A BALLET class in Earlestown offers older members of the community an opportunity to take part in exercises that benefit their physical and mental health.
Lotto B Dance, a ballet, tap, and modern dance company, offer additional classes for mature members who hope to improve their wellbeing through the practice.
Charlotte Barton, who set up Lotty B Dance in 2019, introduced the Silver Swans following its growing demand worldwide.
Charlotte said: “Silver Swans are one of the classes I teach; they’re created by the Royal Academy of Dance and is one of the most influential dance educational and training organizations in the world.
“Some people come and decide it’s not for them because it isn’t for everyone, but some people are loving it.
“It’s for beginners or experienced dancers – all abilities are welcome.”
The classes are targeted for people aged 55 or over, however, all ages are welcome to attend the exercise sessions.
The 22-year-old completed her ballet, tap, and modern theater teaching qualifications through the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing at North Liverpool Dance Academy.
Although her passion for dancing has been present since an early age, Charlotte had always wanted to teach the arts.
The dance teacher said: “I’ve been dancing since I was 2 or 3. I grew up dancing in one of the local dance schools in the area, and I always knew that teaching dance was what I wanted to do.
“I know a lot of people go off and perform and do contracted things, but I always knew that teaching was what I wanted.”
Her Silver Swans classes has been a success, with many older members of the community participating in the sessions.
Ballet can reduce stress, slow aging by improving the immune system, and improve balance to result in fewer falls.
It can also reduce the symptoms of depression and improve cognitive ability which prevents dementia.
Many who attend the classes have found it to be beneficial for both their physical and mental wellbeing.
70-year-old Barbara Bullock began attending the classes to find an exercise to accommodate her arthritis.
She said: “I suffer from arthritis in my hip and leg. I received a brochure through the door and as I’d tried other forms of exercise with no improvement in my condition, thought I’d try it.
“It got great result, I’m much more mobile and in much less pain. The exercises are great, and the class is thoroughly enjoyable.”
Rita Brogan, 67 and former Fraud Investigator for Co-op Bank, said: “I look forward to our sessions, Charlotte is very welcoming, encouraging, and goes the extra mile.
“Whilst our sessions and exercises are quite gentle, you can definitely feel that you are benefiting from them.
“I never had ballet lessons as a child, but would have loved to. On occasions when the moves all come together, I feel quite accomplished.”
The Silver Swans classes take place every Friday 11am-12pm at Crownway Community Center in Earlestown.