Locals groove their way to health with Dance Health Alliance
Dancing is a great way to de-stress and feel good. And a group of local seniors are proving that you’re never too old.
Each Wednesday, they participate in a program called DanceMoves, a stylised dance class specifically designed for seniors.
It’s one of the many programs offered by Dance Health Alliance, a not-for-profit organisation offering dance and movement training to seniors in care homes and community centres around Australia.
Co-founder Gwen Korebrits says the low-impact fitness program, accompanied by a unique playlist that changes each week, focuses on fall prevention, balance, flexibility and stamina.
It incorporates various dance styles, and no technique, talent or dance experience is necessary. “We believe everyone is a dancer regardless of age or ability,” she says.
Gwen explains as an exercise form, dance is ideal for senior bodies. The benefits range from improvements in memory, movement, and mental health.
“Dance is a medicine; it increases your Cardiovascular and aerobic fitness, produces muscle strength, and encourages balance,” she says. “It improves mood, enhances memory, induces neuroplasticity, and increases self-awareness. And then, of course, there are the social benefits.”
Dance Health Alliance classes are open to seniors of all abilities, with movements that can be performed either sitting or standing.
Turramurra local Alex Young has been attending classes for four years. She is in her 70s, had never danced before, but it didn’t matter. “As the teacher says, there’s no right or wrong” she says. “The classes are fun and friendly, and you just go at your own pace”.
Alex says the classes have helped her manage her arthritis and stay healthy. “It’s great exercise for your body and your brain,” she says. “The music really gets you moving, and it’s nice to connect with other people in the class.”
The program is $10 a session when paid upfront for the term, or $15 per casual class.