General Info > News Releases > Archived Releases 2008-09 > 2008-11-18: Former MC Student a Guiness World Record Holder

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 18, 2008

MENDOCINO COLLEGE, 1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah, CA 95482

Contact:     Chris Snyder, Media Assistant
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File: –  NR-Frank Galey
Photo:  NR-MC Frank Galey

Ukiah, CA - You are only as old as you feel.  Former Mendocino College student Dr. Frank Galey must have felt pretty good when he entered the Guinness World Record Book as the world's oldest male ballet dancer.

Galey, who was born in Oak Park, IL and now resides in Willits, is the Guinness World Record holder for the world's oldest male ballet dancer at the age of 74 and 101 days.

After spending approximately 16 years as a research biologist, Dr. Galey embarked on a second career as a ballet dancer at the age of 50.  

It was a neighbor who approached him about attending classes at Ballet For Topanga, while he was living in Topanga, CA.  

According to Dr. Galey, from the very first class he was definitely hooked.            

“I had always admired the grace and athleticism of male dancers such as Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov,” Dr. Galey said.

Many of Dr. Galey’s dance teachers were formerly professionals and performers in world-recognized ballet companies.

Since he was older than all of them, he suspected he was the oldest person in the world trying to do what he did and contacted the Guinness World Record in 2005.  In December of 2006, he was awarded a certificate in a new category called World’s Oldest Male Ballet Dancer.           

Dr. Galey has performed for Ballet For Topanga, Redwood Empire Ballet, Ballet California, Healdsburg Ballet, and Mendocino Ballet.           

Since moving to Northern California, Dr. Galey has taken one or more classes each semester at Mendocino College since 1995.  He has taken ballet, tap, jazz, and modern dance, and has performed in a number of Mendocino College Spring Dance Festivals.           

“Frank has been a stellar dance student at Mendocino College for many years.  In fact, at one time he was a member of the Mendocino College Repertory Dance Company.  His first love is ballet, although he is a great tapper too,” Mendocino College Professor of Dance Leslie Saxon West said.

According to West, the dance program at Mendocino College is one of the largest programs at the college. The program offers a variety of traditional dance classes, such as ballet, modern and contemporary, jazz and hip hop, as well as many others that focus on diversity such as Mexican Folk Dance, Capoeira, Middle Eastern and Afro-Cuban dance.

“Next semester, the dance program will be offering, for the first time, Bhangra, a festive and energetic dance from Northern India. One of our most popular classes is a special topic class called Women Dancing: Dance for Joy, which was developed for women in middle and late life,” West said.

“I have continued to learn so much while at Mendocino College. My passion for dance has continually deepened. It is through dance I have come to know and understand myself and others better.  The world would be a much better place if we could all dance together.” Dr. Galey said.

The Mendocino College Dance Program has students of all ages. The program also offers courses in Feldenkrais, yoga and Pilates, for those who are interested in developing strength and flexibility without a dance emphasis.

For more information regarding the Mendocino College Dance Department, contact Professor Leslie Saxon West at (707) 468-3079 or visit

Created: November 20, 2008 @ 08:32 AM
Last Modified: May 08, 2009 @ 08:26 AM


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