Healing in Motion

The Today Show, Channel 9

The dance classes helping people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Plumber Learns to Dance on Life Matters

with Amanda Smith on RN

Paul Scott is your typical Aussie bloke and growing up he enjoyed many ‘blokey’ pursuits.
Now a middle-aged man, married with three kids and working as a mechanical plumber, his life took an unexpected turn three years ago- Paul took up ballet dancing.
In this story from ABC Central Victoria reporter Larissa Romensky, we hear about his new found love.


Top 60 Ballet Blogs & Websites Every Ballet Dancer Must Follow

By Feedspot

Elancé has ranked #52 in Feedspot’s Top 60 Ballet Blogs & Websites Every Ballet Dancer Must Follow.


Dance me to the end of adulthood

By Larissa Romensky and Anne-Marie Middlemast of ABC

People throughout the world have been dancing for thousands of years and not just young people. Seven people share their experiences of taking up dance lessons as adults.


The ballet dancer

By Larissa Romensky of ABC

Mechanical plumber, Paul Scott from Melbourne said ballet has helped with his lower back problems.


Dance Stories: Dianne Harrison & Elancé Adult Ballet School

Interview by Emily Newton-Smith

Dianne Harrison, principal of Elancé Adult Ballet School in Melbourne, has a story that is incredibly unique, yet also poignantly familiar for so many dancers at some stage of their life. Dianne’s studio was born out of her own desires to make dance a part of her life, when for many years she felt it never could be.


Ballet For The Blind

Channel 7’s News program featured this heart-warming story on Elance Adult Ballet School’s unique class for blind students.

Elancé on Sunrise

Channel 7’s Sunrise program featured this heart-warming story on Elance Adult Ballet School’s unique class for blind students.

Elancé on Coxy’s Big Break

On 12th September 2014 Elancé Adult Ballet School was featured on Coxy’s Big Break, Channel 7. A beautiful item that highlighted both the discipline and joy of an adult ballet class.

Adult classes in Australia: Learning to dance at any age

By Rain Francis of Dance Informa

In many ways, Balladine and Balanchine were right. Dancing is often thought of as the domain of the young, or something you need to start learning as early as possible in life. The truth is, you can start learning to dance at any age, and there are actually some advantages to starting as a grown-up…


‘The Conversation Hour’ Interview


On 16 th September 2008 Dianne Harrison was interviewed on The Conversation Hour, ABC radio 774.

Click the play button below to listen to the interview.

Radio Ad

Judy, 68, relives the joy of ballet

By Kirsten Leiminger – 21/07/2008

OAKLEIGH ballerina Judy Milson is dancing towards her late 60s.

Ms Milson will be one of many older women celebrated during this Saturday’s National Nanna’s Night for the incredible example she has set for others.

Ms Milson has kept on the go throughout her life and, at 68, finds that age is no barrier to enjoying life and remaining active.

She began dancing at the age of 5. ‘My first love was ballet and I’ve always followed it, the Australian ballet in particular.”

During her teens, Ms Milson had to give up her passion for ballet to focus on her studies.

‘I would like to have gone on with it, but my parents decided maybe I ought to focus on my studies. So dancing kind of fell by the wayside, which has always been a regret of mine. I went on to become a musician, but I always wanted to be a ballerina.”

Ms Milson rediscovered her passion three years ago through the Elance Adult Ballet School in Oakleigh.

‘I didn’t think they would accept me. I wasn’t even sure if I could make it through the beginners’ class, but they did accept me. I made it through the first class and now I go twice a week.”

And a new world has opened up for her.

‘I get the most marvellous aesthetic enjoyment out of learning to do elegant and lovely movements to beautiful classical music and, because I am a musician, the music means a lot to me.

‘Ballet is music made visual and it’s a very special experience for me to be able to do this again after such a big gap.”

Ms Milson worked as an accompanist and harpist before she retired.

‘I still play the grand piano every day, mainly classical music. I just think if I’ve got all this energy then why not use it.”

Ms Milson’s previous dancing experience has helped her in her current lessons. However, Elance Adult Ballet School is developing classes for elderly beginners who may have less experience.

Founder and principal Dianne Harrison said Elance provided an environment that focused on the artistic joys of classical ballet while helping students to develop grace, flexibility and fitness.

