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Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing

03 Apr 2014

Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing
Older people dance their way to good health as part of a nationwide initiative.

Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing is an ambitious programme of dance classes and events across the UK aimed at targeting older dancers. From ballet and tap to chair based dance and classic ballroom, the classes cover a multitude of styles for all capabilities.

Dr Anne Hogan, our Director of Education, says: 'We have seen an increasing demand for adult dance classes with a 70 per cent rise in new dancers in the past 12 months. This programme of new classes will open up opportunities to many novices who recognise the health benefits that dance can bring, but who may not have had the chance to try ballet, tap or ballroom before now.'

Our President Darcey Bussell also comments: 'People have forgotten that dance is meant to be part of their lives. Socially, it gets you out and about; physically it’s exercise without too much strain; and it makes you feel great about your body'. Read the full article in The Telegraph.


Throughout April and May, RAD is offering FREE weekly dance classes in the London borough of Wandsworth for over 60s, funded by Wandsworth Lifelong Learning.

  • RAD headquarters, Battersea: Friday 7 February – Friday 11 April, 2.45–3.45pm
  • Hestia Age Activity Centre, Tooting: Friday 7 February – Friday 11 April, 3.15–4.15pm
  • Regenerate Rise, Roehampton: Friday 7 February – Friday 11 April, 2–3pm
  • Katherine Low Settlement, Battersea: Wednesday 12 February – Wednesday 16 April, 11.30am – 12.30pm
  • 60+ Café, Roehampton: Thursday 27 Feb – Thursday 15 May, 2–3pm (no classes on 17 or 25 due to Easter)

For further information or to register please contact Libby Costello by telephone on 0207 326 8921 or email .

Also, available are RAD Adult Associates classes in Birmingham. Following a successful pilot in early 2014, these classes have been extended and they are held at the same time as youth classes to encourage parents to get involved. Classes start on 27 April.

Scheme information and background

Lessons started in January and have been set up in response to a study - funded by the Skills Funding Agency in 2013 and completed by the RAD's Faculty of Education - which highlighted the physical, emotional and social benefits of dance amongst older people ranging from their mid 50s to 100s. The results were published in a report entitled Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing and shared via a conference which took place in April 2013.

The RAD will be publishing a book in the Summer 2014 expanding on the research, sharing real life stories and interviewing dance professional.

Dame Gillian Lynne, Royal Academy of Dance’s vice president, ambassador for this scheme and renowned ballet dancer and choreographer said: 'The RAD’s Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing pilot study showed the positive mental, physical and holistic benefits to be derived from dance. Whether tackling simple ballet steps or creating leg and arm dance routines whilst seated, dance can offer something for everyone at whatever level of fitness.' Dame Gillian Lynne has just released a fitness DVD for oldies – read all about it in The Telegraph and Mail online.

The initial activity included:

  • Older adult dance classes in the London borough of Wandsworth which started in November 2013. These classes build upon the Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing pilot scheme and will be continued into 2014. They are funded by Wandsworth Life Long Learning and will be held in Battersea, Roehampton and Putney.
  • Silver Swans, a legacy of the Genée International Ballet Competition held in Glasgow in September 2013, has been trialled in Northern England and Scotland. Our participants have all expressed a keen interest in continuing their dance classes:
    'Thank you - the realisation of a lifetime's ambitions and I am aged 81' 
    'My first ballet class at 67. Just wonderful!'

Julie Bowers, RAD Regional Manager for Midlands & East of England, and Ilona Johnson-Gibbs, attendee of adult classes (pictured below) were interviewed by BBC West Midlands.

Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing, associate classes

Leo, 83, another lady taking part to our classes said:

'I have been going to a Bone & Balance class organised by the osteoporosis clinic and as a result of coming to dance classes the nurse said she doesn’t think I need to go to the Bone & Balance class anymore as I seem to be getting enough exercise!'

Read what journalist Charlotte Metcalf had to say about one of our classes.

For press enquiries, more information or a copy of the Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing report, or to interview Dr Anne Hogan or Dame Gillian Lynne, contact Becky Short at Midas Public Relations on 020 7361 7860 or 


In response to the great interest received for our adult classes, the Academy has launched the new Silver Swans™ Teacher Training and Licensing initiative. Experienced dance teachers can now apply to become licensed to teach branded Silver Swans™ adult ballet classes. The first workshops will take place in the summer of 2016. Read more.

Glynis Laughlin says:
12 Feb 2014 19:02

Are there classes in West Sussex?

