Even though she has advanced training in classical ballet, Dr Rose Kong of The Gap Dental Practice in Queensland, dances for the joy of it.
“I attended ballet classes from about six years of age until I started high school. My parents were happy for me to keep going but insisted I had to take it seriously. After all, lessons, tutus, shoes and concerts are expensive and time-consuming. I chose to concentrate on my schoolwork and gave up ballet completely.
“Then, in my early twenties, I decided to pick it up again. I had continued to do stretching exercises so I was still very limber. As I hate going to the gym, I also thought that ballet would be a good way to keep fit. I started lessons and joined a ballet school in Auckland, where I was living at the time.
“They didn’t have any adult classes but because I looked so young, they let me join the teenage class. I picked it up from where I’d left off and completed all my levels. Even though I wasn’t a dentist yet, I had a job. I was the only dancer who had to take time off work to go to the exams.
“I moved to Brisbane about a year ago and joined some adult dance classes with Queensland Ballet. Then COVID hit and I had to do all the classes online. It’s actually very well presented and nicely designed so you can practise at home. My husband and I recently bought a house with a shed in the backyard that I’m planning to convert into a dance studio. It will be a great space for me to dance and do my barre work.
“Lots of dentists suffer from bad backs but ballet is very good for core strength and flexibility. I never have any back pain. Professional dancers often have trouble with their feet because they won’t acknowledge when they have an injury. They are so keen to dance that they don’t allow enough time for healing. Even though I love ballet, I’m not a professional and my feet are fine!
“I love everything about ballet. I go to recitals performed by all the great ballet companies and they are just amazing. The dancers are super-athletic and the guys are all very strong. People would be amazed at the level of strength and stamina the performers need to put on a three-hour show.
“Some people might think they are too old to try ballet but there are plenty of dancers in their fifties. Seriously, anyone can give ballet a try—and they should. It’s beautiful, graceful, exciting and good for you.”