It’s that time of year again with Strictly Come Dancing returning to the small screen and the nation getting gripped by dancing.
Dancing is an activity that attracts a lot of older people, but those with mobility problems who need to use mobility aids like stair lifts in the home often feel they cannot participate due to their lack of mobility.
However, a variety of experts who run dance classes for people of all ages have contributed to this feature. They explain why dancing is accessible and why it is a great activity for older people to try.
The health benefits of dancing for older people range from physical health to improving wellbeing. Dancing isn’t just a social activity and is used as a form of therapy by many medical professionals.
As people age their body loses muscle mass, coordination and balance, making older people more likely to fall and injure themselves during the day.
Research published on the NCBI website reveals that dancing has a number of physical health benefits and Anne-Marie, who is the Artistic Director at Combination Dance, says experienced dance classes will help increase your health.
“The potential benefits of enrolling in a regular dance class for older people are very broad and highly recommended.
“An experienced dance artist will safely ensure that the sessions increase your health and wellbeing. This could improve cardiovascular health, muscle strength, mobilise joints or improve bone strength.”
Emma & James Bright from the fun, friendly and affordable dance company Embody Dance, adds, “The benefits of joining a weekly dance class are that classes would benefit the elderly in many ways. Health benefits include increasing mobility, strength, flexibility and balance. Reducing the risk of falls in older people by exercising in a safe and positive environment.”
Dancing doesn’t just benefit older people physically as it can also improve their social and emotional health as well.
Dancing helps older people become more involved in their communities and being a group activity, it allows people to meet new people and make new friends.
Emma & James Bright from Embody Dance agrees that dancing has lots of social benefits.
“Socialisation benefits include: combating loneliness in the older community through weekly dance classes. Being part of a team. Sharing experiences and laughing when you don’t get it quite right.”
Anne-Marie from Combination Dance, adds, “We know that exercise, music and being creative can improve our mood and mental wellbeing and of course being part of a group and indeed any events or performances can certainly provide some great social life as well.”
Some research has found that dancing increases activity in the brain and this helps people think with more speed and agility. Dance has also been attributed to improvements in concentration and helps improve the quality of life for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
A spokesperson for Green Candle Dance Company says that their sessions are great for increasing an individual’s physical activity and are great for supporting brain function.
“Our sessions and workshops are designed for each specific group's needs and provide an uplifting, supportive and inclusive environment to increase individuals' levels of physical activity - including coordination, fine motor skills, spatial awareness and balance. The sessions we run support brain function and memory and our research shows that they can help to reduce isolation, improve self-esteem and provide opportunities for participants to express themselves creatively, build new relationships and strengthen connections with the community.”
If you’ve been inspired, then there are several different classes located all over the UK for older people to join and here are some of the best ones available.
Artistic Director at Combination Dance, Anne-Marie, talks about a great class they are running for older people.
“We provide a short course for older people in partnership with local older peoples organisations such as Whitton MEEG group and Age UK. This Autumn we will deliver a short well-being dance and yoga course with the Access Project in Whitton. Our regular adult dance class is for all adults 19 and upwards on a Saturday in Teddington.”
For more details on these classes, you can email Combination Dance on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Embody Dance offer two types of classes for older people and Emma & James Bright explain what’s involved in each class.
“One class, Mature Movers, is aimed at women and gentlemen aged 50+. These classes focus on the enjoyment that can come from dance and music, the group is guided through simple but challenging routines from musicals such as Mama Mia, Salsa inspired routines, fast footwork jive phrases to character dances such as Singing in the Rain and aerobic-style sequences. Visit our video page to see our class in action!”
“Our Second style is seated dance. Specialist classes for older adults with limited movement
Seated dance classes are designed for older adults and usually, take place in day centres and residential care homes. The classes fuse together music and dance to inspire participants to move, reminisce and converse. Classes strive to create a sense of community and increase social interaction between dancers through eye-contact, the inclusion of each individual and opportunities for the group to share their experiences. Each class is tailored to the needs of the group with movements designed to mobilise joints, increase sensory awareness and break the routine! If the movers prefer to stand they are free to do so.”
Green Candle Dance Company also offer two sessions suitable for older people and these are called Spinoff and Remember to Dance.
Green Candle Dance Company told us about their Spinoff dance company, which is aimed at over 55s.
“These weekly dance sessions for older people are designed to develop each individuals’ skills using a variety of creative contemporary dance styles in a fun and supportive environment. The sessions aim to provide an opportunity for participants to meet and socialise with other like-minded people whilst gaining the physical and mental health benefits associated with dance. We provide a friendly but focused atmosphere to enable participants to work on improving their dance skills both technically and choreographically, with the hope of enabling a personally satisfying and enjoyable experience that gives a boost to participants’ self-confidence and self-esteem. The sessions are every Tuesday from 10.30 to 12.30 during term time in the Dance Studio at Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, London E2 6HG. No experience necessary and everyone is welcome. The sessions are FREE for Tower Hamlets residents. £15 for the term for non-Tower Hamlets residents but if interested you can come along to a FREE taster session..”
The Remember to Dance sessions run by Green Candle Dance Company are aimed at older people living with dementia.
“These are dance sessions with live music for people living with early-stage dementia and their carers. Remember to Dance is open to all abilities, including those who need to remain seated. Every Friday 10.30am – 12.00pm at Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, London E2 6HG.
Green Candle Dance Company also run sessions and workshops in residential care homes, sheltered housing, day centres and hospitals. To find out more or book a place, contact Vicki Busfield, Community & Education Manager, on email@example.com or 0207 739 7722.
This news article is from Companion Stairlifts. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.