Angela says:
21 Feb 2014 18:50

Could someone please run an adult/ Silver Swans ballet class in Cheam or Sutton, Surrey?

Ann says:
03 Mar 2015 15:09

Would really welcome any soul/60's dance for the over 60's in South East. Epsom, Banstead, Sutton.

Farel says:
27 Mar 2015 08:08

I haven't been able to find one but would be very keen to know if and when there is one

Sarah Platt says:
29 Aug 2016 22:29 - adult and new older learners ballet classes in Cheam.

Ann says:
21 Feb 2014 21:37

Any in hampshire?

Ria Sarantaridou says:
07 Mar 2014 12:11

Thank you all for your interest. The workshops scheduled above are a trial. In April we will be discussing the next steps for the project with the ambition to rolling it out more widely. Watch this space.

susan melvin says:
17 Mar 2014 19:44

Would like a course/guidelines aimed at teaching Silver Swans perhaps in Birmingham?

RAD registered teacher

Flavia Cerrone says:
08 Apr 2014 17:39

Hello RAD Registered Teacher. Have a look here:

Anthea Hoskin says:
09 Apr 2014 08:51

Wonderful idea please come to South Bucks!

Jacki Rodikis says:
09 Apr 2014 09:30

Please open some in Devon! Exeter!

Lydia Holland says:
09 Apr 2014 14:08

Please come to Uxbridge!

Deena Andrews says:
09 Apr 2014 21:07

How about Gloucestershire?

Miriam Umney says:
09 Apr 2014 17:22

North West London would be a brilliant venue......please! The sooner the better.

lynne sinclair says:
09 Apr 2014 19:42

OH please please please come to Surbiton/ Kingston/ Esher/ Epsom/ asap!

Its all wonderful

Sarah Platt says:
29 Aug 2016 22:31 for classes in Cheam!

Heather Parnell says:
09 Apr 2014 21:02

Please come to Bournemouth !

Pauline Marchant says:
09 Apr 2014 21:16

Are there any classes in Cheshire/Manchester area?

Ian J Wren says:
09 Apr 2014 21:54

If you come to Devon, ideally Plymouth, I would be able to realize a life long ambition at age 70. Ballet my great passion.

Pat Peatfield says:
10 Apr 2014 10:07

Please come to the Windsor area.
Fantastic idea. love to dance. (rather ancient but still active)!

Annie Afferson says:
10 Apr 2014 11:33

I did attend an adult ballet class which I loved but it's no more. I love to dance its good for the body and for the mind.

Joan Mac says:
11 Apr 2014 07:56

Don't forget the North - Lancs/Merdeyside

Freda Simpson says:
11 Apr 2014 10:57

Please come to North West Essex!!!

avril hemingfield says:
11 Apr 2014 17:45

How about some classes in Cheltenham? Ballet or bar practice please.

G.Dunn says:
11 Apr 2014 21:22

I have been teaching Adult Ballet classes for 30 years. I teach in Tonbridge Kent and have three classes at present. My oldest student is 81. Although I have done RAD, I am a Licenciate with the Cecchetti branch of the I.S.T.D. I also teach Pilates and childrens' ballet, but I love teaching adults and sharing my joy of dance as well as keeping them fit and supple. Can I sign up to be a 'Silver Swan' teacher, and what are the requirements? Perhaps as I'm in my 60s I should continue to do my own thing, but I'd like to be on a teachers list.

Carol McPhillimy says:
09 Apr 2016 14:52

Could you do any classes in Ashford, Kent?

Gabriela Nicolescu says:
12 Apr 2016 10:12

Hello Carol -- thank you for your interest! For more information, please contact our colleague Libby Costello at 0207 326 8921 or

Jenny newall says:
13 Apr 2014 17:06

I would love to start up classes in Cambridge as I am an ex dancer

Helen S says:
13 Apr 2014 17:15

May I add my pleas to those of Angela and Lynne for Silver Swan ballet beginners' classes for the over-60s (well, the over-70s would be good!) in the Epsom/Guildford/Cheam area of Surrey. Please ... before I die?

Sarah Platt says:
29 Aug 2016 22:26

I think I can help! Email as I'm starting these sort of classes in Cheam.

Jilly says:
14 Apr 2014 08:48

Wonderful idea. I would be willing to source venues in Hampshire/Berkshire

Jennifer Bjorklund says:
15 Apr 2014 17:09

Please, please come to East Hertfordshire. There is so much interest here.

Joanne says:
15 Apr 2014 18:59

You will have a ready-made market for the classes here in North West London. please start the clsses now.

