Yorkshire ballerina who has danced for 81 years tells Strictly’s It Takes Two she wants to be ‘on the main show’

Barbara Peters, 83 - one of Britain’s oldest ballerinas - made an inspiring appearance on Strictly Come Dancing spin-off It Take Two on Thursday (December 16).

The ballet teacher, who has been dancing for a staggering 81 years, was filmed for the Strictly spin-off at Dance Arena’s Brighouse studio where she continues to teach.

She revealed that appearing on It Takes Two was an “absolute privilege” as she is a “huge Strictly fan”.

“It’s my ultimate dream to be on the main show one day,” she added.

Barbara Peters teaching a class

Having danced since she was just two years old and subsequently being trained at the Royal Academy of Dance at 19, Barbara continues to inspire the people she teaches on a daily basis.

During her appearance, she encouraged more people to take up ballet, and follow their passions regardless of age.

“It’s been lovely to have the opportunity to show the nation that age shouldn’t dictate your ability to dance! I feel vibrant every time I dance - it brings out my youthfulness on a daily basis and there’s no reason why it can’t do the same for anyone else,” she said.

“It’s important to realise that it’s not about experience. I teach people of all abilities and it’s amazing to see the uplifting results ballet has on people from all walks of life.

Filming in action

“As we emerge from the pandemic, it’s great to see that more people have been inspired to take up dance or restart their dance hobby again.”

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Barbara, who is co-founder of children’s dance school babyballet, previously appeared on BBC’s The Greatest Dancer in 2019 at the age of 80.

Barbara’s daughter and co-founder of babyballet, Claire O’Connor, said: “My mum is a shining example of age not defining you and to always follow your passion.”

“I think it’s amazing that she’s almost 84 and she’s still dancing. It’s wonderful that she still reaps the benefits and rewards that dance brings.”

“After a lifetime devoted to teaching others to dance, I’m so proud to see her get the credit she deserves and what’s even more uplifting is that she shows no signs of stopping anytime soon!”

Barbara can be seen on the Thursday December 16 episode of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two via the BBC iPlayer.

To find out more about Barbara and her inspiring journey, visit: www.babyballet.co.uk