In 2017 I led a 10-month mixed methods research project on teaching practice for delivering ballet to active older adults and the subsequent wellbeing outcomes for participants. The findings strongly indicated that ballet participation was considered to be a highly pleasurable activity with positive outcomes felt across social, emotional and physical wellbeing.

The research received international media attention in early 2018 which led a wave of older adults across Australia trying ballet: the best type of research impact!

This project was a partnership between Queensland Ballet and Queensland University of Technology, with funding from the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland initiative.


Ali-Haapala, A., Moyle, G., & Kerr, G. (2020). Pleasurable challenges: Competing with the ageing body and mind through Ballet for SeniorsLeisure Studies, 39(4), pp. 532-544. doi: 10.1080/02614367.2019.1670720

Ali-Haapala, A., Moyle, G., & Kerr, G. (2018). Ballet moves for adult creative health. Queensland Ballet, Brisbane, Australia.

Other research outputs

Ali-Haapala, A. (Launched in 2021). QB Ballet for Seniors Teaching Training Program. Queensland Ballet, Brisbane, Australia.