Irene says:
16 Apr 2014 09:14

Please bring adult ballet classes to North Wales. There are a lot of retired people here who would love to participate in ballet classes.

Jo says:
17 Apr 2014 13:13

I would just love to be able to attend adult ballet classes, in the Ashford, Kent area! And in the evening rather than only in the daytime, for those of us still working.

Bev says:
21 Apr 2014 19:42

Classes in North Hertfordshire please!

Linda Robson says:
24 Mar 2015 09:05

Could you let me know if you have any classes in Hertfordshire. Did ballet as a child and would live to do them again aged 65.

Kate says:
29 Apr 2014 22:39

I would love to take part in ballet classes..Please come to Okehampton, Devon - O.C.R.A. is the organization which supports the opening of new classes in and around Okehampton. I have been passionate about ballet since I was 6 (now 57). As a child I used to be self-conscious in classes. Now, inspite of being rather fat,I wouldn't care.I'd just love to dance.

Lee Wyman says:
05 May 2014 11:10

Would love to join classes here in Darlington. Is there a way to keep in the loop so that people can register an interest and learn about new classes starting up? Walking, cycling and outdoor activity in general is great but to do dancing would be another way to help keep fit as well.

Margaret Bell says:
06 May 2014 17:08

Classes in Portsmouth area please.

Marianne says:
06 May 2014 17:38

Are RAD going to be offering CPD to registered teachers in order to offer "Silver Swan" classes?

Flavia Cerrone says:
07 May 2014 11:38

Dear Marianne,
Teachers participating in dance classes can claim up to 2 hours of Independent CPD for that type of activity.
If you want to know whether we offer CPD activities to support teachers in gaining the skills required to delivery Silver Swans adult dance classes, the answer is yes, we are running a Dance Practice with Adults workshop this Summer.
For more information, please email

Heather Price says:
29 Jul 2014 12:59

Silver Swans sounds an amazing project. Please come to Fareham, Hampshire.

Helen Quintrell says:
25 Oct 2014 09:07

Please find someone in Bromley to take such classes . I am 66 and would love it.

Helen Quintrell says:
25 Oct 2014 09:11

Please find someone in Bromley to take such classes . I am 66 and would love it.

Joy Wingfield says:
27 Oct 2014 10:34

Well, add Nottingham to the list. I am 66 too but still attempting to keep up my tap dance....

Alison Johnston says:
16 Nov 2014 18:07

How about Central London? No shortage of pupils here. There are ballet classes but the only ones I know specifically structured for the elders is Camden's famous project "The Company of Elders".
Westminster should be urged to run similar project.

Sarah Platt says:
29 Aug 2016 22:34

There are classes at RAD HQ in Battersea on Tuesday afternoons if you can get there!

JS says:
04 Jan 2015 23:02

Now mid 50s myself and overweight I was once a dance teacher and taught both tap and light aerobic dance as an adult as well as children's classes many years ago. I would love to attend or take basic dance classes in the Swindon wilts area if the opportunity arose Fabulous!!

Trudy Davies says:
17 Jan 2015 18:05

We need this in South Oxfordshire! Ever thought of tying this in with U3A (University of the 3td Age)?

Linda Morgan says:
29 Jan 2015 18:32

I would love the chance to attend silver swan type dance classes. Are there any classes in North Hertfordshire?

Maggie Malone, Maidenhead says:
01 Feb 2015 10:48

Are there classes in Berkshire?

Bernadette Russell says:
12 Mar 2015 19:59

Please please when are you coming up North? In my sixties not very fit would love these dance classes. Living in Manchester. So many people I know would join classes like these.

Sylvia Holland-Sharples says:
23 Mar 2015 08:58

Classes in Knutsford or Lymm Cheshire would be most welcome. How would I start one?

Jillie Webbe says:
23 Mar 2015 10:57

pkease come to East Molesey/Esher/Walton Surrey area

Jan Armstrong says:
23 Mar 2015 17:10

Would love to do this in Northants. Some interested would-be students may work so would really appreciate evening classes..

Linda G says:
24 Mar 2015 08:42

What a fabulous idea. Are there any classes in Twickenham/Richmond either now, or planned in the near future.

Eileen S says:
24 Mar 2015 15:47

would love to restart ballet classes,anything in Richmond,North Yorks?
almost 65,ready to give it a go!

Dot Patterson says:
28 Mar 2015 18:41

Any chance of starting classes on the North Wales Coast?

ingrid segal says:
31 Mar 2015 11:38

is there a group in the east end of london

RJ says:
31 Mar 2015 11:44

Are there any Silver Swan classes for over 60s in South Bucks ( Amersham/ Chesham area) it would be really great!

