new trick, etc. but sometimes (like tonight) I get a little down when I look around at all the super lithe, super bendy 20-somethings in the class. So thank you for his comment because I’m reminded why I started these classes to begin with.

    • Susan Reply

      I have fallen in serious love with flying trapeze. At 50. Your comments give me hope that i can get as far as i want to go.
      Thank you.

  8. alicia Reply

    Can I add that if you have a toddler, you also have WAY more upper arm strength than you probably have ever had before so it’s a great time to start silks. Plus small kids are good conditioning devices. I started classes at 33, when my little boy was about 15 months, and doing sit ups with him on my chest or reps of lifting him strait followed by arms length in front of me were some of the best strength building exercises I could do. Kids get heavier and wrigglier over time, so it gets harder at about the rate you can handle it. Family time that makes me buff and better able to hoist my aerial-ninja self in the air? score.

    • Lewitwer Reply

      I’m right there with you, Alicia! My little man is two, and lifting him is getting to be heroic. 😉

  9. Julie Crompton Reply

    You’re never too old! I was 53 when I started playing in the silks. I’ve never been stronger or more flexible and I’ve put on visible muscle, this after 30 years of weight training. Don’t get me wrong, you can get stronger with weight lifting workouts, but I gained more strength faster & have more fun doing it in the air.

  10. Judy Reply

    I am 59 a few days and I am just starting Aerial Silks !! I have a lot of hard work and fun a head of me. Hurray for me !!!

    • Lewitwer Reply

      Fantabulous, Judy!!!!!! Hurray indeed! You are going to have an insanely fantastic time.

    • Julie Reply

      to Judy: You’re right, there’s nothing more fun than silks. Take it easy, don’t push it, you’ll get stronger more slowly than you’d like, but faster than doing anything else! Kudos to you for giving it a try.

  11. Alicia Reply

    Ahh more inspiration I needed! I’m 26 and have dreams of being a professional aerialist. And even though I’ve been dancing and doing gymnastics since I was 3, I was feeling like I’m too old to try to achieve these goals. Really happy I found this site, it’s just what I’ve needed!

    • Lewitwer Reply

      Alicia, I promise – you’re at a fantastic age to begin! The circus world is super different from the dance and gymnastics world in that performance careers span many decades. Go be brilliant and fabulous – it’s a perfect time to start! 🙂

  12. Diane Mcgrath Reply

    I started Aerial when I was 32-33. It has changed my life !!! I performed in a troupe for 10 years + . Now I have just started teaching aerial skills for 40 and beyond . First class starting on 18th ! SO excited . I am turning 49 in September!

    • Kassy Reply

      Wow that is amazing!!!! It really has just inspired me too carry on with my dream of becomming a professional aerialist! Starting out at 27 i thought why not and have since started a degree in dance and physical theatre leading me too aerial arts, but started to doubt myself recently thinking I will just be laughed at by the ‘young’ ones and would never get a job as they would just want the young thin and beautiful looking girls (like i use to be ha ha) but after reading this i now realise i still am them things just with a few more years life experience.
      Thankyou 🙂

  13. Sophie Reply

    I just started this year, and at 38 am feeling pretty proud of myself. As a working mum with 2 kids under 5 I have time limits to just how much stretching I can do on a daily basis, but if I miss my aerials class, I feel the difference. And I am amazed at how fast I progress! Love this blog, thanks so much. I’ve been inspired to purchase a pull ups bar for my house, and am presently working on achieving a straddle. Just one relatively graceful straddle from the floor would make me oh so proud!

  14. Lynda Reply

    Thank you, I was starting to doubt myself and went searching (on the internet) dangerously for answers. I know what I have to do, train harder and never look back. 🙂

  15. Aliza Reply

    Love this! I am 39 and just started flying trapeze and aerial silks 5 months ago. I have twins born in 2011 so it has been great for getting back in shape and giving me some ‘me’ time. I love the art form and appreciate how people from all ages are doing it. I’vealways believed that we let age hold us back too much in this country.

    • Monik Reply

      Keep going Aliza, i started flying trapeze at 39 too. It makes me feel like i was 20. Now i am doing aerial silk and i dont`t feel that i am 44. My kids (14, 12, and 10)
      love that because i can do trapeze and aerial silk with them.

