Ballerina Profile: David Chapman

studio03This week’s adult ballerina profile is of David Chapman, who bravely started ballet at the age of 57 two years ago. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!

Adult Ballerina Project: Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

David Chapman: No–dance wasn’t on the agenda for anyone in my grammar school let alone boys, I played cricket and rugby.

 ABP: Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

DC: My wife and I always followed Strictly Come Dancing on the television and I’ve always danced “freestyle” with enthusiasm. We thought about taking ballroom lessons but I wanted a real challenge that involved athleticism, acting and dancing which I could do on my own and with others – ballet ticked all the boxes and we go together (my wife took ballet class ino her teens and so did our daughters).

ABP: Where do you take classes?

DC: In a small friendly dance studio called Dance Projection, Writtle, Essex.show01

 ABP: What is your favorite part about ballet?

DC: The physical and technical challenges as well as the opportunity to perform on stage.

 ABP: What is your least favorite part?

DC: Not being very musical and the time it takes me to learn dance moves.

ABP: Who/What is your ballet inspiration?

studio02DC: The first live ballet I saw was Romeo and Juliet with Rudolph Nureyev in the 1970s. It astonished me and his was the most exciting live performance I have ever seen or will probably ever see.

ABP: What motivates you to keep dancing?

DC: The prospect of old age and infirmity.

ABP: Do you take any other dance classes?

DC: No but I take aerobics classes and play five a side soccer.

ABP: What are your hobbies outside of ballet?

DC: Military history and comedy but ballet has more or less taken over my life outside my job as show02managing partner of a law firm – I have even written ballet into our local dramatic productions so I can perform on stage with ballerinas!

ABP: What advice would you like to give to those who want to start ballet or have just started?

DC: To men: get fit, learn to count and the kit is a uniform you get used to.

ABP: Anything else you’d like to add?

DC: For me, ballet is the most dignified and masculine of disciplines.

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