Catriona says:
31 Mar 2015 14:19

Are there any Silver Swan classes in Brighton,or any plans for one?

Lynne says:
10 Apr 2015 21:09

Please come to Eastbourne. A class would be well supported.

SUSIE says:
16 Aug 2015 12:53

What about the New Forest? Would love ballet classes!

Colleen says:
16 Aug 2015 15:39

Please come to Cobham in Surrey

Mary thomas says:
17 Aug 2015 12:11

Please come to Monmouth, Hereford or Abergavenny. Such classes are really needed here

Irene says:
20 Aug 2015 12:07

I did ballet classes with my daughter many years ago but loved every minute. This sounds a wonderful idea, would you be starting a class in Liverpool?

Melanie Hazell says:
18 Oct 2015 04:29

A vote for classes in south Wales please.

lyn says:
30 Oct 2015 21:55

Have any more classes started in Sussex?

Christine Ashton says:
08 Nov 2015 13:00

What are the plans/ classes for 2016? Any thing outside London?

Diane Darlington says:
09 Nov 2015 12:36

Any classes near CW111TR

Patricia Turton says:
10 Nov 2015 06:53

Please please will Silver Swans classes come to Colchester Essex, had ballet lessons as a child , danced ballroom as a teenager and at 67 would love to return to ballet ,now I can afford to buy my own ballet shoes !

Gabriela Nicolescu says:
10 Nov 2015 13:54

Thank you for your interest. We are currently planning Silver Swans classes for 2016. They will most likely be held at the RAD Headquarters in London. Please check for updates.

Liz Pierson says:
10 Nov 2015 19:40

Are there any silver swan dance classes in Glasgow. If so, can I have the contact telephone number please.

Gabriela Nicolescu says:
11 Nov 2015 09:56

Good morning everyone. Please find the latest information concerning Silver Swans at Thank you for your interest!

Kathryn Waterfall says:
14 Nov 2015 11:16

I am 73 and overweight, with two replaced knees! I did RAD ballet with exams from five to seventeen, but still love ballet.
Is there any chance that there will be any classes coming to Stafford or Stoke on Trent? I would love to join a class, hope there are some.

Keith Bartlam says:
23 Nov 2015 09:22

Its a great idea.....there are MANY RAD dance Teachers out there who would like to participate in this program for the older persons. May I suggest the RAD take a look at Les MIlls formate for Body Balance. ..... a class I do regularly as its the only one I can find that I can "use" my dance training (from my 20's....I'm now 61!!) as a way to keep strong and supple) This formate covers most of the UK, but a similar formate would work even better if it could be incorporated with dance and fronted by a personality such as Darcy Bussel!!

Sue Simcock says:
20 Mar 2016 17:39

Please open a studio in Stoke on Trent we have nothing like that here

Sue Simcock says:
20 Mar 2016 17:39

Please open a studio in Stoke on Trent we have nothing like that here

Kayley says:
31 Jul 2016 21:55

Are there any male rad teachers who would like to teach in Yorkshire area where boys can join in as well as females. I mean adult classes

Please email me at

Thank you

Kayley says:
01 Aug 2016 20:59

I am not a teacher I know of a few males who want t learn rad ballet and other dance eg jazz freestyle.
It would be appropriate for them to join male run dance schools or mixed class taught by a male.

This way both sides can see how serious dance is Ii would like to join an adult rad ballet class through the day we have been trying for years

Gabriela Nicolescu says:
02 Aug 2016 09:25

Thank you for explaining Kayley! Your feedback will be taken into consideration when we plan new classes. says:
01 Aug 2016 21:04

Looking for male run dance/teacher/ or dance school as boys I know want to join rad ballet class and work through exams shows etc

Email me at

I hope there are rad run male dance schools out there adult classes

julie ross says:
02 Aug 2016 21:51

there is such a lack of rad male teachers in the leeds area

my brother is looking for day classes or lunchtime classes during dinner hour.

can any one help he is 19

julie ross says:
03 Aug 2016 22:05

does anyone know any rad male teachers. My brother wan ts classes. RAD does not seem to be popular where I live lately and he is so much interested in dance.

Can anyone help?

Gabriela Nicolescu says:
04 Aug 2016 12:59

Hi Julie! The easiest way to find RAD teachers close to you is to use our search engine at just type in your address, click it in the drop-down menu, and the results will show. Have a lovely day!

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