The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) today announced the launch of its Silver Swans pilot project featuring branded ballet classes created specifically for the over-55s and taught exclusively by Silver Swans Licensed Teachers. Specially designed for mature dancers, classes help improve mobility, posture, coordination and energy levels and, most importantly, impart the sense of wellbeing that dance brings.
Television presenter and dance enthusiast, Angela Rippon CBE, has been named as the RAD’s Ambassador for the project. Earlier this year, Angela attended a Silver Swans teacher training session and met with some Swans. She says:
“I’m absolutely delighted to be the Ambassador for Silver Swans, having been involved in dance for many years, both professionally and in my private life.
On my BBC programme How to Stay Young, we proved scientifically that dance is the exercise which ticks all the boxes, to give you the full mind and body workout. That really convinced me that dance is a way to ensure a long and healthy life; it keeps you supple, it’s an aerobic exercise, it gives you spatial awareness, it makes you use your brain, and it gives you some kind of social contact as well. I hope that men and women across the country will take up the Royal Academy of Dance’s invitation to become a Silver Swan.”
Silver Swans classes are delivered by qualified dance teachers who have trained to safely adapt ballet techniques for older adults. The training focuses on how to deliver a high quality ballet class for learners aged 55 and over, equipping teachers to recognise and respond to the different needs of participants of a broad age range.
The RAD developed Silver Swans in response to a growing demand for ballet classes for older learners. Sessions are based upon research into dance practice for older participants from its own Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing project. This research identified psychological benefits, such as perceived improvements in quality of life, and physiological advantages, including improved balance in older learners who danced.
Michelle Groves, Director of Education and Training at the Royal Academy of Dance, said: “Whatever one’s age or experience, dance can bring people together in ways which are as diverse as they are unique. Dance can unlock individual potential and abilities and, as our research shows, improve physical and mental well-being. Silver Swans classes are delivered by qualified ballet teachers who understand older learner needs to ensure a rich and fulfilling experience for all.”
Silver Swans classes are now available in selected locations in the UK and the US. Potential Swans should look for the Silver Swans Licensed Teacher logo to be sure that their teachers are official license holders from the Royal Academy of Dance.
As part of ‘Silver Sunday’ on 1 October, the RAD will host a free event at its headquarters in Battersea, London and in Northampton offering older learners the opportunity to try classes in ballet, ballroom, tap and musical theatre, as well as a chair-based session for those less mobile.