For the last two years I have been taking Annemarie Donoghue's classes for the Over 55s at Northern Ballet in Leeds. I love those classes and I have written a lot of articles about them. You will find links to those articles in We're in the Paper 15 April 2015. I am therefore delighted to read in Danceworks' June newsletter that that studio is to start similar classes in London (see Over 50s Ballet Classes at Danceworks).
Under "Benefits of Ballet" Danceworks claims:
"There is no age barrier to learn to dance and the long-term flexibility benefits of ballet are excellent. Ballet classes will help to:I can attest from my own experience that each and every one of those claims is true.
- Develop and maintain your flexibility. The combination of strength and flexibility is what keeps a body healthier and stronger for longer, and more resilient to injury.
- Work both your body and your mind. The physical and mental challenges of ballet can improve vitality
- Gain confidence in your body You will feel more supple and poised
- Learn musicality Ballet is practised in harmony with music. You will learn to draw energy from it, count it and live.
- Feel a new energy and forget your problems in a relaxed and quiet environment."
Danceworks is holding a free taster class on 14 July between 18:00 and 19:30. The website states:
"These classes aim to teach what a regular class would, but at a pace more suited to older dancers, in a private studio in our Mayfair location a few minutes from Bond Street tube."They sound exactly like my classes in Leeds. All I would add is that very few concessions are made or indeed required for age. I take classes with young people in Huddersfield, Manchester and Sheffield and these are no more demanding than the classes for the Over 55s. I should also say that several of the members of my Over 55 class could give any of the teenagers and twenty or thirty somethings a run for their money. A number of members of my class are older than me but they are as slim as any supermodel and as sleek as any greyhound and are delightful to watch.
If you want to book a place on the course email firstname.lastname@example.org. You will find Danceworks at 16 Balderton Street, Mayfair, London W1K 6TN. Balderton Street is on the Southern side of Oxford Street which is almost opposite Selfridges.