Adult Ballet Student

In a lovely article about retirees grabbing life by the horns one of our adult dancers talks about finding ballet through Clare and the ballet school.

Ballet dancer: Barbara Jones

After retiring from a demanding job as a university professor in 2016, 72-year-old Barbara Jones signed up for a “wellness class” based around contemporary dance at Queen’s University in Belfast.

“I was initially surprised to hear the strains of Tchaikovsky, and even more so when I was asked to find a place at the barre – it soon became apparent that I had, in fact, joined a ballet class,” she says.

“I literally started from scratch, never having had any sort of dance tuition when I was younger. But the initial experience with teacher Clare Novaes was so inspirational that a few months later, I decided to join the Ballet School in Moira, where she had just started an adult ballet class.

“What is enthralling for me about classical ballet is the discipline of the movements, the delightful music, and the magic of expressing myself in this way. Taking regular classes promotes core strength and poise and can give a sense of wellbeing and also calmness: after a class, there is a sense of how great it is to be alive. The activity creates very positive feelings in the moment, which can also carry over into other parts of my life.

“I think what worked for me could also work for others, so I would suggest taking a class with the purpose of just becoming immersed in a new craft or activity. Once you have enrolled, you are more likely to stick with it as it sweeps you along – and meeting new people with the same interest also helps. This is especially so if there are some people of similar age, which can bolster confidence in the belief that what you are doing is really very normal.”