The special ballet troupe, formed by 24 elderly ladies whose average age is 55, was founded in Zhengzhou, Henan Province in March 2017. It is the only ballet group that all is composed of elderly people in Henan Province, and the oldest member is 62 years old now. These elderly ladies all like dancing but have never learned ballet before. Their beautiful dances strongly express their attitude towards life, that is, live and enjoy the moment.
Dressed in blue professional clothing, these elderly ladies are standing on tiptoe and dancing to the melody, with the brisk pace and upright posture just like graceful swans.
Ballet generally requires a good dancing foundation laid in childhood. Without previous professional learning, these elderly ladies have withstood the intensive and painstaking training process. From standing on tiptoe for 10 minutes in the beginning, to later keeping tiptoeing for 1 or 2 hours, every one of them has made great efforts step by step.
Du Youling, the 60-year-old leader of this ballet troupe, posts a band aid on her feet before dancing in order to prevent injuries.
Ballet dancing has a high requirement for the dancer’s stature, and thus the weight changes of all the dancers are recorded in detail.
They rehearse at least three times a week, which has never been interrupted since the ballet troupe was founded, and none of them falls behind or drops out. “Because we love ballet, so we all can stick to it,” Du Youling said, “more importantly, we can see some good changes happening to us in terms of our temperament, stature and health in particular.”
These dancers are used to standing on tiptoe even when answering the phone. Ballet has become an inseparable part of their life.
Each age group has different kind of beauty. This“elderly” ballet troupe conveys to the public a positive attitude towards life and a spirit of keeping learning. In 2017, they won the first prize in the middle-aged and elderly people’s dance competition in Henan Province. These“Grannies Ballet” are retaining their youth and beauty with graceful dances.
(Compiled by Wang Jia)