5 Benefits of Keep Dancing.
Will will highlight the 5 benefits of Keep Dancing, but first what is Keep Dancing?
Keep Dancing is a dance class suitable for older adults that run on a weekly basis, across Birmingham Solihull, Walsall and Sandwell. Participants can book as they dance. Whilst dance is very much at the heart of everything Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC deliver, the social change that has happened as a result our work over the years makes us incredibly proud.
Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC started to run Keep Dancing dance classes back in 2013 . Over the last ten years Xpress-Yourself have developed their timetable to now run 14 weekly classes across the West Midlands and online. Many of our dancers have been dancing with us for years which is testament to the relationships we have built, the health and wellbeing benefits participants have gained and the enjoyment they have experienced.
Whilst their are many benefits for people to attend Keep Dancing dance classes, this blog highlights 5 benefits of Keep Dancing
Meet new people
Building good relationships with our participants is key and this evident in that many of our dancers have been attending our classes since the early days back in 2013. Over the years Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC have been running classes many people have come along and not only met new people but developed friendships where they now meet outside the dance classes. Often participants will go for coffee together after class or attend other activity groups as a direct result of someone recommending the other group in the Keep Dancing class. This then expands participants social circles and reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness .
I have met many other dancers who have become friends which makes the classes something to look forward to each weekKeep Dancing Participant
Over the years we have welcomed people who have lost spouses who have come along have found a new sense of belonging. Xpress-Yourself have witnessed friendships form amongst participants that have extended further than just seeing one another at the dance class. During lockdowns Xpress-Yourself Dance continued to be the friendly face that people looked forward to seeing each week.
Since attending KDC it has given me a new lease of life, my husband passed away 3 years ago & I had to find a new life for myself. KDC has also improved my mobility as I try to do the routines during the week at home.Keep Dancing participant
Improved health and wellbeing
Dancing has many benefits for health and wellbeing and is a great way to keep active as we get older. Keep Dancing works to improving balance, stamina, coordination. The dancing and laughter also helps to release feel good endorphins making you feel more positive when you leave the class. Keep Dancing participants have reported feeling steadier and stronger, improved mobility flexibility, that they have lost weight, lowered their blood pressure and been able to reduce their medication as a direct result of attending weekly Keep Dancing classes.
Carefully targeted exercises for different muscle groups and areas of the body, friendship, laughter, fun, introduction to different dance styles, great choice of music. I always feel good after a dancing session.Keep Dancing Participant
It has improved my mental health .I have made new friends and enjoy meeting up with them each week. I find dancing brilliant exercise as I don’t like going to the Gym or other forms of exercise. I have found that my clothes have been feeling looser and have I gone down a dress size since dancing restarted after lockdown.Keep Dancing Participant
My fitness level has increased. I have lost weight and lowered my blood pressure. I enjoy meeting other like minded people.Keep Dancing Participant
Our team of professional dance artists all run dance classes in their local area so they have an understanding of the local community. A friendly welcome is always given to all new participants when they first arrive.
Updated monthly playlist
The Keep Dancing playlist is updated monthly with new music and new dance routines. You will enjoy a gentle warm up that includes carefully chosen exercises to improve mobility, balance and coordination. You will learn two dance routines where we teach the sequences step by step, finding alternative steps if needed and we are always happy to repeat the steps as many times as you would like. The routines are always different in style to make sure that your brain is fired up throughout the session, this also means that different parts of the body are encouraged to move and different tastes are met sufficiently. Often some of the different dance styles encourage participants to step out of their comfort which helps to build confidence and self esteem.
The first routine is always developed and continued the next month which helps to build muscle and movement memory in the body. This means that their will also always be a new routine to look forward to each month.
The styles of dance are always diverse and taught with no need for a partner. Styles of dance include, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Waltz, Tango, Cha Cha,Paso Doble, Rumba Samba, Jazz, Bhangra, Ballet, Line Dance, Salsa, Jive, Rock ‘N’ Roll, Disco and even some Street Dance. If you see a dance that you are inspired by on Strictly Come Dancing we definitely have a look at incorporating it into our dance routines. Similarly if you have a song that just makes you want dance we will always look at putting it on the playlist.
Fundraising together for the great of good
In recent years Xpress-Yourself Dance have also fundraised over £3000 for the Alzheimer’s Society with their Xpress-YourElf campaign. Xpress-YourElf is where we invite all Keep Dancing participants to dress up as an elf on the last class before we break up before Christmas to help fundraise money for the Alzheimer’s Society who support people living with dementia.
Our fundraising efforts have also contributed on a more local level where funds have been raised for venues we use to support the installation of new equipment like a defibrillator.
Opportunities created outside of the weekly Keep Dancing class
Over the years Xpress-Yourself Dance have hosted Tea Dances for Building Community Together where our Keep Dancing participants have been invited to come along and enjoy an afternoon of dancing and socialising. Whilst similar to a Keep Dancing class the tea dances have a greater emphasis on socialising with more time to chat with one another.
Xpress-Yourself also welcomed Birmingham Royal Ballet to deliver a workshop during their 2018 run of La Fille mal gardée exclusively to our Keep Dancing participants. Participants enjoyed learning the Chicken Dance routine from the show which was taught by professional ballerinas. A special opportunity where our participants marvelled in the talent of the ballerinas.
Over the years some of the Keep Dancing participants have taken part in performances, some have performed for the Mayor of Solihull. Others have danced in front of a packed health and social care conference at, Birmingham City Football Club and quit literally got everyone up on their feet dancing with us. Others put themselves forward to learn a ten minute choregraphed piece as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival . Some dancers have even danced in the park accompanied by a live Samba Band for Arts in the Yard Dance Garrets Green Celebrating Communities Project.
Whilst performing is not for everyone for those that have put there self forward they have felt exhilarated and valued as an important part of their community. It is always a joy to see other participants who come along to supporting their friends who are dancing on the mainstage.
Keep Dancing is the a safe place for people to fall in love with dancing no matter their dancing ability. Keep Dancing classes create a create a community where we all laugh together when we just can’t remember what step comes next. Whilst Keep Dancing is just a dance class, it really can lead to other things. All credit goes to the Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC team who bring the smiles and enthusiasm every week.
Whilst we have only highlighted 5 benefits of Keep Dancing we do have another highlight to mention.
Most important of all, Keep Dancing classes are always great fun. Big smiles will always been found on the Xpress-Yourself Dance teams faces and participants are always supportive and encouraging of one another. The sense of achievement when you master a step or dance a routine all the way through is always elating and it always feel like a shared celebration.
Thank you for reading 5 benefits of Keep Dancing.
Why not follow Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC on Facebook to find out more about us. If after reading the 5 benefits of Keep Dancing you would like to dust off your dancing shoes you can book your Keep Dancing class here