The Australian Ballet, in partnership with aged care provider Nurse Watch, has been delivering free ballet classes for older Australians in their early 60s to late 90s. The classes are designed to open up the benefits of dance to older people in the community.
The classes came about after Nurse Watch founder Kate Spurway learnt of the Queensland Ballet's research into the benefits of ballet for older students. The research found ballet improved their fitness and helped prevent falls in the home. During classes, participants learn the importance of posture and muscle strength in older age, as well as observing their breathing and identifying tension in their body.
Community programs that encourage social and physical activity among older people are paramount, according to Emmanuel Stamatas, Professor of Physical Activity, Lifestyle, and Population Health. His co-authored report, published in 2016, found that people over the age of 40 who participate in dancing almost halve their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
See also an earlier article