Dancing their way to a healthier self

Posted on Friday, 5 June 2020

(Photo was taken prior to Covid-19 social distancing measures)

Proving that age is no barrier, a group of seniors from Canterbury City Community Centre enthusiastically showed off their twinkle toes in salsa dancing thanks to a $6,500 donation from Canterbury League Club.

The dance program, taught by Salsa4Seniors, brought participants together to learn salsa fundamentals like rhythm and timing, beginner’s steps to music, principles of dancing with a partner and listening and dancing in time to music.

“All of our participants were over 65 years – with an age range up to late 80s! There have been many studies showing the positive effect dancing has on the mind and body including increasing the thinking and memory capacity in older people.,” said Gillian Whalley-Okafor, Manager for Aged and Disability Services at Canterbury City Community Centre.

“Dancing with a partner also can improve well-being and reduce stress and anxiety – a similar effect to having a hug!”

The two-hour program, which ran weekly over several months earlier this year (prior to the Covid-19 social distancing measues), also included morning tea breaks where participants could chat and socialise with each other, further strengthening bonds to their local community and reducing the risk of social isolation.

“Learning new skills can help increase confidence and enhance self-esteem, and dancing is a great way to exercise and keep mentally and physically fit,” said George Coorey, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.