1 October 2021 14:30

In celebration of International Day for Older Persons 2021, Friday 1st October we reached out to some our Silver Swans to find out what inspires them to dance.

Dr Denisa-Elena Ionete, dances her Silver Swans class via Zoom with Celia Bosman, Bosman Ballet Flow, Christchurch.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: 

By background I am a medical doctor and I moved progressively from my original “job” so that today I am a diplomat, having spent  almost 30 years all over the world, in the most challenging  – and difficult places. I am now posted in Africa and I head a large diplomatic mission. Since the onset of the pandemic, I tried to find ways to maintain my physical and mental well-being amidst the increased workload and stress due to uncertainty of the evolution of the pandemic and of its social  and economic implications, including on the safety and well-being of the people I manage . Classical music and dance helped me so much, facilitated by the development of virtual access to prestigious concerts, operas, ballets and theatre plays.

When did you start dancing? 

I danced as a young child  – but I was always a classical music and ballet lover. Much later, when looking for a physical activity matching my interest and preferences, happily the adult ballet came up, so for almost two years – and also due to the pandemic – I started taking regular ballet classes online. I do not know when I will dance regularly in a studio – probably when I will return to a more “normal” posting.

What inspires you to dance? 

Moving and keeping in good shape with a strong sense of aesthetics,  inspired by the exceptional music and  ballet creations on which classes draw. As (also) a classical piano player I really enjoy the music. Although classes are online, on Zoom, I do not feel any inconvenience – on the opposite , I take is as an opportunity as otherwise I could not have taken such professional dance classes

What do you feel you benefit from Silver Swans? 

Against the above mentioned background regarding the motivation to dance, the Silver Swans programme strikes the right balance. Indeed, while the physical requirements and the technical movements taught in class are commensurate with my capacities and considering the physical condition related to age (and the lack of ballet practice, of course), the work toward improving the aesthetics of the movement or on increasingly complex combinations in the centre is the challenge which maintains the motivation and the satisfaction after each class! Not to forget about other benefits like improving coordination, exercising “muscles” and mental memory for combinations etc

What would you say to anyone thinking of doing ballet as an older student? 

It is really worth it to start and discover how “simple” movements are in fact complex and beneficial for your body! Concentrating on the moves and combinations with exquisite music helps you “disconnect”  and refresh your mind and body!

Photo:  Some of her fellow Silver Swans rehearsing to dance in front of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall in 2019



Silver Swans