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RAD launches dance project to get over-55s active

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) has launched a Silver Swans pilot project featuring ballet classes created specifically for the over-55s and taught by licensed teachers.

Television presenter and dance enthusiast, Angela Rippon CBE, has been named as the RAD’s ambassador for the project, which has been specially designed to help improve mobility, posture, coordination and energy levels.

“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,” said Rippon. “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.”

Classes are based on RAD research into dance practice for mature participants. The research identified psychological benefits, such as perceived improvements in quality of life, and physiological advantages, including improved balance in older learners who danced.

There are 120 Silver Swans licensed teachers worldwide with 74 in the UK. Classes are available in selected locations in the UK and the US as part of the pilot, which runs until summer 2018, with the project expected to be rolled out globally later in the year.

The length, capacity and cost of classes will be dependent on the teacher delivering the project.

Michelle Groves, director of education and training at RAD, 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 wellbeing.”

As part of ‘Silver Sunday’ on 1 October, the RAD will host a free event at its headquarters in Battersea, London and in Northampton.

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The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) has launched a Silver Swans pilot project featuring ballet classes created specifically for the over-55s and taught by licensed teachers.
HAF
Angela Rippon is ambassador for the Silver Swans project / Photo by David Tett, courtesy of the Royal Academy of Dance
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