What is Silver Swans?
Silver Swans® classes have been specifically designed for the over-55s by the Royal Academy of Dance, but whatever your age, if you are looking for a new way to keep fit and active, our ballet classes will put a spring in your step. Whether you've never danced before or want to get back into the swing of it, our classes have something for everyone.
The Royal Academy of Dance developed Silver Swans® based on research into dance practice for older learners – classes are only
taught by Silver Swans® licensees
The classes are an absolute joy. Excellent teaching will bring out your hidden ballerina. Lovely, friendly groups.
Our hour-long online Silver Swans ballet classes begin with two simple warm ups before progressing into a gentle, traditional classical ballet class. We perform exercises at the barre, such as Pliés, Battement Tendu, Rond de Jambe and Grand Battement, before moving into the centre for exercises such as Port de Bras and Centre Practice – all filled with beautiful movements and uplifting choreography! But don't worry if you're a beginner, or feel you need a very gentle class – we offer a range of classes suitable for beginners to those with previous dance experience.
In the final section of the class, instead of the demanding pirouettes and leaps that would normally occur at this point in a general adult ballet class, in Silver Swans®, we explore a piece of repertoire from a famous classical ballet. This repertoire builds progressively throughout the term. Past repertoire has included Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Les Sylphides, Don Quixote, Coppélia, La Fille Mal Gardée, The Nutcracker, Harlequinade. The class concludes with a classical ballet reverence and cool down.
The content of our online classes have been specially adapted to suit smaller home environments and adaptation suggestions are given throughout the class, so that everyone can take the class at a pace appropriate for them.
"At last after 62 years, at the age of 76 and despite serious arthritis, 3 joints replaced and a metal rod in my lower back, I have returned to ballet dancing. All thanks to Johanna and the Silver Swans. Her expert teaching, detailed guidance and patient support has enabled me to re-discover my joy in the classical steps and sequences...
Exhilaration and challenge, fun and strengthening exercise – What more could anyone ask for?"
– Jenni Saunders, 76 – Silver Swan®
A sense of belonging to a dance community, regardless of geographical location.
Unlike a pre-recorded video or live social media video, you can receive real-time feedback so you can learn and progress.
Classes can help to improve posture, mobility, co-ordination
Provides access to fully-qualified and experienced teachers, giving you the opportunity to access high-quality dance classes.
Join our online social events, arranged exclusively for our Silver Swans.
Why Silver Swans®?
The Royal Academy of Dance was established in 1920 and is internationally renowned for its childrens' graded and vocational examination system. Following a successful trial of Silver Swans® classes in London, it was initially rolled out to just 120 teachers across the world.
Our Silver Swans® classes in Bury were part of the initial pilot scheme, and we were the first to offer Silver Swans classes in Lancashire. We have over 90 Silver Swans® attending ballet classes each week ranging from complete beginners to ex-professional ballet dancers.
Maybe you enjoyed ballet as a child and would like to bring back those happy memories? Perhaps you always wanted to dance but never had the chance to? Or you're just looking for an alternative way of keeping fit? Silver Swans® is run at a pace that is appropriate for everyone and offers a fantastic way to make new friends.
Silver Swans® classes are more than just an adult ballet class; we also learn simplified repertoire from a famous ballets.
Are classes only for the over 55s?
Although Silver Swans® classes have been specifically designed for the over-55s, if you feel that this is the right class for you then please get in touch, whatever your age. There is no upper age limit (we have many Silver Swans in their 80s) and classes are open to both men and women.
If you're aged 18-55, then why not try our online adult ballet classes?
What will I need for online Silver Swans® classes?
Before joining any session, please check that you have lots of space, and that it is clear of any obstacles (it is recommended that you have a space of 2x2 metres). Please also check that your flooring is suitable and not slippy.
Classes are hosted using Zoom – upon enrolling for our online classes, we email over instructions to help you get set up, and talk you through if you have any difficulties.
Are online classes run throughout the year?
Our online Silver Swans classes are run throughout the year with breaks for holidays/half terms.
Classes are paid for as a full term payment block (normally 11 or 12 weeks, depending on the term), or can be paid as two half term payment blocks (normally 5 or 6 weeks, depending on the term).
What happens if I can't manage a class?
Although we ask for you to specify which class you'd prefer to attend upon enrolment, we offer a flexible approach to class days/times. We understand that things can cause you to suddenly change your plans, or you may need just a little more flexibility (especially if you're still working or a carer). As we run four online Silver Swans® classes each week, we offer that you can catch up any missed class – providing your catch-up class is taken within the same payment block.
Upon receipt of your payment, a place in the class is reserved for you in the class for the whole of that block – regardless of whether you attend or miss a class.
What should I wear?
For classes, you can wear anything that you will feel comfortable and can easily move around in, whether that's trousers and a top or ballet leotard and skirt (please note: no denim). We do recommend that you wear ballet shoes for classes but, should you feel that you need to wear a small heel with your shoes, ballet teaching shoes or jazz shoes are recommended. Long hair should be tied back securely, please, and we advise no loose jewellery.
I have a few health problems – does this mean I can't join?
The Royal Academy of Dance have carefully designed the Silver Swans® classes in order to make it accessible for all. It must be emphasised that Silver Swans® classes are gentle ballet classes and so are run at a very slow and easy pace. You can take the class according to how you feel on the day – and should you feel the need for a short break or to sit down and watch, we won't mind!
However, it is always recommended that you speak with your GP or healthcare professional before starting any exercise programme.
Are your online classes hybrid classes (i.e. a face-to-face class that is being live streamed)?
No. Our online classes are taught as a purely online classes. This means that all the participants in the online class have the full attention of the Silver Swans Licensee.
Are you offering official Silver Swans® classes?
Our Silver Swans® classes are run and taught by a Silver Swans® Licensee. Silver Swans® Licensees have undergone specialist training through the Royal Academy of Dance in order to receive their license. As a mark of an official Silver Swans® Licensee, always look out for the logo.
Want to become a
Silver Swans is not just a ballet class, but a chance to meet and socialise with other people. There is a mix of ages from fifty upwards the class suits all. Some of us have done ballet before but it doesn't matter if you haven't the class is tailored for everyone...
The best part is we get to improve our balance, flexibility and have fun at the same time. Our instructor Johanna explains the exercises really well and has so much patience. I would recommend Silver Swans to anyone .
– Judith – Silver Swan®
A short video featuring our Silver Swans®...
Our Silver Swans® in the news and involved in external events...
Johanna is an inspirational teacher. She is kind patient and makes us all feel comfortable and welcome. Johanna not only teaches with a professionalism which is outstanding but I love the way she explains the stories behind the ballets. Her classes have brought a new magical world to life for me and our trips to to see live performances are fabulous. My ballet class is an hour each week of beautiful music and dance and I leave feeling peaceful, uplifted and energised. It's a highlight of my week and my fellow Swans are so lovely.
Paula, 61 – Silver Swans®