  16. Monik Reply

    Hello, i started aerial silk last year when i was 44. It was one of my dream to only tryed that but after meeting someone in a Club Med, he gave me some trick and i falled in love with silk. In Montreal, my instructor (from Cirque du Soleil) gave me all the assurance i need to start. It is so important to have a instructor who you feel safe to execute figure and he will be there if you get wrong. Now it`s been one year that i practice almost each day, i practice aerial silk at home and at the gym for practicing drops. Last year when i started, just to grap the silk, it was so painfull. Now, i can do a lot of keys, figures, drops. It is amazing what your body can do when you practice something with passion and perseverance!!! The only thing i need to improve it is my split, i almost got it, only 2 inches and i will win my challenge. It is true that icepack is good sometimes but it is so fun that i will not private my self of doing my aerial.

    • Holly Reply

      Thanks for the inspiration. I have been doing silks for 5 mos and started at 37. I keep hurting my back but keep working through it. I have gained so much strength and mental strength. I have a dream of performing some day. Go ice packs!!

  17. Lauren Reply

    Thank you for this post Laura! Im 32 with a disability and I thought there is NO WAY I am going to be able to go upside down let alone do the splits but I find I am more focused, more in tune with my body and what is is ‘saying’ to me and I also feel alot better about myself and my little wins. I have been doing it now for 5 months and although my progress is alot slower than other people in my class Im still pretty happy I gave it a go. Cheers!

  18. Chey Reply

    I am so glad i found this. I am 21 and only starting to think about going to Circus School. (Everyone was telling me I was too old.) Now i know that I should go for it and prove everyone wrong. ;D

  19. Jeanne Reply

    I started aerial silks at 56 at Orlando Aerial Arts. They have a great step-by-step syllabus and are so patient and encouraging. I also thoroughly enjoy reading Laura’s articles. I’m turning 60 next month so this will be my 4th year. My only background was as a yoga instructor–I now have more strength and more flexibility than I’ve ever had in my life. I feel like silks seems to promote elongated strong muscles as opposed to the short bulky ones. My only issue seems to be that spinning is out of the question. Next skill I’m working on–double star drop.

    • Lewitwer Reply

      Go Jeanne go! I LOVE hearing this. So many people believe 30 is the end of the road for fantastic physical pursuits – don’t you just love provin’ em wrong? 😉 Good luck with your double star – you’ll be spectacular!

    • Lucy B. Mills Reply

      Jeanne it is great to hear your story! I feel a bit of an odd duck at aerials classes sometimes with all those 20 and 30 somethings. I also started in my mid-fifties with silks, having been bitten by the trapeze bug from years of Club Meds. I will be turning 60 this year, but I still love silks so much – I can do things now that I never thought would be possible a few years ago. I don’t know how much time I have left before arthritis gets too bad to grip, but I intend to make the most of it! – Same deal with spinning for me, no can do anymore 😉

  20. ohwell Reply

    I would like to know your opinion…I had seen the movie Gymnast about silk aerialists and at the end, after they perform their audition for a casino, they don’t get the gig as one of their friends accidentally mentioned to the manager than Dreya Weber’s character was 40 years old. This was really depressing to watch…I never want to be pro performer making a living off this, but I want to perform at events here and there. I’m at the peak of my strength now, as turning 40, and I do difficult strength-based tricks and want to be able to share this, eventually, but a little voice in my head is always telling me “You’re too old…no one will want to look at you dancing as you look too old (I don’t look old, just look unusually muscular)…you’re making a fool of yourself… you’re not a beautiful feminine 20-something people would want to see…get down and just lift weights of something, you’re pathetic”. I feel judged and laughed (even though may be in my head only). I do corde lisse. I tell myself “all you might be good for is comedy corde lisse clown act at the very best and you’ll have to fully cover your face so that no one will see your age”. So, at the end, I’m doing all this aerial stuff purely for myself now–which sometimes leads to feeling of depression and isolation (and sometimes even leaves me crying), as I have this idea all I’m doing might be worthless–considering the pain and risk– and I will get weaker as I’m getting older and lose my skills, etc, etc. This had been eating up my life. What is your take on this movie’s not so happy ending for aerialists (if you seen it) and does this reflect real life situation?

