Halifax ballet dancer, 81, wows judges on BBC's The Greatest Dancer

Barbara Peters. Picture: SWNS
Barbara Peters. Picture: SWNS

An 81-year-old dancer from Halifax, who has been named Britain's oldest ballerina, wowed the judges on BBC show, The Greatest Dancer.

Just a few weeks after she passed her Grade eight exam for ballet, Barbara Peters appeared on the Saturday night competition show.

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Celebrity judges Cheryl, Matthew Morrison and Oti Mabuse were all on their feet as the mirror opened after the Halifax dancer won more than 75 per cent of the audience votes.

She is now through to the next round.

Cheryl said: "I used to do ballet when I was young. You've inspired me to want to get back into it.

"Because if I can get back into ballet and end up looking like you at 80 years old, job done."

Dance captain Matthew also joined her on stage for a waltz.

The grandmother-of-eight, who has been dancing from the age of two, watched the show with her family on Saturday night.

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She said when the mirror opened it was a "bit of a surprise, a bit of a shock". She added: "I didn't think it special. It is just me."

Barbara has been involved in dance for most of her life and in early 2000, she got involved with her daughter, Claire O'Connor, 45, to create a ballet dance franchise for pre-school children, babyballet.

When Claire introduced adult classes in 2015, Barbara decided to return to lessons and take-up where she left off.

Barbara plans to continue teaching with a couple of new initiatives, Silver Swans - that teaches ballet to the over 55s, and Discovering Repertoire - which is for adults who wish to learn classical ballet moves.

"I will keep going as long as I can, dancing is my life and I don't want to be without it," said Barbara.

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