Dance studios are often thought of as places for children, teenagers and young adults to learn and practice various forms of dance. However, there is a growing demand for dance classes among older adults (over 50s). As the baby boomer generation ages, many are looking for ways to stay active and engaged, and dance is a great way to do that. Offering dance classes for older people can be a great way for dance studios to diversify their income and reach a new demographic.

Here are some reasons why dance studios should consider offering classes for older adults:

1. Growing demand

As mentioned earlier, the population of older adults is growing rapidly. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics by 2050, around one quarter of all Australians will be aged 65 years and over, with the proportion of younger Australians declining. In fact, the number of people aged 65 years and over will overtake the number of children aged 0 to 14 years by around 2025. This means that there will be an increasing demand for activities that cater to this demographic, including dance classes.

2. New revenue stream

Offering dance classes for older adults can be a new revenue stream for dance studios. This demographic is often willing to pay for quality classes that cater to their specific needs. It can also be a way to fill class times that may not be in high demand among younger students eg during school hours.

3. Increase this income stream further

Dance for older people doesn’t just have to occur in studios. Outreach programs can be offered in retirement villages, community centres, aged care homes and healthcare facilities.

4. 2-way reward

Teaching older people is rewarding for both participants and teachers.

  • Teachers are rewarded with enthusiastic, appreciative, loyal and regular attendees. There is great satisfaction in playing a role in positively impacting their health & wellbeing and helping older people age well.
  • Older participants can reap the many health & wellbeing benefits dance offers. Dance is a great way for older adults to improve or maintain their overall health and a growing body of research supports this view. Dance is ‘exercise in disguise’ so it’s a very enticing and pleasurable way for them to stay active, stimulate their brains, lift mood and remain socially connected. Dance can help with balance, coordination, flexibility, and strength. Studies have also shown that dancing can improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of dementia. Dancing is a joyous activity and dance classes can provide a great opportunity for older adults to socialize and connect with others. This is especially important for those who may be isolated or lonely. Dancing can create a sense of community and belonging, which can have a positive impact on mental health.

RIPE Dance Classes for Active Seniors 2021 – Photo: Barry Alsop


When it comes to offering dance classes for older adults, there are many things to consider. Teachers need to ensure they have an understanding of the differences of working with more mature bodies compared to younger bodies. There’s the need to understand the natural biological and physiological changes that occur during the ageing process as well as the psychological, behavioural and social changes and health conditions that may occur.

Here’s just a few things to keep in mind:

* Cater to their needs

Older adults may have different needs and limitations than younger students. It’s vital to design classes that are appropriate for their abilities, dance experience/inexperience and take into account any physical limitations. This may mean offering seated options or modifying movements to make them less challenging physically and/or cognitively.

* Create a welcoming environment

Make sure that the studio is welcoming to older adults. This may mean making accommodations for mobility issues or ensuring that the studio is well-lit and easy to navigate. It’s important that instructors are patient and understanding and essential that the instructors are trained in working with and delivering dance to older adults.

* Market effectively

Marketing to older people requires a different approach to effectively reach this target demographic. This may mean advertising and promoting in senior centres or other community organisations that cater to older adults. It’s also important to highlight the health and social benefits of dancing in your marketing materials.

IN CONCLUSION, offering dance classes for older adults can be a great way for dance studios to diversify their income and reach a new demographic. By catering to the specific needs of older adults and creating a welcoming environment, dance studios can tap into a growing market and provide a valuable service to their community.

RIPE Dance Classes 2021 Photo: Barry Alsop