Bury dancer teaches people to become Silver Swans

A woman from Bury has brought ballet to the masses thanks to moving her classes online.
Johanna Hadley started delivering ballet classes after becoming a licensee of the Royal Academy of Dance  ‘Silver Swans’ approach- which is specifically designed for over 55s. The classes are based on research into dance practice for older learners and can help to improve posture, balance, co-ordination and energy levels.
Johanna said: “Before the pandemic, I taught over 100 Silver Swans each week at Blackford Bridge United Reformed Church in Bury, with participants traveling from all across Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire. In my classes, I have dancers aged 55-86 years old participating – these range from complete beginners who have never stepped foot in a dance class through to ex-professional dancers.”
“Since the start of the pandemic, I have taken my classes online using Zoom, and it is so wonderful for us all to still be able to dance together. Now, more than ever, it is so important for everyone’s mental health, and for many, Silver Swans has been the thing that has really kept them going. We can still chat with each other and enjoy the music and dancing.
“I would say that one of the most unexpected sides to Silver Swans is the incredibly strong social element that has developed in the classes. Even in lockdown my ’Swans’ are continuing to support each other with phone calls – especially to those living on their own.
“We’ve also had some amazing opportunities including a group of 13 of my Silver Swans performing on stage at the New Adelphi Theatre in Salford, and at the Midland Hotel as part of the Greater Manchester Festival of Ageing. For most of them, it was their stage debut!”
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