Royal Academy of Dance and Caroline O’Connor inspire a new over 55’s dance class
Silver Swans, dance classes tailored specifically for the over-55s, launches globally after a pilot project in the UK, US and Australia
• Caroline O’Connor appointed Australian Ambassador for campaign to inspire more over-55s to take up ballet
• Research shows improved confidence and balance in older adults who dance
The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) today announced the launch of its Silver Swans programme featuring branded ballet classes created specifically for the over-55s and taught exclusively by Silver Swans Licensees. 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.
Fresh from starring in The Boy From Oz in Melbourne, international star of the stage and screen Caroline O’Connor, has been named as the RAD’s Ambassador for the project. Having studied the RAD syllabus to Advanced 2 level herself she says:
“I have been a dancer all my life and see no reason why I shouldn’t keep enjoying dance for many years to come! That is why I am so delighted and honored to be the Ambassador for the Silver Swans here in Australia. The Royal Academy of Dance is a wonderful organisation encouraging people to continue dancing whatever age you may be. Dance is a beautiful form of human expression and a wonderful way to maintain a social connection. In my opinion, there is nothing that compares to the joy you feel when you hear music and you begin to dance.”
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 the Academy’s 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 across Australia as of the 1st September with teachers in almost every state so far and more being trained from early 2019. With an RAD presence in 85 countries you can in fact find Silver Swans classes worldwide as the Academy rolls out the programme globally through its members. Potential Swans should look for the Silver Swans Licensee logo to be sure that their teachers are official license holders from the Royal Academy of Dance.
To find a Silver Swans Licensee near you, visit www.rad.org.au/silverswans