Never mind the high kicks and pirouettes; here are a group of Tasmanian dancers who are living proof that you don't need to be a lithe young thing with an hourglass waist to be a wonderful dancer.
Hobart-based MADE (Mature Artists Dance Experience) is an ensemble dedicated to older dancers of all shapes, sizes and abilities.
Formed 17 years ago by Sydney Dance Company performer Glen Murray, it runs regular classes for men and women aged 50-plus.
For grandmother and retired physio Jill Clennett, 77, it is a source of joy.
"I started dancing when I was three but gave it up as a late teenager, because It was classical ballet and you had to have a ballerina figure," she said.
"I wasn't the right shape in those days; I had been a swimmer. You might have been able to do things but if you didn't have the figure, you really weren't going to go anywhere."
Had more diverse forms of contemporary dance been around when she was growing up in Queensland, it might have been different, Jill says.
She heard about MADE years later while dancing with a Scottish country dancing group in Tasmania.
"I think I saw something on television. And then there was an ad that there was a workshop on during summer. And because I was in my early 60s, I was really in trepidation, thinking, oh my goodness, can I still dance or am I just going to fall over?"
But it turned out to be a liberating experience. "My whole life sort of went through 360 degree plus 180 degrees. It was very, very different."
She said the group's regular classes are ideal in keeping the body moving, mobile and strong.
"But it offers so much more than that. It's extraordinary what we get out of just even doing classes.
"We use all different styles of music and different styles of dance. And the music is extremely inspiring. You see the look on people's faces. You're dancing but just carried away by what the music is saying."
Working with older people provides opportunities for the choreographers as well, she said.
"With all the different bodies and different abilities, they can use all that. It's not that you're trying to look like a perfect quarter ballet or anything."
Jill describes dance theatre as a "strange combination of drama and movement at the same time".
It incorporates all manner of non-traditional elements. One performance, The Frock, choreographed by Murphy - even featured a robot as the narrator.
Jill says it can certainly take you outside of your "comfort zone".
For example, she recalls Glen teaching the dancers the importance of "really being there in the space".
"By this he meant to walk on the stage when nothing else is going on and just stand there, not moving, yet holding the audience's attention. I remember learning that and thinking, 'oh boy'."
It can get up close and personal, too. One work has dancers talking to audience members and asking them questions, or people walking around them as they perform.
"So we don't necessarily just perform on a stage. When we're performing, we can be filming out in the street, or in a mall or in a square, or in a shop window. We've been in trams and trains. I love it. You have to be totally in the moment with whatever it is you're doing."
It can be hard work too. "When we took The Frock to Japan, we put on a whole new show with about 11 different scenes. I had six costume changes. When you're changing clothes, changing shoes, changing props, you have to be totally on the ball," Jill said.
"There's a lot going on in your mind spontaneously. And one of the things that you're remembering is what step you have to do next. And then you remembering how does that fit in with the music. And sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it's across the music. And then you have to remember where you are relative to everybody else, because you're in a group, and they're not necessarily doing the solo.
"And then we have things like spotlighting and various light positions that change through performance. And you'd have to be in the light at the right time, because that's all programmed, and they can't change it. So you have to be in the right spot at the right time to do with the lighting.
"And then you have to remember what character you are at the time. Because if you're doing several characters, your character changes. It is extraordinarily stimulating.
Jill says it's also challenging for choreographers if they haven't worked with older people. But the rewards are there.
"They have to spend a bit of time with us to be able to work out what sort of choreography, we can work with comfortably. They still push us. So we still do things you wouldn't necessarily do," she said.
"And they might get a whole group of us to do it. And then they'll see which ones are doing a little better. They might then put that into the choreography.
"So that's one way they can check us out. Because we still do things down on the floor and then up again and rolling around. And not a lot of people at 77 do that."
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