80-year-old Coast ballet dancer on pointe

A Sunshine Coast man is proving you're never too old to be on pointe.

Leon Daulnais is about to turn 80-years-old but that hasn't stopped him from taking part in his true passion, ballet.

Mr Daulnais walked into a studio when he was just 16 and has never looked back.

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Joan Halliday was his first inspiring, unforgettable teacher at the Halliday Dance Centre in Sydney.

He danced until he was 29-years-old, it was then he said he realised that he needed a stable job and became a hairstylist.

That job took Mr Daulnais all over the world before settling here on the Sunshine Coast where he began exploring his passion again though FitBarre-fitness classes.

Former Ukrainian ballerina and teacher Angelika Burroughs said it is inspirational to have Leon in her class.

"He is such a gentleman, as all male ballet dancers are," she said.

"Male dancers have been trained from a very young age how to treat a lady well, support and take care of her and this training hasn't changed in 600 years.

"I hope to be able to do what he does in 30 or more years of time despite my past dance injuries."

Ms Burroughs said Mr Daulnais was fantastic proof that age is no barrier to do what you love.

"I hope his example will make people think, revalue daily life and motivate to open the new doors of joyful experiences."

Mr Daulnais recently had the opportunity to meet his favourite ballet dancer and Queensland Ballet artistic director Li Cunxin.

Li personally signed his book "Mao the Last Dancer" for him which Ms Burroughs said was the best birthday present ever.

Ballet dancer Leon Daulnais and Queensland Ballet artistic director Li Cunxin.
Ballet dancer Leon Daulnais and Queensland Ballet artistic director Li Cunxin.

Ms Burroughs said dancing is an essential part of human culture regardless of what country you're from.

"Age (is) no barrier to doing what you love and it is never too late to find a new passion or reignite the old one.

"Dancing (also) stops 'Mr Arthritis' from visiting too."

Ms Burroughs FitBarre-fitness classes are based in Noosa.

She said for those wanting to give ballet a spin her best advice is to not stop moving.

"It's a killer decision, find the way to adjust your moves to perform without pain," Ms Burroughs said.

"It doesn't matter what age you are, it's so important to manage your pain and injuries and it's becomes even greater as we get older.

"It has been scientifically proven that ballet has enormous benefits for posture, balance, coordination, mental health and life longevity."


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