    • Lewitwer Reply

      Ohwell – one of the finest aerialists I know is in her 50’s, and can dance RINGS around 90% of the younger artists (she works constantly, BTW). It’s not just strength and skill – it’s life experience, freedom from the good opinion of others, and years perfecting her skills that makes her an absolute force of nature. My coaches were all older, and utterly amazing. Our company much prefers seasoned 30+ artists to younger performers, for a thousand different reasons! I haven’t seen the movie, but it may help to keep in mind that age is most often considered if the contract is a long one (casinos, Soleil, etc) – injury, famiy commitments, etc all play a role in hiring.

      Why on earth shouldn’t you perform at events?! I promise you – if the audience realizes you’re over 35, they won’t be thinking anything but, “She is such a badass! I want to be that amazing when I’m 40!” Injury can stop you. Lack of resources and skills can stop you. Unforseen events can stop you. But don’t let your fears about what others may think stop you! Challenge peoples perceptions of age. SHOW them what 40 really looks like! Physical brilliance doen’t end in your 20’s. Hell, it doesn’t end in your 30’s or 40’s either. Perform with your head held high, and try to rediscover that joy.

      My take on the end of the movie? F**k anyone who sees crows feet instead of talent. 😉

  21. Julie Crompton Reply

    I’ve posted before in this thread, but I want to respond to ohwell. I’m 57, started taekwondo at 50, aerial silks at 53. I’m stronger & more flexible than I ever was before in my life. I don’t do aerial gigs, but it isn’t because people will laugh at me for not being a sexy twenty-something. It’s because I don’t want to take the time & effort to put together performance acts. I spend more time working on taekwondo. I earned a 2nd degree black belt last spring. At one point during the 4 hour grueling test the master who was running the test stopped the proceedings to identify me as the oldest candidate & asked everyone to cheer for me. That’s what people really think of us older people who decided not to be couch potatoes, tottering out to the mailbox, afraid of falling on a flat sidewalk. Find a workout partner who will cheer you on. Getting older is inevitable, but the work you put into your body will pay you back in sufficient strength to live with dignity at whatever age.

  22. Lauren Watson Reply

    You might also like to know that even though Dreya Weber’s age was a problem in that particular audition, she choreographs some of the worlds best aerial performances including Pinks Funhouse tour and The Truth about Love. 🙂 Age means nothing, I’m 32 and have a disability and I do aerial so you are never too old (or disabled) to try anything.

    Laura is a fabulous teacher too! I did a private hoop lesson with her on a visit to NYC from Australia and she is very encouraging. 🙂

  23. Jen Reply

    Oh my I needed these recent comment today. In my late 30’s I work out and train like I am much younger. And I often wonder will people enjoy seeing me do my thing ( aerial silk and contortion). I wonder why I put the work in and perform very little. I wonder why don’t I just do bland exercises like others.

    I guess it because it awesome that I can almost put my head on my bum and perform a beautiful split in the air. And not too many folk can do that.

    I just took a vacation and did something I don’t do which is take more than 3 days off from excersie and got back to it today…. I felt my age…it was difficult…but reading all of this…. I will do my pull ups and splits and know that I am awesome. Thank you!

  24. ohwell Reply

    Thanks for the answer, Laura and all the others. I think I was beating myself into the ground (and realized most people think I’m 25-27, not 40, as I do look younger–in part, thanks to aerial training). My goal is not professional performance as already had heavily invested in another profession, but for myself/life’s passion. I think one of the things “older” performer can often bring is stronger character development for their act–more acting skills–performance having more intense “theatrical” and expressive element–this is what I observed, aside from being mostly physical or token moves performance. Anyway, I’ve been watching some videos of 70+ year old circus performers recently, doing things most people never would consider doing once in their entire life and showing great artistry at the same time, very uplifting.

