Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Ballet dancer of 80 becomes oldest in the UK ever to pass Grade 7 exam

A woman of 80 has pirouetted her way into the record books after becoming the oldest British woman to complete the Grade 7 ballet exam.

Barbara Peters passed the elite test of poise and grace with a merit.

Most of those who make it through the test are in the peak of health and aged under 18.

Now Mrs Peters, of Halifax, is celebrating after joining their ranks 58 years after she gave up her ballet studies in her 20s.

I thought. 'If I'm going to do this, I've got to not make a fool of myself so I've got to work hard.

I reached a standard I was happy with but I never expected I would pass as well as I did, I thought it was impossible. But I did it!

– Barbara Peters
Ms Peters has been dancing since her early childhood. Credit: ITV News

Ms Peters first took up ballet at age two, marking the start of a lifelong passion.

She has continued to teach dance to children - but abandoned her own formal studies in her twenties.

It was only after her own daughter Claire O’Connor also joined her as a dance teacher that she decided to continue her exams.

Ms O'Connor said it had been a joy to see her mother dance as she prepared for the test.

"She just loves ballet so much, it’s been her life and this has literally been the icing on the cake for her," she said.

Now she has got her Grade 7, Ms Peters says there is no stopping her and she now plans to carry on to take her Grade 8.