dance academy

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NEW SWAN                   CURRENT SWAN               TEACHER


“It’s Never Too Late” to join our over 50’s Senior Swans® dance classes. Ballet for adults is a growing worldwide trend. Many of  Dance For Life Academy’s Senior Swans® are in their 50s,60s and 70s and there is usually an octogenarian or two at the barre!


Click here  for details of training workshops and syllabus

Senior Swans® classes are relaxed, but focused. Numerous studies show that dance, including ballet, is good for the brain. That it provides an excellent antidote to age-related cognitive decline, not to mention the enhanced sense of wellness derived from improved  mobility, balance, poise and socialization.

Kathleen Curwen-Walker introduced Senior Swans® Ballet classes to her studio Dance For Life Academy in 2016, with the one class blossoming rapidly to 10 per week! Participants comprise both total beginners and those returning to dance they perhaps once enjoyed in their youth. Some of the Senior Swans® have even gone through ballet exams, with good results. There are plenty of opportunities provided to perform to an audience if desired! 

Senior Swans® Ballet follows the structure of a traditional Ballet class. The main adaptation is that there are no jumps (or very modified ones) to protect the joints. Neither do we offer pointe work….but who wants to go through that pain in our senior years anyway! Those are the only things that are out of bounds. Classes incorporate stretching & creative movement as well as formal ballet training to produce a holistic experience that invigorates, calms, challenges and satisfies. And then there’s always the lure of the local café to socialize at afterwards!

Senior Swans® Ballet: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Friday. Go to the timetable for options and to register your trial class. 

Not only does DFLA offer Ballet for Seniors, the popularity of our senior’s classes now extends to include Theatre Jazz, Conditioning, Lyrical (a more free flowing modern style of neo classical dance) and Repertoire (learning dances for our showcases).


  • Tuesdays 1.15pm
  • Wednesdays Beginners 10.30am
  • Thursdays 12pm
  • Fridays 12pm


  • Mondays 1.00pm


  • Fridays 11am

To Book your CLASSES , go to Register for Classes in your account here:  https://dancestudio-pro.com/online/aaab

  • Register for Classes
  • Select the current adult season
  • Scroll down to the class/es you want and click
  • Click SUBMIT at the bottom & FINISH REGISTRATION at the top to pay.

If you need assistance to book, please email us at bookings@nzballet.co.nz

After your trial,  we pro-rate Term fees until the end of the current term at $22 a class. Casual classes are $25/class.

STUDIO: 36 Galway St. Free parking.

ATTIRE: Any comfy dancewear, plus ballet flats (once you decide to enrol, socks are fine for your trial class) available at The Dancers Wardrobe.

Please let me know what you’d like to do…we look forward to getting you started with the “Senior Swans®️”!


Senior Swans® classes are now proud to be accredited by these notable organisations:



Accident Compensation Commission – ACC silver swans

NZ BALLET LIMITED – Senior Swans®  

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silver swans
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I envision a program which will empower other teachers to take the success of Senior Swans and replicate this in their local communities, making ballet for seniors more accessible to mature aged students across New Zealand, opening new business opportunities for dance studios and boost sustainability of jobs for teachers of dance.


Find out more here

Are you interested in teaching ballet to seniors? Or perhaps you already are teaching seniors and would like to expand your knowledge?

You don’t need to be affiliated with any particular dance training organisation to take part in the Senior Swans®️ Teacher Training Workshops and become a Senior Swans Licensee. You do need to be a teacher of ballet.

In my training workshops, I will share knowledge gleaned at my studio over the past 7 years of teaching ballet specifically to seniors to provide this boost and foster greater access to ballet for New Zealand’s over 50’s community. This one day workshop, scheduled in a city centre near you (and also available online), will provide you with the following outcomes:

  1. Gain a thorough understanding of the unique physical, mental and emotional challenges faced by dancers over-50 learning ballet.
  2. Learn to effectively sequence, modify and language classes for seniors.
  3. Understand how to craft a ballet class that delivers “real ballet” in a safe, honest and inspiring manner.
  4. Identify opportunities for setting up and marketing your classes for seniors.
  5. Confidently learn how to prepare lessons to teach 3 levels of  classes from complete beginner to returning dancer.

For those interested in opening classes under the Senior Swans brand of classes , which includes receiving monthly lesson plans and video ideas for Swans classes, there will be an option to register as a Senior Swans Licensed studio after the workshop.  Please head to seniorswans.com for more information, or email me at info@seniorswans.com

If you would like to teach Senior Swans and learn from our 7 years of experience with these classes, please contact me today:

Kathleen Curwen-Walker, Licentiate Cecchetti Ballet

Artistic Director, NZ Ballet Ltd

Visit our Instagram pages: Dance for Life Academy, Senior Swans




Passionate and experienced teachers

DFLA has a friendly environment and fantastic, passionate and experienced teachers with serious approaches to dancing. They set the ‘barre’ very high and challenge us each time.

Yulia Vugman

Kind, positive

Welcoming, kind, positive - all my dealings prior to my first class and during, have been like this. I'm really looking forward to continuing my journey of ballet, after a 30+ year break from this style of dance.

Suzi McMaster Wallis

Good for the whole body and mind

I would highly recommend this adult ballet learning studio. I have never danced in my life and am slowly getting my head around the terminology and positions. The classes are nice and small with friendly likewise women. It helps with any balance issues and very good for the whole body and mind.

Jan Baxter

Super bunch of ladies

Just joined today and cant wait to go back for more. A super bunch of ladies, a most welcoming class and an excellent tutor.

Judy Cook

None compare to AAAB

I have taken ballet classes in London, Melbourne, Sydney, Toronto and Auckland but none compare to the classes at Auckland Academy of Adult Ballet. The programme of initiation classes through progression to advanced level means that everyone in the class is at the same level. There is no intimidation or feeling like you are not good enough to be there, and Kathy's caring approach to correct technique is really amazing.

Ros JH

Lovely friendly small class

I've joined an adult ballet class after a 25 year break and loving it. This is a lovely friendly class in a spacious dance studio in Onehunga.

Rebecca Girvan

So accepting, caring

I love DFLA - so accepting, caring and yet with an expectation that we will push ourselves to bring out the dancer inside!

Niki Harre

Encouraging and experienced tutors

Come and try it ! Wonderful experience and special rates for the first two trial classes....beautiful, encouraging and experienced tutors. You will love it!

Hilary Weeks

learn REAL ballet technique

I really ❤️❤️ 😍 DFLA. This is a real ballet school where you learn REAL ballet technique. Every class is a REWARDING experience and the atmosphere is AWESOME. The teachers are FAB. They know how to teach adults properly and prevent injuries. The music is INSPIRATIONAL. I get to dance with FANTASTIC classmates. Everyone - all ages and shapes - are made to feel WELCOME. I returned to ballet after a 35+ year break and am doing better than when I was a kid!! HAVE A GO!

Steph Clout

Slightly nervous as a beginner

I love my dance classes! I never danced as a child and was slightly nervous as a beginner but I am improving and gaining confidence. Definitely noticed how toned my legs are since starting!! Thanks

Zoe Larner Smith