Silver Swans showcase beautiful benefits of ballet
A GROUP of extraordinary local seniors raised the barre in physical activity recently, as part of Aveo Clayfield's (Brisbane) Retirement Living Expo 2019.
Helping to spread the important message of physical and emotional health, the Silver Swans, a group of seniors who now train in ballet during their retirement, graced the stage at Aveo Clayfield and put on an amazing performance and ballet class for local senior residents.
An initiative developed by the Royal Academy of Dance and aimed at students 55 years and older, the Silver Swans is a ballet class that helps to improve mobility, co-ordination, posture and an overall sense of wellbeing.
Crucially, it helps to provide seniors an important social connection for their demographic. This concept is proving wildly popular in helping retirees reach the minimum 30 minutes of daily physical activity they require.
It comes as external research shows that only one in 10 Australians over the age of 50 years exercises enough to gain any cardiovascular benefit.
Marilyn Culpitt, principal at the Ascot School of Dance, said the program gave participants a general feeling of wellbeing.
"Ballet allows a fabulous means of exercise to fabulous music,” she said.
"Generally seniors are at an age where this is just a lovely, gentle form of exercise - and they do work up quite a sweat at times. Ballet becomes more important, because it's more than just an activity.
"And with the beautiful music and the movement, many seniors are unleashing their inner ballerina that they have always wanted to be.”
Ms Culpitt said ballet had many positive benefits.
"Posture is one of the most important things in ballet, and from the very beginning, from the moment they walk on to the barre, we are focusing on their posture,” she said.
"A lot of the ladies say by the end of the class, they are now far more aware of their posture when they are waiting in line at the supermarket, or even at home when they are doing the dishes - they are actually thinking of their position and how to hold themselves.”