ARABESQUES and cabrioles were brought to Haslingden as part of a project to get older people to boost their health through ballet.

The ‘Silver Swans’ class for over 50s, at Manchester Road Methodist Church, was one of several sessions held around the country as part of a Royal Academy of Dance campaign to promote the physical and mental benefits of dancing.

Charlotte Ormerod, who runs the McCaw School of Dance, linked up with the Royal Academy to stage the one-off class, but now hopes to set up regular sessions.

The 32-year-old said: “The class went really well and we had quite a few people in their 60s who hated ballet when they were younger.

“Years ago teachers used to be very critical and harsh and that was quite tough to take for many dancers, who were then put off from going again.

“But the way we teach ballet has changed, it’s more about enjoyment and encouraging a healthy lifestyle.”

Dame Gillian Lynne, the Royal Academy’s ambassador for the scheme, said: “Whether tackling simple ballet steps, or creating leg and arm dance routines while seated, dance can offer something for everyone at whatever level of fitness.”