  25. Joel Marsan Reply

    Before I turned 40, I was 244 lbs and had been heavy almost all my adult life. Starting aerial arts at 43 was challenging, but that was part of the attraction. I will be 55 shortly and still occasionally get to perform…silks, aerial net, static trapeze. My birthday present to me…a clean rollup…looking for at least 3 up and 3 down. Thankful for every day I can go up!

  26. Ellie Reply

    Laura–love this article and I am an ‘older’ candidate as well, starting aerial silks at 39. But I have been plaqued by multiple injuries and am nursing one now. Wondering if you have specific tips (maybe a blog post could address this?) on injury prevention for us ‘older’ folks. Don’t know what I’m doing wrong..and neither does my instructor as I obsessively warm up and actually show up early to get extra warm-up time. I don’t want to blame age…but I can’t help but to do that since it’s unclear why I am injured so much more than those 20 something kids.

    • Lewitwer Reply

      Would you mind elaborating on the kinds of injuries you’re getting? Are they in the same area? Acute? Inflammation? Any info you feel comfortable sharing will help me give you a more specific (and hopefully more helpful) answer. 🙂

      • Ellie Reply

        Hi Laura–thx so much for responding. The injuries I’m getting are all in the rib, side, back area. Don’t know how to strengthen these/stretch these but they appear to be a little sensitive for me vs. others. Maybe it’s age-related, maybe not, but others don’t seem to get them.

        • Lewitwer Reply

          39 is truly not old in circus years, so we’re not going to blame it on age! 🙂 There are a couple of things that might be going on: muscle imbalance or weakness in the area, an un-diagnosed injury, or less-than-optimal technique that’s resulting in pain. I would head to a doctor to rule out an underlying injury like a herniated disc or muscle tear. Once that’s been addressed, a physical therapist can help you treat weaknesses or imbalances. It’s also time to take a long, hard look (keep a record) of what moves are resulting in injury. If you can narrow it down to a particular movement, great! Also ask yourself if you’re ignoring warming signs of “impending doom” during class, or if you’re pushing beyond your current abilities, particularly in regards to back flexibility. Good luck and speedy healing – keep us posted!!! 🙂

          • Julie

            Another possibility, one that I have a lot of trouble with, is that old injuries can leave muscles in spasm. Sometimes referred to as trigger points or pressure points. Deep massage can find & release these, but any time that muscle is stressed it tends to knot up again. The pain isn’t always where the knot is, sometimes it’s pulling on muscles at a distance. In my case, if my knee hurts, I know to massage the line down the outside of my legs. I hurt my back last January, which has set up a new set of pressure points ready to knot up at the least incorrect movement. This may be what you are referring to as a muscle imbalance, when the body compensates for a weakness in one area by an incorrect use of another area.

          • Lauren Watson

            I found I would get a sore back and ribs sometimes if I was expanding my chest for the first time or using my back muscles a little too much. I always thought I had a strong back until I started using it! Im 33 and started 2 years ago and I got such a sore back I went and got it checked out. Turns out my muscles were experiencing being used for the first time so I eased off and gave them a rest and worked a bit slower. I did get sore ribs from twisting weirdly once so I stopped that move until my abs were stronger. My advice is listen to your body, you will start to understand the difference between muscles and joint pain and over use. It is also good to try and focus on where your body is within space…sounds strange but understanding what muscles your using for the tricks that are giving you pain might help you understand what you might be doing different and also watch body placement of your instructor. You can learn a lot by watching. 🙂

  27. seve Reply

    I’ve read most threads with the utmost attention as I’m pondering whether to try enrolling to a circus school of higher education.I’m 30 and I’ve been working increasingly seriously this last year on getting my fitness back after over 10 years off sports. I’m now getting pretty good at handstands, bridges, splits and looking into getting more dynamic acro moves back, and starting aerial. I feel stronger and fitter than ever before but I wonder if I have the stamina to attend a circus school full time. Do schools even consider your application when you’re 30? Any tip or insight much appreciated!!

