Senior Adult Learner

James Grant

2018 Highly Commended

James has always been interested in dance. In his retirement he decided to give ballet a try and in doing so, has overcome stereotypes, becoming a role model for other mature dancers.

James first attended ballet dance classes designed for older people and these lessons offered him the chance to learn simple moves and steps in a safe environment.

He then joined a performing company that taught more demanding techniques and encouraged older people to step out of their comfort zone and show their skills to audiences. James found that, due to the age of the dancers, audiences would often attend the shows expecting low quality performances and so he became determined to push the boundaries of older people stereotypes.

James started attending classes at Idea Store Learning in Whitechapel which are designed for adults of all ages and teach ballet from the basics upwards. James quickly progressed and enjoyed the challenge of learning alongside people of all ages. He also noticed that his dance skills were helping his general fitness and his stamina during his gym sessions.

His nominator, Annarita, said, “James’s commitment to dance classes has proven that participation in all-inclusive artistic and cultural activity can assist self-development and enthusiasm for learning.”

James said “I am excited to act as a role model to encourage other old people not be afraid to try new activities which might normally be seen as something that only young people do.”