Camilla at ballet class: I want to be a Silver Swan

The Duchess of Cornwall released her inner Silver Swan when she was taught a dance step in a ballet class for over 55s.

Camilla mastered a tendu - the action of stretching your leg and foot out from one position to another, while keeping it on the floor - during a visit to the Royal Academy of Dance headquarters in Battersea, London.

She was shown the move by broadcaster Angela Rippon and singer and actress Elaine Paige after watching one of the Academy's Silver Swans ballet lessons.

The Duchess of Cornwall with Elaine Paige and Angela Rippon as Camilla learns to do a tendu at the Royal Academy of Dance in London (Eddie Mulholland/Daily Telegraph/PA)
The Duchess of Cornwall with Elaine Paige and Angela Rippon as Camilla learns to do a tendu at the Royal Academy of Dance in London (Eddie Mulholland/Daily Telegraph/PA)

The classes, specially designed for older learners, are aimed at improving mobility, posture, co-ordination and energy levels and are led by teachers who have been trained to safely adapt ballet techniques for over 55s.

After her tour of the Academy, the Duchess revealed she was taken with the ballet lessons, declaring: "I want to be a Silver Swan."

Camilla chatted with Rippon and Paige, both Silver Swans themselves, and heard how ballet helps to improve core strength.

Camilla and the Silver Swans (Eddie Mulholland/Daily Telegraph/PA)
Camilla and the Silver Swans (Eddie Mulholland/Daily Telegraph/PA)

Rippon said afterwards: "It was wonderful to meet HRH The Duchess of Cornwall today and for her to see a Silver Swans class in action.

"Ballet is fabulous exercise for body mind and spirit, particularly as we get older."

The Duchess also watched a Project B class - an initiative which focuses on encouraging boys to take up ballet.

The Duchess of Cornwall chats to boys taking part in the Project B initiative (Eddie Mulholland/Daily Telegraph/PA)
The Duchess of Cornwall chats to boys taking part in the Project B initiative (Eddie Mulholland/Daily Telegraph/PA)

It aims to fire boys' imaginations with new dance partnerships inspired by sports and superheroes, and the Academy is investing more than £30,000 to support male dance provision over the next three years.

Camilla later visited Fine Cell Work's Hub in Vauxhall and met ex-offenders and their mentors to learn about how training in professional creative needlework and craftwork has helped them remain crime-free upon release.

She helped sew some back-stitches into an almost-finished creation of her blue monogram - a letter C under a crown - crafted by one of the prisoners.

The Duchess joked: "This could be my finest hour in stitching... I'm glad I've got my specs on."

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