Ballet For Adults
Are you ever too old?
By Georgina Dingle
With a prepubescent girl at home and many friends going through the menopause, I have begun to ponder my next inevitable metamorphosis. Not in a morbid way, but in a productive “What can I do to help myself through it?’ way. What can I do to look after my body and my brain?
Ballet has been part of my life since I was three years old. I fell in love with the movement, music and storytelling at a young age. Whether you have come to ballet later in life, are revisiting it, or have yet to try it, I truly believe there is a dancer in everyone. Music equals movement.
Dancing is a natural instinct. Just think how babies react to music!
But why, at a certain age do we stop dancing? Does life become too busy? School work take over? Jobs and home life dominate? Why does it have to stop? There has been scientific proof that dancing has cognitive benefits. When you dance you display improved problem-solving skills, your mood level rises and it can boost your happiness and creative thinking patterns.
If I said to you that I know something that keeps you supple, gives you spatial awareness, makes you use your brain and gives you some kind of social contact, you would be intrigued, no? The fact that ballet is wonderful for posture, core strength, balance, mobility of joints, flexibility and mental health is all part of its magic.
There has also been research into the benefits of dance for Parkinson’s and dementia sufferers, due to the fact that it requires focus to memorise and execute many of the ballet combinations and steps for dancers.
But it’s that age old question.
“Am I too old to start ballet?”
The answer is no! It is never too late to start ballet for fun and exercise. More and more people are beginning ballet later in life as entry level classes for adults are ever more accessible.
And even professional dancers are defying all odds and dancing longer and stronger than ever before.
Alessandra Ferri, who retired to become a mother, decided she wasn’t yet finished with her passion, and at 54 is still dancing with the top companies in the world. She was someone I looked up to during my student years and it is wonderful to see her still inspiring generations of ballerinas and sharing her gift.
I feel fortunate to know that with ballet I have found all these elements and hope that as I age and my body goes through its ‘changes’ I have given myself the best platform for continued health and wellbeing.
If you’ve been looking for an exercise program that is fun and will improve your life physically and mentally, then ballet might be right for you. You can start slow and advance at your own pace.
Tutu is optional!