When and where
Vibez Dance Studios, Woodley, RG5 3JP
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Newbury Rugby Football Club, Newbury, RG14 7RW
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Cotswold Sports Centre, Tilehurst, RG31 6SL
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Dance Reality Studios, Tilehurst (Dee Road), RG30 4EA
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Earley St Peter's Church Hall, Earley, RG6 1EY
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Thatcham Parish Hall, Thatcham, RG18 4JP
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About Silver Swans
Silver Swans with Sonia Brown are fun and friendly ballet classes aimed at over 50s. We follow a traditional ballet class structure comprising of barre work, centre practise and repertoire (a dance).
It's a gentle and relaxed class, making it a great place to socialise whilst improving your mobility, posture, and coordination.
The class is designed to move at a slower pace with adaptions made depending on our students' capabilities, making it ideal for all levels of experience, ages and physical abilities.
What our Swans have been saying
"I love Silver Swans, in my head I am a prima ballerina! Although reality is somewhat different! Having never danced before I have found it a joy and really look forward to the session, my balance is much better and I swear muscle tone improved. Best thing ever."
"Sonia is delightful and a great teacher. The physio and I have been working to strengthen muscles around my hip for months. In the 5 weeks I've been a Silver Swan, the improvement has been amazing! I leave every class walking taller and smiling... smiling for the rest of the day as the class is such fun and so uplifting"
"I’d like to thank Sonia for a fabulous class that brought back the joy of ballet that I’ve missed for too many years"
Frequently asked questions
Booking and payment
£8.00 per class (one hour). The first lesson for new attendees is Pay-As-You-Go, however following on from that, should you wish to continue with us, payment is on a termly basis expected by your next lesson in order to reserve your space.
Returning students are expected to pay on the first lesson of term. To see our term dates, click here.
Unfortunately, I cannot accept cheques and I do not offer refunds for missed classes. I am however more than happy for students to catch up classes elsewhere on our timetable, as long as this is done within the same term.
- What do I need to bring? Please bring a bottle of water. - What should I wear? There’s no need for you to invest in a leotard and tights when attending Silver Swans (unless you want to!) Just come in clothes you can move comfortably in such as leggings or tracksuit bottoms. For your first class; bare feet or socks are fine so that you are able to feel the floor and work through the feet. I would recommend, however, if you do sign up for Silver Swans With Sonia Brown, to visit our fantastic local dancewear shop, Dancia International, where they will fit the shoes correctly for you. There are some dodgy shoes on the internet, and ballet shoe sizing varies dramatically so having them professionally fitted in person will save you time and money. Dancia International's details can be found below. Sonia's recommendation would be a leather or canvas split-sole ballet shoe (snug-fitting), but cheaper alternatives are available if preferred. Dancia Reading, 36-38 Prospect Street, Caversham, Reading, RG4 8JL Tel. 0118 9478123 - Why can’t I attend as a pay-as-you-go customer? To truly benefit from attending any dance class, regular attendance is key. This gives your mind and body a real chance at retaining all the goodness you’ve gained from the lesson. We have many students who attend multiple times a week or take advantage of our home practise videos as just one week can feel like a long time! Alongside this, as we move through the term we develop our exercises and extend our dances. Drop-in students, particularly further into the term, hinder the whole community's progress, as well as making the session much more overwhelming for the infrequent visitor. Seeing you regularly means more fun for everyone! - I’m an absolute beginner. Is there anything to help me outside of the class? Well, yes there is! Once you’ve attended your trial, you’ll be sent information on how to access our ‘members area’. There you’ll find a link to our online folder where I regularly upload the current dance choreography, alongside some videos of the absolute basics. Don’t panic if you can’t remember the names of the steps! They sink in over time! - How do I join the community WhatsApp groups? Once you’ve attended your trial, you’ll be sent information on how to access our ‘members area’. Here you’ll find a link to join the Silver Swans/Low-Impact Tap WhatsApp group. Just click on that and it should let you in! Advanced Tappers have separate group chats so just speak Sonia to be added. - Sonia has different shoes. Where are they from? For ballet, Sonia wears Capezio Pedini Femme teaching sandals which have a low cuban heel. Students are welcome to wear the same if they need a little more support. They’re particularly helpful for back pain sufferers, if you’re flat footed, if you lock your knees a lot, or find you need to lift your heels in a plié. For tap, Sonia’s blue and white shoes are Miller and Ben ‘Jazz Tap Masters’, custom-made from America. If you’re interested in a snazzy, brogue style tap shoe without breaking the bank, a great pair to start with would be Bloch’s 'Chloe and Mauds'. The ball (front) tap is weighty though, so perhaps not suitable for absolute beginners.