"Ballet is the passion of my life - I just feel free"  Meet the inspirational 92 year old ballet student

Sheila Wedgwood, 92, is celebrating her twenty-seventh consecutive year studying ballet at Morley College London.

08 July 2024


Sheila Wedgwood, 92, is celebrating her twenty-seventh consecutive year studying ballet at Morley College London. Sheila began taking ballet classes at Morley in 1997 after retiring as a special needs teacher. She attends Regenerate Ballet each week - a demanding ninety minute ballet class.   Celebrating the final class of the summer term last week, Sheila explained how much Morley's ballet class means to her: "Ballet is the passion of my life"  "Taking part in the class I feel free, particularly when we do the jumps. I just feel free, free like a bird"   

Sheila's ballet teacher is Liora Goldwater, who has taught Shiela ballet at Morley since 2011.   "Sheila is amazing to dance at 92. She loves dance like nothing else, she just really enjoys doing it.  She always wanted to dance but didn't have the chance when she was younger.  She has probably been doing ballet for as long as I have!" 

Sheila especially values support and the guidance from her tutor Liora:  "Liora runs the class like we are training for the Royal Ballet - without being patronising!" "We all value her so much."



Sheila is married with four grown-up children and two grandchildren.  At home Sheila cares for her husband, Julian, 88,  who has memory problems.  Attending the ballet class gives Sheila time to switch off from her caring responsibilities.   Sheila explains:   "I think Morley is more than just a place you pursue your interests. I think it contributes greatly to your mental health." 

Lifelong learning

During her retirement years Sheila has also taken courses in Italian and singing at Morley.    Last year her commitment to learning was recognised receiving a Morley Student Award for Life-Long Learning.    On July 9th Morley will be celebrating this year's student award winners in a special celebratory awards ceremony.

Sheila's family also enjoy creative classes at Morley College London. Sheila's son Crispin, 71,  attends singing classes while her daughter-in-law is enrolled in jewellery and stained glass courses.   A passionate advocate for lifelong learning Sheila says:  "Learning is for life. You never stop learning. "   "I will never reach perfection [in ballet] but there is nothing to stop me striving for it. "   

She plans to restart ballet classes in September. 

It's never too late to try something new

Morley College London offers a huge range of dance classes - from ballet and tap to Jazz.   Why not try something new this autumn!