Ballet is an art form pursued by all ages, which is one of the most enchanting elements of its artistry. While acknowledging age in the studio is not meant to define a dancer’s ability, talent or grace, it can create a welcoming space for modifications in the lesson. This has been increasingly recognized by studios lately, and can be inviting to a group of adult ballet dancers in particular: seniors.
As physical activity is important at every age, there are many benefits in taking ballet class as a senior. These benefits include:
- Improved balance
- Stronger core, which together with balance, reduces risk of falling
- Low impact & barre for stability
- Sharpened memory and focus
- Improved flexibility and range of motion
- Artistic expression & emotional release
- Numerous assets of classical music, including stress, sleeping, and learning
- Improved social life, meeting others with a similar passion
- Posture of a ballerina
- Ballerina butt
- Great, sexy legs & calves
- Oh are you still reading this? Have anything else to contribute?
By creating a studio space for senior dancers, the class structure and methodology can be designed to suit a comfortable pace for the body. Barre work is modified to be slower and longer, while work in center offers options to return to the barre for combinations such as small jumps. Steps are also modified, which include offering the option of facing the barre or performing a 2-handed grand plié, which is easier on the knees. Ballet classes can be designed for sitting in a chair for those with limited mobility.
The Scottish Ballet has seen incredible growth in their Regenerate course, which is specifically offered to dancers sixty years and over. So much growth that there is a waiting list to take the weekly class and join the ‘Silver Swans,’ who have expressed their enjoyment in being able to exercise, socialize, and find support in ballet through the Regenerate course.
As more studios begin to offer a range of adult classes, ballet can continue to grow and embody the elegance from all walks of life, regardless of age.
Take time to ask the senior members of your studio their ballet story. The oldest participants and patrons of the ballet world have stories that will touch your hearts I am always knocked back on my heels to hear the history of a dancer and why they are here today next to me in class.
Like the elegant RAD look by Freed of London on these beautiful senior dancers? View and shop the look: 3/4 sleeve crossover top, short sleeve leotard, romantic long tutu, and “Classic Professional” pointe shoes.
Image Credits: Louise Nevin, 52, Christine Webber, 62, Pauline Devine, 60, Christina Lock, 68, Dorothy Flowers, 58 http://dailym.ai/2fH8Keh
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