Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall says she starts her day with ballet lessons during quarantine

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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall isn’t letting a lockdown get in the way of fitness.

The wife of Prince Charles participated in a video call with Darcey Bussell, the Royal Ballet’s former principal dancer and president of The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), as well as former newsreader Angela Rippon to commemorate International Dance Day on Tuesday.

During their conversation, which was posted on Clarence House’s Instagram, the British royal revealed she had secretly been taking ballet lessons at home for the last 18 months. And despite being in isolation, the 72-year-old is still taking her lessons indoors.

“[I start the day] with a bit of Silver Swans and a bit of Pilates,” Camilla revealed. “And a lot of walking, which I love.”

“We’ve got to keep active otherwise we will all seize up and we won’t be able to get out of bed in the morning,” she shared. “It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 minutes. It doesn’t matter if it is 10 minutes or 20 minutes. It just starts off the day.”

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Camilla admitted it was challenging at first, but the daily routine has kept her in shape and boosted her confidence.

“I had certainly never done ballet before, and it doesn’t matter whether you have done ballet or not,” she said. “It’s something that will make you feel better. It gives you a certain amount of confidence in yourself. It’s just a bit of discipline.”

Camilla said she didn’t know what to expect when she attended her very first class.

“[I thought], ‘Oh dear! What on earth is this going to be?’” she said. “I thought it was going to be a lot of very ancient people like me wobbling about on one leg. [But] I couldn’t believe how good everyone was. I mean, they were so impressive.”

“So I got together a group of ancient friends together,” she continued. “The four of us sort of clatter around. When we are in London we do it once a week and it makes all the difference. I’ve always loved dancing, but I’d never, never done ballet. [I enjoy] the feeling that we are all in it together."

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“We thought at first it was going to be very funny and I was going to laugh at everybody toppling over to me… but we concentrated so hard that we don’t even know what our friend… is doing. When I stand there I think to myself, ‘Drop your shoulders, breathe deeply, don’t hunch.’ It’s those sorts of things you have ingrained in your memory. You don’t have to have any experience with ballet before. It’s just something that makes you feel better. Which I think we all need in our lives.”

Camilla encouraged those watching to find a physical activity they can practice from the comfort of home during isolation amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“You might groan a bit afterward and cough and grunt and everything else, but you do feel better,” said Camilla. “It’s fun, it’s really good fun. I am very much a beginner and will always stay a beginner but after 18 months of doing it, I do feel I’ve improved a tiny bit. But I’m certainly not taking it to the stage, shall we say. I’m keeping it in my own home, privately.”

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The Royal Academy of Dance developed Silver Swans classes in response to a growing demand for ballet classes catered to older people, U.K.’s DailyMail reported. During the COVID-19 crisis, RAD has launched free online classes for those over 55. A new video is available every Wednesday on their website and social media channels.

Camilla, who is passionate about her new pastime, agreed to become the vice patron of RAD, the outlet shared. Her mother in law, Queen Elizabeth II, has been a patron of the academy since 1953.