Veronique, Owner, Dancing for Wellbeing
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Veronique established ‘Dancing for Wellbeing’ Seniors Ballet in 2017, driven by her passion for ballet and fitness. Having read about the mental and physical health benefits experienced by dancers, particularly in the over-55 demographic, she was particularly interested in establishing a program for seniors in her local Ku-Ring-Gai area.
And so the Ballet for Better Balance 55+™️ program was born. Starting with just five students and only one class in a community hall, Dancing for Wellbeing now holds 12 classes a week in a professional ballet studio, offering different levels to over 100 students who are 55+ years of age. Students’ abilities range from complete novices to the very experienced. To cater for the expanding class schedule, at the beginning of 2020, Veronique hired another ballet teacher who shares her passion to make ballet accessible to Seniors in a safe and nurturing way.
During these classes, classical ballet is taught at a gentle pace to help seniors improve their strength, endurance, flexibility and balance. The classes follow a traditional ballet class format and are danced to classical ballet music for a true experience. Class sizes are small so each exercise can be modified to suit individuals who might have pre-existing health conditions, such as hip or knee pain or for those recovering from cancer treatments. This allows students of almost all abilities to participate in a safe way.
Students always find learning and remembering choreography a wonderful stimulation for the brain. Over time, they find they have become physically stronger and have developed better proprioception that can contribute to fall prevention. Many students have found new friendships from the class and often organise their own social activities outside ballet.
During the recent lockdown, Veronique initially suspended classes for a month. As the lockdowns persisted for much longer than originally anticipated, she implemented an online class regime to keep up with demand from students, to help them stay physically and mentally engaged. Since August, all students have had the opportunity to participate in their regular ballet classes over Zoom – even though a few have found engaging with the technology challenging, or were unable to do so because of physical constraints.
As NSW begins to come out of lockdown, hopefully permanently, Veronique hopes that more seniors will become aware that Dancing for Wellbeing offers traditional ballet classes tailored to their needs and concerns and that it is never too late to reignite a childhood interest, love or dream.Back to Local Stories