VIDEO: Kerry is keeping ladies on their toes with over-55s ballet

Older people are proving it’s never too late to learn something new by heading to a Wigan dance school.

Dance Steps in Standish is holding ballet classes for the over-55s, with the moves adapted to suit the needs of the dancers.

Pensioners take part in ballet lessons, Silver Swans, for over 55s, run by Kerry Devine

Pensioners take part in ballet lessons, Silver Swans, for over 55s, run by Kerry Devine

They are proving to be a massive success, with an extra class already launched to cope with the demand.

Kerry Devine, who runs the dance school, said: “It is for people who did ballet when they were younger, but the vast majority have never done it before.

“You are never too old to learn. If you have always wanted to do something, it’s not too late.

“It’s good exercise and I’m sure it’s more enjoyable than going to the gym for some people.”

Kerry is one of only 50 dance teachers in the UK qualified to teach the Royal Academy Of Dance’s Silver Swans programme, while she also teaches the qualification.

There are currently 20 people in her classes, aged 55 to 78, and she visits nursing homes to teach people in their 80s with dementia and other health issues.

She said: “I started in February and have had to increase to another class already because it’s so popular.

“It’s designed for the over-55s to whatever age. It’s tailor-made, so if someone can’t stand they can sit to do it.

“It’s good for the older generation – it’s good for their balance because that goes as they get older, they are mixing with friends and using their brains and it gives them a good feeling. They all leave happy and excited for the next class.”

The classes cover ballet moves, but they are adapted to suit the different abilities of the people there.

Kerry said: “If someone has trouble standing or with their balance, they do it on a chair, or if they have a bad shoulder they don’t have to lift their arms in a certain way. It’s low impact ballet. It’s tailored to the older body.”

Kerry believes the classes are making a real difference for the people who attend.

“They do look forward to coming every week,” she said. “They feel like they have done a bit of exercise when they have finished, but it’s fun so they don’t realise they are exercising.

“They enjoy the music and the movement and working their brains, plus making new friends.”

She added: “The test to me was when we had really bad snow, every single one turned up.”

The classes are held every Thursday morning at Dance Steps and last 45 minutes.

To find out more, call the dance school on 01257 472078.