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You’re never tutu old for ballet: Royal Academy of Dance to inspire over 55s at home with free online ballet classes

31 Mar 2020

While isolation isn’t an issue we can dance around, the Royal Academy of Dance is on a mission to help older audiences keep active indoors. The global dance education organisation today launches a weekly series of online ‘Silver Swans’ ballet exercise classes, designed to get the older generation moving to the music at home.

From experienced dancers to those that don’t know their plié from their pointe, older learners of any ability are invited to try out free Silver Swans classes. Shared in manageable bitesize videos, viewers can work on these during the week before moving onto the next exercise.

Championed by journalist, television presenter and RAD’s Silver Swans Ambassador Angela Rippon, Silver Swans classes have formed part of the RAD programme for over three successful years. Proven to ensure a complete mind and body workout by improving mobility, posture, co-ordination and energy levels, audiences can remain mentally and physically active while in isolation – even if the kitchen counter or the bathroom sink is serving as a makeshift barre.

RAD teacher and Silver Swans expert practitioner Sarah Platt brings her motivational classes directly to people at home. The RAD will release the series on Wednesday 1 April, then every Wednesday at 1pm for nine weeks via its website and social media channels. The series of classes will provide the over 55s, whose restless feet may already be twitching, with the knowledge to unleash their inner dancer, with new sequences to learn and remember each week.

As if the Silver ‘Swanabees’ would need any more encouragement, the RAD is also celebrating World Party Day on Friday 3 April with a global dance off. All ages and abilities are invited to put on RAD’s specially curated Spotify playlists and share their best moves on social media. Anyone who tags the RAD and uses the hashtag #RADathome will be in with the chance of winning a one-to-one online coaching session or Q and A with Principal Dancer of Birmingham Royal Ballet, Céline Gittens, as well as a signed pair of pointe shoes from the ballet star.

Angela Rippon, Silver Swans Ambassador says: “The great thing about Silver Swans ballet exercises is that you don’t have to go leaping around the room like Carlos Acosta. You can do them in one place – using a solid surface as a barre, and work on your core, balance, flexibility and strength. It’s the perfect way to stay fit, in a small space while giving your mind and body a full work out”.

Dame Darcey Bussell DBE, President of the Royal Academy of Dance says: “The Royal Academy of Dance is committed to promoting a love of dance in everyone, regardless of age, ability or background or wherever you are across the globe. As the word-renowned home for dance, what a perfect way to bring our ballet expertise right to your front door. Ballet is such a creative, artistic activity that helps tap into inner emotions and boost positive wellbeing as well as keep physically fit.”

Sarah Platt, RAD teacher and Silver Swans Licensee says: “Ballet has been a huge part of my life since I was a child, and I can’t imagine a week without it. Inspired by the determination of the Silver Swans to keep dancing, I have come up with these classes with all abilities in mind – enabling even the most experienced octogenarian to practice their plié– so I really hope you can join in with our dancers from across the world”.

Gerard Charles, Artistic Director, Royal Academy of Dance says: “With such an amazing community of dance enthusiasts across the globe, what better way to remind people of the healthful benefits and connections that dance can offer people of older ages and differing abilities. Whether you’ve danced for decades or think you’ve got two left feet, join us to get moving and let us bring the home for dance directly to your home. We are also supporting our teachers worldwide so that they too can offer materials to their communities online.”

The RAD will continue to release a series of online content for a range of ages and abilities over the coming weeks. The RAD will also keep the performance going with interactive online quizzes about ballet and the RAD, as well as advice from leading ballet dancers, and live Q&A’s with famous dancers including Steven McRae, Alexander Campbell and Anna Rose O’Sullivan.

 The RAD ballet exercise classes are free to all participants taking part. Classes will start on Wednesday 1 April and run weekly, all viewable on the Royal Academy of Dance website and social channels.