Former newsreader shares the benefits of ballet for older people

Former newsreader Angela Rippon, who comes from Devon, has been visiting a dance group in Plymouth to encourage them in the benefits of ballet for older people.

Ballet dancing improves mobility, posture and co-ordination.

As well as being great fun…

It is a very good way to exercise, keep fit, have friends, have lots of fun, good for posture, for balancing and really just having a lovely time.

Linda Hesselden, Silver Swans teacher
Silver Swans ambassador Angela Rippon shows some of the moves. Credit: ITV West Country

Angela Rippon is the Silver Swans ambassador and Plymouth's ballerinas welcomed her with open arms when she visited them.

Everybody, not just in Devon and Cornwall but nationwide because we've not got 200 teachers all over the company and demand has outstripped supply, we're just training another 200 teachers now. This kind of exercise, you don't know how hard you've worked until the next day but you can see that the ladies - they're balanced they're beautiful.

Angela Rippon, Broadcaster

The Royal Academy of Dance started Silver Swans after more older learners wanted to take up ballet classes. They are meant for those aged over 55 but there's no upper or lower age limit.

  • Watch: Angela Rippon joins a special Silver Swans class

The former newsreader told ITV News how beneficial dance is for older people: "Of all the things we do as we get older, dance is the thing that ticks all the boxes for flexibility as an aerobic exercise, giving you spatial awareness, keeping you strong and most importantly you've got to use your brain to remember all the steps"

And Angela says there are other benefits too: "The great thing is you get to meet your mates, make new friends. You have a great time"

Organisers say all that is needed is a "can do" attitude.

The Plymouth Silver Swans strut their stuff. Credit: ITV West Country