Below Susan Jacobson tells us why she introduced her Mum to ballet based movement and why it’s good for all of us!
Ballet Based Movement is online beginner ballet-based exercises for beyond 50s, regardless of fitness level.
I set up Ballet Based Movement with my Mum after spending some time with her working through basic ballet exercises. I have been dancing my entire life, and although I am not a professional, I have trained in many genres of dance including jazz, tap, commercial, contemporary, lyrical and of course ballet.
Can Anyone Do Ballet?
My professional dance career never took off, and I remember my ballet teacher from when I was very young telling me that I could never be a professional because my Achilles tendons were too tight. However this never stopped me from loving dance and pursuing the training, and although I have never had enough flexibility, the enjoyment and holistic benefit I have gained from dancing all these years has been immeasurable.
Mum came to me a few years ago to help her with ballet. She’s never been a great one for exercise, and has tried Pilates in the past which never resonated with her. And now at 72, she really felt like she needed to keep her body mobile and stable. And on top of that, the arch in her foot had fallen and was causing her huge amounts of pain.
Most people who don’t know ballet think that you can only do it if you have a ballerina physique and flexibility, and can lift your legs to your ears. But that is so far from how it is. The wonderful thing about ballet is that anyone can do it, even my 72 year old mother with a fallen arch. Ballet has distinct levels, and even at the beginner level it is gentle and highly effective.
What Is Ballet Based Movement?
So mum and I began working through beginner ballet-based exercises to help her with her foot, her mobility and her stability. And she just fell in love with ballet. It helped her in so many things she never thought it would: her balance improved, her muscles got stronger and toned up, her posture and gait improved, and her foot slowly started to strengthen. But the biggest gain has been the enjoyment. She absolutely loves moving to music. And we love dancing together. There is a reason us humans have been moving to music since the beginning. It’s because there is something deeply innate within us that makes us want to move to a rhythm and dance.
Seeing the benefit of all this, we set up a WhatsApp group so we could share these exercises with friends. And the WhatsApp group grew, and inevitably, Ballet Based Movement evolved.
It seems like there is not much on offer in the online space for ballet for beyond 50s. And Mum and I know there is so much to offer older people in the ballet space. Ballet provides things for the body, the brain and the soul.
The Body element in ballet is: Balance, flexibility, stability and strength, not to mention the ability to move to music.
The Brain element is two fold: mindfulness, in that you have to be absolutely present when dancing, because if you are thinking about something else, you’ll mess up. But also, there have been a few studies linking decreased risks of dementia and dance.
The Soul element. Well, that is a given. Dancing is good for the soul.
Came and join us at Ballet Based Movement and start beginner ballet exercises that work the mind, the body and the soul.
Susan’s love of dance began when she was very young. She trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap and commercial jazz. It was after 10 years of constant back pain that Susan truly began to comprehensively investigate the body. She worked on correct movement and strength training which ultimately led to healing and improved performance. She continues to apply and refine these principles in her ballet and dance.
References – dance for the brain: