New Year’s resolutions to eat well, exercise more and take care of our mental well-being are great – in theory. Putting the idea in to practise is often more difficult. That’s where ballroom dancing is such a winner!
Dancing is a relaxed activity, combining physical fitness with mental well-being, one you can enjoy with your partner whilst having plenty of fun at the same time.
Adrian Mole has been dancing since childhood and views it as a way of life. He says, “As a teacher of dance, I have witnessed first-hand what many research studies have already proven. Dancing does improve your mental and physical well-being. Although it can be an energetic pursuit, there are so many different ballroom dance styles – from the graceful waltz to the dynamic jive – meaning everyone can find a level to suit their abilities.”
He adds; “There are various thoughts as to why it’s such a great choice but for me, it’s about the joy of learning. Every session I teach, I watch dancers learn new moves and literally find their feet. Everyone is there to enjoy the music and have fun whilst being on the move.”
It is widely acknowledged how beneficial dancing and music can be in helping those with dementia as well as reaching out to young people struggling with anxiety. The ability to express feelings through dance are thought to bring great health benefits and those who watch Strictly Come Dancing will be very aware of the power of dance to fire emotions and improve confidence levels. There is also research to suggest dancing helps prevent older people from falls due to the improved balance and core strength.
Adrian agrees. “I have been teaching the same couples to dance for the past thirty years. The more senior members of my classes are showing no sign of slowing down, their mental capacity is still as excellent as ever and I am constantly amazed at their energy and vitality. As the saying goes, a couple that play together, stay together!”
Joining a ballroom dance class may sound daunting but Adrian is quick to reassure. “At The Ballroom Experience Co, the music we play is upbeat, modern (well, post 1980!) and the aim is to enjoy dancing rather than train for competitions. Wear what you feel comfortable in and the classes and events are for couples only so you dance with your partner throughout. It really is about the joy of dancing together.”
Adrian’s top five reasons to join a dance class:
- Learning a new skill – especially together as a couple – expands your mind, keeping it active and healthy.
- Although a beginner’s class will take it slower, dancing is a physical activity and you will find your muscle tone, strength and stamina improve over time.
- Making new friends and sharing an experience together builds community spirit, helps with loneliness issues and will improve overall mental well-being.
- Ballroom dancing is one of the rare activities a couple can enjoy together as a team. It doesn’t involve competing against each other and doesn’t have to include being better than anyone else. It’s about focusing on your own improvements and enjoying the moment.
- Dancing is for everyone! Whatever your age, fitness or ability level, anyone can enjoy the sound of music and dance. There’s no expensive equipment or outfits to buy and you can even do it in the comfort of your own home when no one’s watching. Just put the radio on and boogie!
The Ballroom Experience Co’s new beginner’s weekly classes start on Tuesday 21 January at Risby Village Hall and on Friday 24 January at Great Barton Village Hall. Both classes run from 7.00pm – 8.00pm and cost £12 per couple.