    • Lewitwer Reply

      Hi Seve! Speaking candidly, there are several things to consider. Most high-level circus programs only accept students who have a substantial degree of experience and skill in their preferred apparatus. When you find one that takes lower level students, the next question is how long the program is, and do you really WANT to spend that time in that particular program. You’ll want to balance the duration of the program, what you’ll leave with, cost, connections, etc. Check out NECCA for a start! 🙂

  28. Sheri Reply

    I know this original post was from a few years ago, but I can’t even tell you how true it is! I have always wanted to do certain things, but never had a chance when I was younger… ballet — started at 45, tap and jazz at 46, aerial silks and static trapeze at 47… and yesterday took a flying trapeze class (still 47 – so a lot in one year!). I can’t tell you how much I love all of these things, but I am still on a “high” from the flying trapeze! SO much fun! I hate it when people use age as an excuse… well, if you think you can’t, you can’t. But I am determined to do what fills me with happiness, and being in the air just happens to be one of those things. Yes, it takes longer to recover. Yes, it takes longer to master a trick, or even just a basic climb. Yes, you have to be willing to stick it out and watch the girls 20 years younger than you move up to the next class long before you do. But perseverance pays off in so many ways. First, my kids think I am the coolest. Second, my friends think I am the coolest. Third, being able to accomplish a goal brings so much self confidence and satisfaction. Fourth, these aging bodies need to keep moving – aerials accomplish this in such a fun way! And I am sure I am leaving out other countless benefits. Needless to say, I am hooked on aerials!

  29. Suzan Reply

    I love the article, but I guess I could use some more pushes in the back. If there are some ideas out there, I would love to hear them.
    I’m 24 now and received a message yesterday which said that I was not invited to this circusschool’s selection. I started circus hand to hand acrobatics three years ago. This message really discouraged me.
    I fell in love with movement last year and would like to find my way in this. But the path is really unclear. I bump on the same walls everytime again. Lack of experience, and lack of starting at a young age.
    At this moment, I would love to be in a school so I could give it my all and my main focus. At this moment, I’m spending all my evenings in different kinds of classes. So the focus is broken. Ballet, contemporary dance, acrobatics. I would love some comments or other ideas!

  30. Drupal Android Reply

    Also love this article, I am actually 32 M and doing things way beyond I could ever do in my high school gymnastics days. I have never had an injury which helps.

  31. Rachel Reply

    I was 35, out of shape, and starting to feel old from all the aches and pains that come from not being active. Then I decided to try aerials, and everything changed. I actually feel younger now (at age 38). Sure, my progress has been slower than people who start younger or more fit, but so what? That just gave me another reason to be proud of myself when I finally got good enough to be able to perform for my school.

  32. Mary Reply

    I’m glad I found this thread. I’m 61 years old, a recent widow, and I have started on the Lyra. I love it. For thirty years I sat around at a desk job. Everyone in my class is 30 to 40+ years younger than me. They’re very supportive and they cheer me on. I’m not trying be 20, instead I want to have fun, get stronger, experience joy and this brings it to me.

  33. Parth Reply

    Oh, this is really good article. For my life, I really wanted to become a circus artist and I always thought I could never do it. As I am now 36, I have lost all the chances but your article and comments of the people have give me a ray of hope. I pray, I get a chance to fulfil my dream. And cheers to all the enthusiasts who are already chasing their dream irrespective of their age.

  34. Le.m Reply

    Hi everyone! I know I’m not the intended audience here (I’m 16) but I was wondering if you think it would be possible to start with no prior experience in gymnastics or dance and still make it my career one day? (I’m so sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this, I’m just not getting answers anywhere else!) Also, kudos to everyone above for following their dreams – you’re all so courageous!

  35. Megan Reply

    Thank you for this! I just started static trap this year at 46 and I’m loving it! Feel like I’m getting stronger and better every day!

  36. jayne calderwood Reply

    I started static trapeze at 45 and I am now 54, still teaching, performing and training. Not saying it’s easy but if I warm up well , keep strong and stretch correctly I am hoping to keep going until at least 60 and beyond.

  37. Pauline Gray Reply

    don’t give up, if you want to do something then just give it a go. I am 63 in september and started silks only 18 months ago. I take more time to learn the tricks, and have to warm up well but since doing silks I am the fittest and strongest I have been in years. I have always been fairly flexible but you are stiffer when you are older, I have found that the stiffness has gone and my splits are deeper than 45 years ago (the last time I did any dance classes).

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