a woman wearing traditional Indian clothing sitting on the floor of a stage

Golden Age: Dance Traditions That Revere Their Elders

Much of the Western dance world prizes youth. But some dance traditions, including classical Indian dance, flamenco, and tap, value the gifts of the older dancer. Unlike contemporary dance and ballet, which tend to prioritize skills that erode as we age—extreme flexibility, buoyant jumps—these practices enlist skill sets that develop and deepen over time. And their communities support long performing and teaching careers.