Dancing and Moving as an Older Person

Darryl Butler in "Future Age"
Darryl Butler dancing in Tracks Dance 25th Anniversary of Grey Panthers Show “Future Age”

Hello. I’m Darryl and I’m a seventy year old contemporary dancer and choreographer. I started dancing five years ago.  I guess I am a neophyte in this field but I am very interested in dance and body work for older people, with a particular interest in people who may not have danced in their younger years. I am also interested in generating dialogue with people who have similar experience or aspirations especially if they have limiting health issues.

About fifteen years ago I started doing yoga and pilates and ten years ago, in the small town where I live,  I started a group of people doing exercises based on these practices. I have extended that by starting a group in another location in my area.  These two groups run once per week in each location. What I do with these groups is more an amalgam of yoga, pilates and dance exercises. I call these peer groups because I am a learner and I try to share what I learn from them and others. In part this blog is helping me stop and take stock of what I am learning from the people with whom I share.

Five years ago, when I started dancing I took up opportunities available to me in a community dance company in Darwin Australia called Tracks Dance. From the support I have received from this company I have also developed a love for performance.

This blog is called “567Eighty” and hopefully that name signals my broader interest in developing and nurturing in myself and others a practice of moving and using our older bodies in beautiful, artistic and intelligent ways to entertain, to be active and to embrace healthy.

I want to find ways to explore our humanity and inform self knowledge through learning and participation. Along the way there may be things that can inform and inspire people of any age. because ageing applies to everyone no matter how many years they have been alive.

Older people can have things to say through movement and by using their bodies, bodies  that young people may not yet understand and that older people themselves may have become conditioned to not seeing or appreciating. It is too easy to be caught up in the stereotyping of older people and adopting a concept of decline. All of us, at any age learn our ageism well and it is one of our most active filters of reality.

In this my first post I am making a start in putting my “project” out there in the hope that others might read my blog be interested in following it and perhaps contributing in some way.

Please go to my main menu and read my other pages to get some additional information about me and what I have been doing. Use the contact page to get in touch with me or make a comment on my posts.