Have you ever been hesitant to ask someone about their age? It might just be the elephant in the room. Well, maybe it won’t be when we you are talking to confident, triumph-oriented female athletes who found new freedom in their older age, and are proud of the number 50+, 60+ and 70+ year young.
With their swimming suits, cycling gears, and pointed ballet shoes, we met with three remarkable women who range from forty-nine to seventy-six years. The three wonder women pursued sports at a later stage in their lives, proving that when persistence and strong will come together magic happens.
These women are living proof that age doesn’t stop one from pursuing their dreams. On the contrary, they actually discovered –or reignited– their passion for swimming, ballet and triathlon much later in life than one would expect. Yes, touch wood!
Dancing her fears away, Dalia Akram, forty-nine, is all about grace and tenacity. The multi-talented Dalia decided to join an adult ballet class in her forties, even though as a little girl she never practiced ballet.
“It started when I was at the gym and I came across an adult ballet class, and that was something that I had always wanted to do as a kid. I asked them if I could qualify in my early forties, and they said yes,” Dalia adds.
“I came across an adult ballet class, and that was something that I had always wanted to do as a kid. I asked them if I could qualify in my early forties, and they said yes”
Dalia has a full, productive life being a professor and teaching at university. Yet she was seized by the notion that she can dance ballet –a long-awaited moment for her.
Not starting to learn ballet when she was a little girl might be just the engine Dalia needed to pursue her dream of being a ballerina. “When I was a little girl my father wasn’t in favor of me learning ballet. He thought it might make a girl’s body look muscular or unfeminine. So I didn’t learn,” She says.
When it comes to the steps Dalia took to become a ballerina, she believes it takes time and patience. “You definitely take time to learn every single move.” Doing just one move in ballet takes a lot to get the posture right. This is in addition to getting the tiptoes, feet, legs, elevation and fingers right and synchronized together,” Dalia says.
Dalia took Adult Ballet private lessons at Life Up Egypt’s Adult ballet Studio and noticed that she developed very quickly, “When I started learning ballet, my trainer at Life Up’s Ballet School gave me a confidence boost and was very supportive.”
Some people think ballet in specific is something that should be practiced since childhood, but Dalia and women like her prove that age is no barrier.
“I don’t receive negative comments to be honest because I don’t share much. Maybe just one person commented “Ballet at that age?” and I didn’t care,” Dalia says.
Dalia tells us that this belief that when a human reaches a certain age they can’t do something specific is destructive. Such beliefs affect our lives; it affected people, it hindered their progress, it made them retreat back in frustration. “I think people’s mindset has evolved and their take on aging has changed. I just saw a ballerina granny dancing with her grandson. She did a lot of difficult moves that a twenty-year-old cannot do,” Dalia adds.
Being the fast learner that she is, Dalia tells us she wants to continue sprouting at ballet, and one day soon she hopes she can choreograph her own ballet dance from start to finish and perform it with no mistakes. Maybe even with a fusion of contemporary!