Adult Ballet Dancers

Inspiring stories of those who weren’t too old to start ballet.

Think you’re too old to start ballet? Here are some inspirational stories of adult ballet dancers.

Natalie Portman

You may already have heard of some famous people who started ballet as an adult and has achieved remarkably, such as Natalie Portman, who restarted
ballet at 27 for her role in Black Swan.

Natalie Portman Talks about her training (video).

Charin Yuthasastrkosol

Charin Yuthasastrkosol, who started learning ballet at age 47

Guinness World Record Holder (for Oldest Performing Ballerina) and who
still dances en pointe in her 70s!

Ella Hay

Another ballet dancer in her 70s, Ella Hay (75), started learning ballet at the age of 37 at her daughter’s ballet school.

Since then she has been dancing, teaching and doing choreography – YES, She is teaching ballet!

Anne Hilary Sanderson

Anne Hilary Sanderson, a lady who started ballet at 63! She is now 68 at the time of her blogpost.

Interestingly, she says retirement is a good time to start ballet although one is physically less pliable, as

“those with jobs or family duties must find it more difficult to fit everything in.”

She also says she’s having the time of her life!
Read her story here.

She is also featured on

David Wilson

This is one of my favourite articles about dancing ballet as an adult. Here are my favourite quotes from his

“One thing that people assume when I tell them that I dance is that I’m going to try to be a professional.
I find this rather strange; playing tennis doesn’t imply you’re aiming for Wimbledon.”

“That said, I am still serious about becoming the best dancer I can be. I currently take, on average, three or four classes a
week and rent out a studio at least twice a week to practice. “

Adult Ballet Dancers Don’t Dance Easy

On top of battling time commitments, a less physically active body, responsibilities and everything else that comes with adulthood,
adult ballet dancers may sometimes struggle with finding a suitable studio and a good teacher.

Not many ballet schools or good teachers take adult ballet students seriously to give them the classical training (that
they need and want.)

That happened in my case, but I was fortunately to find a handful of teachers that invested in me, and thus, I’m happy to be in that place now.

Though you may experience some snobbery if you call a studio to enquire about adult classes, believe it or not, the Ballet world needs us.

They need us to become little ambassadors of ballet, where we’ll buy tickets and invite our friends to support the arts.

We’ll influence friends with our new ballet bodies and inspire them to take classes.

We’ll buy tights and leotards and pointe shoes that support businesses that fund the arts. And we’ll send our daughters, sons, nieces and nephews to ballet classes, creating more jobs for artists.

We’ll volunteer to help, we’ll donate, we’ll raise funds! Most of all, learning ballet will help us and the rest of the world appreciate ballet in a more sophisticated way. We’ll get to understand ballet and keep
it alive!

Are you an Adult Ballet Dancer? Tell us Your Story!

Tell us how you came to dance ballet in your adult years. Here are some ideas on how you may want to structure the story.


  • Name: (or pen name)



  • Age:



  • Occupation:



  • Years of Dancing/Ballet experience



  • Level: Beginners/Intermediate/Advanced etc



  • Number of Classes a week:



  • Ballet Strengths:



  • Ballet areas to work on:



  • A little bit about yourself or your story…



Email the story to: (if longer than 500 words)

Leave a Reply