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Never Too Late: This Texas Ballerina Continues to Amaze Crowds at 78

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At the age of 78, ballerina Suzelle Poole is in a league of her own. Not only does she teach classical ballet six days a week, but she also performs regularly. She dances en pointe throughout Dallas as a guest performer with area dance companies, as well as at assisted-living homes and retirement communities, together with her students. Ballet has become second-nature to Poole, also known as Madame Poole to her students.

She was born in London, England, where she began taking ballet lessons at the age of seven. “I loved it from the start,” she explained to news-journal.com. “And when my parents took me to watch the legendary Margot Fonteyn in a ballet, I just knew it was something I wanted to be a part of forever.” Due to the fact that the age of 30 is generally the time when most dancers retire, Poole at first thought she would be lucky to be able to continue her dancing career post-20s. And, everyone, most of all her, was surprised that she was able to continue well past her 50s, as she spoke of in her TEDxPlano Talk in early 2019, entitled “Dancing Beyond All Limits.”

Never Too Late: This Texas Ballerina Continues to Amaze Crowds at 78

Photo: Facebook/Wear Climbing the World

Following years of performing in Great Britain and Canada, Poole traveled to South Africa and Germany with her husband, Jonathan, who worked there as an opera singer. She began to teach the dance that she loved so much and for a period of nine years, she taught children in the Moscow Ballet for their performance of the “Nutcracker.” They settled in Texas, where her husband’s two children from a previous marriage resided, and Poole to dance as a ballerina. She first began as a soloist with the Houston Ballet and then moved on to Dallas, where she’s taught with the Royale Ballet Dance Academy for the past 15 years. Sadly, her husband passed away just prior to the start of her teaching position with the academy, but she continues in the footsteps she most loved and pursued throughout her career, now well into her 70s.

Never Too Late: This Texas Ballerina Continues to Amaze Crowds at 78

Photo: Facebook/Hollon Meaders

“People in care centers can relate to me because I’m about the same age,” she told news-journal.com. “I hope to get them interested in exercise. Plus, I enjoy showing them that it’s never too late to do something you love.” Angela Sham, owner and Director of the Royale Ballet Dance Academy, says that Poole’s joy is infectious and she serves as an inspiration to all the students. Poole has helped her students gain confidence in themselves as dancers, and their admiration for her runs deep.

Never Too Late: This Texas Ballerina Continues to Amaze Crowds at 78

Photo: Facebook/Royale Ballet Dance Academy

Poole continues in her passion, often wearing her 1960s Bloch ballet slippers, which have given her half a century of support. Despite the fact that this ballerina still makes spotlight performances, her passion for teaching children ballet has brought her far more satisfaction. Over the years, she has estimated that she’s taught thousands of them how to count music, proper ballet positions, and proper pronunciation. The joy she fills from watching the children dance is what keeps her going. Her method of performance and teaching combines strength and delicacy. And to watch her, clad in toe shoes and classic costume, with her white hair in a bun, is to see poise, presence, and perfect posture, deserving of a standing ovation.