Ballet can help to stretch muscles, strengthen bones, and to fight dementia.
If you think ballet is only for young people and kids, then you are wrong. Ballet is becoming popular among senior citizens like never before. There have been several classes organized just for people above 60 years and their dance moves seem just as perfect as done by any young person. When a professional ballerina Vanessa Woods injured her leg and could not dance until she healed, she decided to start classes for people with "different levels of physical ability." She also changed some ballet steps to make sure that someone sitting can also do it. Moreover, other places like the Royal Academy of Dance in the United Kingdom have also started classes for senior dancers and they are called Senior Swans. Also, the Scottish Ballet's Regenerate Group began a production called Swan for seniors performing the piece, according to Grisworld.
When we talk about the advantages of Ballet for seniors, it has been found that people who do ballet have better posture, improved memory and improved balance. It is because one has to memorize combinations, and coordinate body movements in time with the music for ballet. Also, it is said that it can help to stretch muscles, strengthen bones, and to fight dementia as one needs to memorize and executive many ballet combinations and steps for dances. It is also great for seniors are there are lesser chances of an injury.
Kathleen Curwen-Walker, Principal of Dance for Life Academy, has been trained in the Cecchetti method of Classical Ballet. She was taught in Melbourne by Athol Willoughby F.I.S.T.D, O.A.M who was trained by one of Enrico Cecchetti's students. In 2016, she started her Senior Swans program for dancers who were above 50. The program became so popular that it was broadcasted across media. However, it spread further after scientific studies showed the health and wellness benefits of ballet for the body and mind. "Senior Swans Ballet follows the structure of a traditional Ballet class. The main adaptation is that there are no jumps (or very modified ones) to protect the joints. Neither do we offer pointe work….but who wants to go through that pain in our senior years anyway! Those are the only things that are out of bounds. Classes incorporate stretching & creative movement as well as formal ballet training to produce a holistic experience that invigorates, calms, challenges and satisfy. And then there’s always the lure of the local café to socialize at afterwards!" as written on the DFLA's website.
One of the videos from Senior Swans ballet classes was posted on Twitter recently by @GoodNewsCorres1. In the video, many seniors were seen gracefully practicing their dancing moves. The caption read, "SENIOR SWANS: Age is just a number. So much grace." The video has more than 50,000 views. People on the platform were impressed by their moves. A Twitter user wrote, "Group sessions are very beneficial to older individuals, both for the body and the mind. Very graceful indeed." Another user said, "Beautiful." A third one wrote, "This is probably me in a couple of years…"
SENIOR SWANS:— GoodNewsCorrespondent (@GoodNewsCorres1) January 7, 2023
Age is just a number. So much grace. (🎥:seniorswans)