56-Year-Old Woman Just Moved To NYC To Become A Dancer On Broadway Because 'Dreams Have No Deadline'

She's been thinking about trying again all her adult life, so she finally decided to do it.

older woman pondering her dreams and goals fizkes / Getty Images / Canva Pro

Few of us see our dreams as young people come to fruition. Some of us fail, and for others, life just has a way of taking unexpected turns that lead us in other directions — and sometimes to other dreams.

But for many, the notion of it being "too late" holds us back. One 50-something decided she doesn't believe that to be true, and she's determined to prove it.

Dancer Kim Hale moved to New York at 56 to be on Broadway because 'dreams don't have a deadline.'

"It's never too late" is a familiar refrain we hear all the time, but it's all too easy to feel like it's just lip service. Upending your life when you're 25 is one thing, but doing it once you've settled into the slower rhythms of middle age or the golden years is another prospect. 


But dancer Kim Hale has refused to buy into that notion — and is making her dreams happen right at the point when most of her Gen X peers are thinking more about retirement than reaching for the stars.



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"At 53 years old, I decided to return to dance and performing after years of working for other people and making their dreams come true," Hale said in one of the many TikTok videos she's posted to document her journey. "Now, it's my turn."

Three years later, at the end of 2023, she packed up her life in Los Angeles and headed for Manhattan, inspiring millions along the way. 

Hale spent her 20s trying and failing to realize her dream, an experience that left her 'crushed.'

"I know some of you are thinking, 'Why would a 56-year-old woman with white hair move to New York City to pursue her Broadway dreams at this stage of her life? '" Hale said in another video. "I ask myself that question all the time!"

Hale's story will be instantly relatable to most people who tried to grab a brass ring in their 20s. She spent 15 years in her younger days trying for her Broadway dreams, and when it didn't happen, she said she left New York "crushed, broken and feeling like I had failed." 




She went on to pursue a career in teaching dance instead but didn't feel as fulfilled by it as she had hoped. So, she decided to change.

Her first step was to go back to dancing herself full-time. Next, she began taking regular trips to New York to take dance classes, see theatre, soak up the city, and see how it made her feel. And after a lengthier visit in October, she was left feeling like "I don't want to go home."



Still, she had misgivings. "At this stage of my life, it's like, how many moves can you make?" she mused. "It's scary. Exciting and scary, all at the same time." 


"Life is short… and you only get one life," she went on to say. "I gave up a couple times in my life on myself and my dreams, and I feel like even now there's a way something could happen. Something can still happen."

In the end, she decided to follow that instinct, dipping her toe back into New York City first with a short sublet, then with a more permanent move to the city where her story began. 

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Hale said she's now older and wiser, and the experience of trying for her dream will be worth it no matter the outcome.

During her stint in New York in her 20s, Hale said she was all by herself with "little support," and she "lacked the maturity to navigate the ups and downs of pursuing a goal."




That will be instantly recognizable to anyone who's had a similar path. I, too, left home at 22 to Los Angeles and then New York, chasing dreams I was then too young to understand.

My difficult upbringing left me without any of the skills a person needs to be suitably resilient for such an undertaking, and both cities promptly ate me alive. I beat myself up about it forever, thinking I was just too unlucky, too naive, and ultimately too weak to hack it, and spent years thinking about all the ways I went wrong and times I zigged when I should have zagged.

But for her part, Hale has taken a different view in the intervening years — she said she realizes she "did the best I could" at the time. Now older, wiser, and on the back end of decades that never quite became what she knew in her heart she wanted, her perspective has changed.


"On those days when I doubt myself," she said, "I try to remind myself that the pain of not trying will be way worse than giving it one more shot." 

I'm not quite as old (or wise) as Hale, but I can't help but think she's absolutely right (nor could I help but burst into tears when her video confirming she'd finally pulled the trigger on her epic undertaking came up in my FYP). The anxiety of any risky move is gutting, sure. But it's nothing compared to knowing you gave in and squelched your own fire.



So far, Hale's boldness is paying off. She's teaching classes at the iconic New York dance studio where scores of Broadway greats have studied, Steps on Broadway, and has been landing big auditions she never thought she'd be considered for.


"My story is filled with disappointment, loss, and bad decisions. It’s also filled with lessons learned, a major comeback, and gratitude for a second chance," she recently wrote in a video caption. "Keep fighting for your dreams, friend. Never too late." Great advice for all of us, whatever that dream may be. 

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.