Don Green and Sandi Liggitt take part in a line dancing class at Departure Bay Activity Centre. Research suggests that taking part in such activities are of benefit to both body and mind and may curb effects of Alzheimers’ disease. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

ACTIVE LIFE: Line dancing keeps Nanaimo seniors’ minds and bodies sharp

Classes for Latin line dancing take place at Bowen Park and Departure Bay Activity Centre

Seniors in the Harbour City can keep mind and body sharp with the City of Nanaimo parks and recreation department’s line dance classes.

It involves a group of people forming lines and performing dance moves in unison and classes are offered at Departure Bay Activity Centre and at the complex at Bowen Park. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests social dancing can curb risk of dementia considerably.

Michele Duerksen, city recreation coordinator, says the classes are fun and are free provided you have a valid Nanaimo Harbour City Seniors membership, she said.

“Line dancing is moving to music,” says Pam Gibbs, one of the co-instructors of the Intermediate Latin line dance class.

“It’s formations, sort of. Everybody does the same steps, but on their own,” said Eric Gibbs, another co-instructor and Pam’s husband. “You don’t have to have a partner.”

Barbara Axness has a ballet background and being a retiree, she sees it as an opportunity to continue dancing.

“I like the social [aspect],” Axness said. “I like the fact that they continually teach us new dances. It’s very good for the brain, it’s very good for balance. It keeps the body trim.”

Don Green likes dancing and considers line dancing good exercise. Like Axness, he likes that it keeps the brain going, because participants have to remember the moves and “it keeps you alive,” he said.

“It works you well around the [core] and the legs and stuff like that and some in the arms,” said Green. “It’s good that way. I’ve got no complaints and I love it because you’re not stepping on anybody’s toes but your own.”

Pam Gibbs says the classes also provide a chance to meet new people.

“They’re all friends, they have coffee together afterwards,” she said. “It’s put friendship in a lot of people’s lives, not just dance.”

Again, lessons are free to members of the Nanaimo Harbour City Seniors. Both Latin line dance and beginner Latin line dance classes take place Thursdays at Bowen Park complex from 3:45-5 p.m. and 9-10 a.m. respectively.

Intermediate Latin line dance takes place Tuesdays at Departure Bay Activity Centre from 2:45-4 p.m.

For more information, please see www.nanaimoharbourcityseniors.com or call 250-756-5200 or 250-755-5201.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

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