Moving Through Life by Paul Ransom

Dance Informa Magazine – 1/10/2010

Hey kids, clear the dancefloor; the older dancers aren’t ready to sit down yet.
It’s like that old disco song: I haven’t stopped dancin’ yet.

Dance, like sport, is reckoned to be a young person’s pursuit. And like sport, if you haven’t cracked the elite level by the time you hit twenty you are most likely to retire’. Trained dancers move into teaching or other careers and recreational shakers give up clubbing and settle into more sedate pursuits. How often do you hear someone say: oh, I used to love dancing’?

And who ever heard of dancers over forty?

Luckily, those of us no longer in the first flush of youth don’t have to be Margot Fonteyn in order to keep dancing. Indeed, there is evidence of a groundswell of mature movement’, of people wanting to age with a little more well, grace.

Sherry Zunker, founder and CEO of BeMoved Dance, a Chicago based school’ for the older mover, is just one of those pushing the dance envelope for adults. So many aspects of your well being are improved, she states emphatically. Physically, you gain more strength, more flexibility and more coordination. You will be challenged mentally, having to use parts of your brain to learn and remember new movements. Emotionally, you will feel better and relieve stress. You will also realise how much you can still learn and do.

On the other side of the world in Melbourne, Australia Dianne Harrison heads up the Elance Adult Ballet School. Forced to abandon her own professional dance career at a young age, (my body was not perfectly designed for ballet), she drifted outside the scene for many years until she chanced upon an adult class above a suburban video store. Six months later she had started her own school and now has students as old as seventy getting to grips with the technique and discipline of ballet.

We are not attempting to turn people into professional dancers; we are looking to help them be the best dancers that they can be with the body that they have right now, she declares.

In addition to a steady stream of returning’ dancers, Harrison also takes on novices. From a teaching perspective, I cannot tell you how rewarding it is to see someone who has stepped into the studio never having done ballet before grow to become what I would confidently describe as a competent dancer. That is just magnificent to see.

Apart from the obvious body benefits, there is the undeniable high’ and massive self esteem boost you get from good dancing. There is also a sense of camaraderie and community that develops between the class participants, regardless of their past dance experience, adds Sherry Zunker. Whereas you might expect novices to love the buzz of new skills and new friends, for former professionals and other trained dancers the rewards take on a slightly different complexion. Perhaps this is what drove a group of Broadway gypsies’ in the mid-90s to create Dancers Over 40, a group that has now spread well beyond its NYC origins and boasts members in the UK, Europe and Australia.

As DO40′s president John Sefakis notes, There’s a saying we love to use: once a dancer, always a dancer’. You never stop being a dancer because your extension or your turns are not what they used to be. They still call a doctor a doctor no matter if they’re 28 or 88. Why should being a dancer be any different?

With a membership made up entirely of former working dancers, DO40 actively celebrate and promote the experience and skill base of mature artists. With their YouTube channels and Facebook pages blaring at full volume, they work tirelessly to create job opportunities, produce shows and put on social events.

At DO40 we are very conscious of our responsibility to continue recording the history, legacy and lives of mature dancers; and to reach out to those dancers about to begin their journey, Sefakis explains.

The idea that dance is a lifelong odyssey, whether for artistic, social or fitness reasons is enshrined in the core philosophy of Move Through Life, a dance company based in Adelaide, Australia. Since its inception in 2004, the company has mounted five full productions and branched out into public classes and a choreographic programme called Expand; and all by engaging dancers from beyond the narrow professional mainstream.

Says Artistic Director Jo McDonald, I don’t think it’s too much to say that dance has a profound emotional impact on the dancer. It’s liberating in a way that’s maybe hard to put into words but very easy to understand through movement; and I can’t think of a single reason other than serious injury to ever retire.

Back in the USA, Sherry Zunker picks up this thread. Of the returning dancers who attend BeMoved sessions she observes, they get a part of their core identity back. It can truly feel like returning to your homeland tribe; and as they experience it again they can’t believe they’ve robbed themselves of dance for so long. They get to redefine their relationship with dance and go back to just loving the feeling of it without self criticism.

After all, if aging rock bands are allowed to get away with it, surely dancers should be applauded for keeping the pointes pointy, the tutus terrific and moves bustin’.

Think I’m gonna dance now.

Read the online article here.



Be a part of the Elancé Community