A ballerina who made her professional debut at the age of 10 is still en pointe as she approaches her 80th birthday.
London-born Suzelle Poole, 77, who now lives in Dallas, Texas, has performed all over the globe, but says she is still striving to improve her technique in her 70s.
‘My chin can always be higher and my toes more pointed,’ says widow Suzelle, or Madame Poole, who still practises six days a week in and around teaching young up and coming ballerinas.
‘There is no age limit on dancing.’
Suzelle Poole, who was born in Chelsea in London but now lives in Texas, still practices up to six times a week at the age of 77
Suzelle, also known as Madame Poole, is seen in her ballet shoes when she was just 10
In addition to her teaching commitments and her own practice, Madame Poole also performs at nursing homes for people who are often older than herself and are unable to go out.
And Suzelle – who is also a published poet – believes that everyone would benefit from being taught ballet, as she’s as fit as a fiddle at 77.
She added : ‘I have always loved ballet dancing and I’m always practicing and striving to improve.
‘I’m able to teach all ages and levels of ballet, I have just taken an intermediate foundation exam and teach all ages how to dance at Royale Ballet Dance Academy.
Suzelle says she is still striving to perfect her technique, even now she’s in her 70s
Suzelle says she’s fit at 77, takes no medication, and believes everyone could benefit from dancing at ‘their own level’
Dancing through the decades: Madame Poole is seen left in the studio when she was younger, and right still practising hard at 77
‘I started at my current dance school in 2003 and as well as dancing there I also perform at nursing homes around Dallas.
‘I feel that seeing my dancing might encourage any disabled residents to do the exercises offered by the care staff.
‘I’m older than a lot of them in there and they can’t believe I’m still dancing, I’m so grateful that I can.
Suzelle (seen centre), who made her professional debut as a dancer when she was just 10, has performed all over the world
‘Dancing is the most wonderful exercise,’ says Suzelle, seen left and right performing when she was younger
‘But for me, dancing is the most wonderful exercise, I’m fit, I take no medication and I believe everyone would benefit from being exposed to ballet classes to their own level.
Suzelle, who practices ballet six times per week, only takes Tuesdays off dancing so she can visit the shops, go to church, and lay flowers in her husband’s memory.
Moves en pointe: Suzelle has continued to challenge herself well into her eighth decade
She added: ‘I like to ensure I get out of my house every day – and that’s another tip for keeping yourself feeling young.
‘I’m so grateful to all of my great teachers during my ballet career.
‘A lot of people say I’m an inspiration due to my age and it really helps some people realise that they too can try ballet.
‘I’m just doing what I love doing, I love performing with beautiful classical music such as Beethoven.
‘As a ballet dancer I’m always challenging myself to have better technique and I’ll continue to perform for as long as I can.
Suzelle also teaches young ballerinas – she’s seen here with some of her students
Not only does Suzelle (seen with a friend, Angela) teach, she also performs for the residents of nursing homes
‘My chin can always be higher and my toes more pointed.’
Suzelle has transformed herself into a number of characters during her decades on stage.
‘Over the years I have performed as many fairy godmothers, and often as a solo dancer,’ said Suzelle, who has played Cupid and starred in a production of Romeo & Juliet.
‘My husband was a opera singer and I have choreographed a dance to his wonderful voice.
‘I hope my story shows others that there’s no age limit on dancing.’