Raising the barre – ‘Silver Swans’ classes boost fitness, tackle isolation

Older people will discover their inner Darcey Bussell –  through ballet classes running at a north London community centre.

Kentish Town Community Centre is running ‘Silver Swans’ sessions – which help over-60s improve their posture, co-ordination and energy levels – at its base in Busby Place.

The ballet classes form part of the centre’s Older People’s Project, which has just been awarded £120,645 by City Bridge Trust – the City of London Corporation’s charity funder.

The project also offers fitness and other sport sessions, creative writing and drama classes, food tasting sessions and theatre visits.

City Bridge Trust Chairman Giles Shilson said:

“Ballet is a really creative and enjoyable way in which older people can improve their overall fitness, make new friends and maintain a better quality of life for longer.

“This and the other activities running as part of the Older People’s Project, will have a marked impact on the lives of older people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing.”

The Silver Swans sessions, accredited by the Royal Academy of Dance, are led by Kentish Town Community Centre’s Older People's Project manager Alice Morgan.

The centre has remained open throughout Covid, offering a vital outlet for its members to stay connected with others throughout the pandemic.

Kentish Town Community Centre Older People’s Project manager Alice Morgan said:

“Our main aim is to reduce isolation and to give our older people the confidence and self-esteem to realise they can still live life to the full. It’s not just the activities we offer – it’s the fact we’re here for them when they need us.

“Our members love the fact we don’t adhere to stereotypes of older people and that when they come here, they’re not just restricted to things like chair-based activities, but can take part in more adventurous activities like the ballet classes.”

More information is available at www.ktcc.org.uk

The City of London Corporation’s charity funder, City Bridge Trust, is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of over £25 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital – www.citybridgetrust.org.uk

Case study

Jan Ogidan, aged 70, from Kentish Town said:

“Since joining the ballet classes I have found it of great benefit to my flexibility. The atmosphere in the class is very good and Alice produces a very enjoyable atmosphere.”

Picture captions

- Ballet classes help over-60s improve their posture, co-ordination and energy levels

- Members enjoyed a boat trip on the Regent’s Canal

- A trip to Kentish Town City Farm

- City Bridge Trust Chairman Giles Shilson

Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK – www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

The City Corporation is the sole trustee of Bridge Houses Estates, a charity founded in 1097 to maintain London Bridge, and Members of its Court of Common Council form the Bridge House Estates Board.

Bridge House Estates is now responsible for maintaining Tower, London, Southwark, Millennium and Blackfriars Bridges, and its grants team, City Bridge Trust – founded in 1995 – gives out over £25 million a year to good causes across the capital – www.citybridgetrust.org.uk

Tim Fletcher | Media officer – public services

City of London Corporation

07738 862229 | tim.fletcher@cityoflondon.gov.uk