Golden Giselles step out for fitness

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
VideoGolden Giselles prove they've still got the moves.

Some childhood dreams were realised on Tuesday when almost 40 women packed into the function room at Leschenault Leisure Centre for a dance class with a twist.

The “Golden Giselles” classical ballet class is an eight-week seniors activation initiative by the Shire of Harvey to encourage people over 55 to do more physical activity.

The classes are designed to be inclusive of all levels of dancing ability, but the relaxed and low-impact class meant so much more than just a way to stay fit for some of participants.

Leschenault resident Sue Johnston took to first position for the first time at the class on Tuesday.

“I always wanted to do ballet but my mother wouldn’t let me,” Mrs Johnston said.

Originally from New Zealand, Mrs Johnston was born with a condition which meant she wore braces on her legs throughout her childhood and did not learn to walk until she was four.

Now in her early 60s, Mrs Johnston was finally able to take her first steps towards pirouettes.

“I just love it,” Mrs Johnston said.

The classes were made possible with a $3000 grant from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries with extra funding from the shire.

The ballet barres were made by Leschenault Men’s Shed members and the shoes were subsidised by dance supplier Grishko Australia.

Teaching the classes is shire community development officer Stella Johnson, as well as Harvey dance teacher Stella Wallace.

A former Royal Academy of Dance teacher Ms Johnson said she had been blown away by the level of interest in the classes.

“I’m absolutely thrilled,” she said.

The classes will culminate in a wind up day on April 2 which may include a performance by the shire’s “golden” ballerinas.

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