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The World's Oldest Ballerinas


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#1 airchild

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 03:39 AM

Hi,

I was doing research about ballet dancers who have studied the art as an adult and guess what I've found: the world's oldest performing ballerina, Charin Yuthasastrkosol, still dances en pointe in her 70s! She started learning ballet at the age of 47 and has been dancing ever since. She has also picked up ballroom dancing and other types of dance and has won hundreds of medals in ballroom dancing championships.

You can read about her inspiring story and see some video clips of her performance on her website:
http://www.charinsdream.com/main.htm

Another ballet dancer in her 70s, Ella Hay (75), started learning ballet at the age of 39 at her daughter's ballet school. Since then she has been dancing, teaching and doing choreography. She is going to give a performance this weekend in Huntington, West Virginia, of a new ballet written by John Witek and Deborah Novak, “The Colors of Currier & Ives”. In this performance, she is going to dance en pointe.

These examples are so inspiring and they tell me not to give up dreaming! :)

#2 Abt3Royal79

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 09:17 AM

I saw a video around Christmas time of the famous balletina, Alicia Alonzo, dancing Giselle when she was in her 70's as well!
Learning to walk sets you free. Learning to dance gives you the greatest freedom of all, to express who you are. _Melissa Hayden_

#3 Victoria Leigh

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 05:35 PM

Ah yes, but Alicia Alonso was an amazing and totally "real" ballerina, not someone who started very, very late in life and loves to dance, but is not a professional classical dancer.

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#4 CDR

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 06:08 PM

Margot Fonteyn danced lead roles into her early 70s, although I understand that it wasn't really through choice but for financial reasons.

#5 Victoria Leigh

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 06:14 PM

Fonteyn, like Alonso, was another miracle of that generation. While they might not have had quite the same technique in the later part of their careers, both of them had something that was so special that it was still a great thing to see them on stage. They were true artists, as well as stars, in every sense. Whether they had to dance or wanted to dance at that age, they had earned the right to do so, and they still had something to teach the next generations. What Alonso did without being able to see was totally amazing.

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LIFE ISN'T ABOUT WAITING FOR THE STORM TO PASS...
...IT'S LEARNING HOW TO DANCE IN THE RAIN! [Unknown]


#6 airchild

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 04:07 AM

It's totally amazing what Alonso and Fonteyn did well into their old age (in Fonteyn's case I think it was into her 60s). But the reason I created my original post was to share how inspired I was to see adult students (at quite a late age) learned the skills and actually made it to the stage well into their old age. I hope the examples will inspire my fellow adult students as much as they have inspired me.

#7 CDR

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 12:48 PM

It's totally amazing what Alonso and Fonteyn did well into their old age (in Fonteyn's case I think it was into her 60s). But the reason I created my original post was to share how inspired I was to see adult students (at quite a late age) learned the skills and actually made it to the stage well into their old age. I hope the examples will inspire my fellow adult students as much as they have inspired me.


Sorry you're right, it was in THE early 70s, not in HER early 70s!

#8 Hans

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 10:26 AM

Maya Plisetskaya is another ballerina with an amazingly long career.
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#9 gerlonda

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 04:33 PM

Okay, but if you read the first page it says she BEGAN ballet at 47. Is that a typo?

#10 Victoria Leigh

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 07:49 PM

Definitely.

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#11 airchild

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 08:29 PM

Okay, but if you read the first page it says she BEGAN ballet at 47. Is that a typo?


I don't think it is a typo. See a published article here:
http://www.charinsdr...day-article.htm

#12 Victoria Leigh

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 08:33 PM

Plisetskaya was already an established principal dancer with the Bolshoi when they first came to NY in 1959. I think she was maybe mid to late 20's at that time.

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LIFE ISN'T ABOUT WAITING FOR THE STORM TO PASS...
...IT'S LEARNING HOW TO DANCE IN THE RAIN! [Unknown]


#13 Mel Johnson

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 10:09 PM

Oops, wrong dancer. I think we're talking about the Thai woman.
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#14 Victoria Leigh

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 10:12 PM

Oh. Well, following the thread, it read like it was about Plisetskaya. :yawn:

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LIFE ISN'T ABOUT WAITING FOR THE STORM TO PASS...
...IT'S LEARNING HOW TO DANCE IN THE RAIN! [Unknown]


#15 gerlonda

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 09:35 AM

I'm sorry but for someone STARTING ballet at age 47, her sous sous on pointe looks pretty darn good. I think what also helps is that she is involved in other physical activity (other dancing) in addition to ballet, plus she is thin. Even though no ballet company would ever look at her twice, it's good she does things on her own. YOU GO CHARIN GIRL!!!!!