Many ballet dancers retire by their 30s, however, Grete Brunvoll is quite the exception. Born in 1930, Grete has been recognized by the Guiness World Records as the worlds oldest performing female ballerina.
82-year-old Greta trains every day, and performs in regular public performances. She began dancing at the age of six, and her first professional ballet performance was when she was fifteen years old, at the National theater.
Norwegian Grete isn’t even close to retiring from classical ballet, in fact she has started to learn hip hop dancing. She became quite fond of hip hop when she was asked to perform in an advertisement for Dance’s Day.
When asked if she had been planning to give up dancing due to her old age, Grete replied, “No, I have not. I don’t feel any different than I have ever had when I dance, and not otherwise either, it might be a bit abnormal, I don’t know, I think it’s perfectly normal”.
You can see Grete dancing in the video below. A translated transcript of the video is below.
Translation of Video
Grethe: I have been on stage since I was 15 years old, the first time on The National Theatre on a Gala Performance for King Haakons return after the war. That was a fantastic experience that may also have made me want to continue dancing, but it has never been a choice, like “Am I going to dance or not?”, it just ended up that way, I have been dancing my whole life.
Reporter: Many dancers retire after passing 40. That is not the case for Grete Brunvoll. After many years in the national ballet and the national theatre and the national concerts, she’s still an active dancer. That has put her in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Grethe: As a small proof that this is correct, I got this certificate to put on the wall.
Interviewer: And there it says that you are the…
Grethe: Yeah, that I am the oldest female dancer that still performs, and I am born in 1930.
Reporter: She turns 82 in the summer, but that has not hindered her in learning something entirely new.
Grethe: I am a classic ballet-dancer, but I have been on hip-hop training here, because I grew so fond of hip-hop after they asked me to be in an advertisement for the Dance’s Day, they were having people from all categories, young and old, and I said yes to that.
Reporter: You can now see her on YouTube where she dances in line two in the instructional video for this years Dance’s Day-dance.
Grethe:I was a little petrified in the beginning when I started learning it in connection with that movie, “oh what have I set myself out to now..” I thought, but I liked it a lot, and I was praised underway, and it obviously turned out good, many says.
Interviewer: You’re closing in on 82?
Interviewer: You are not planning on stopping dancing because of that?
Grethe: No, I have not. I don’t feel any different than I have ever had when I dance, and not otherwise either, it might be a bit abnormal, I don’t know, I think it’s perfectly normal.