The wonderful Sheila Lehner posted a thoughtful note in the comments. I’ve put her thoughts in block quotes and inserted my responses, in regular text, between them.
It’s a little bit like a conversation…
Thank you for mentioning the Benevolent Ballet program.
It’s my pleasure— it’s a great idea!
I understand what you are saying but the program was designed for people with physical or mental challenges.
People with physical and mental challenges come in all ages, shapes and sizes.
A healthy younger person can go to an ordinary ballet class which this program is not.
Some “healthy younger people” might be shopping for a ballet based falls prevention strategy but not, I would guess, very many.
It is “benevolent” in that it is very gentle, does much good and is not to be feared.
Benevolent things are rare and precious. They value that benevolence brings into our lives can be great. Older people do not have any special claim on “benevolence.”
I used the word “elderly” so that people would know that the exercises and approach were modified for this particular population.
Which “particular population” is that?
Come to think of it I have changed it to “seniors” when working with independent seniors (just to keep them from thinking they were elderly!).
The field of aging is a minefield of euphemism.
I have also used it successfully for younger adults with mental challenges, in which case I just called it Benevolent Ballet.
I think that “Benevolent Ballet” is just dandy.
I just didn’t want people to think it would be a typical ballet class where the work is very strenuous and every movement has to be perfectly executed with a place for everything.
I know almost nothing about “ballet” but I never, even for a moment, thought of it as a “benevolent” undertaking. I seem to remember something about dancers injuring their feet and retirement coming at age 28.
Even the eyes must be just so. That would really scare everyone away! I would consider changing the name if I could come up with something more descriptive.
IMHO “Benevolent Ballet” with a tagline that describes what people get from the process would work very well.
Sheila Lehner, Founder Benevolent Ballet Fall Prevention
You are hero. You are making the world a better place. Congratulations.
Please send pictures!
UPDATE — Sheila shared this slideshow from her LinkedIn profile. Enjoy!