Welcome to our blog series on the upsides of dancing and how it can change your life.
Dani and Matthew of Social Dance Company have a combined 30 years’ experience as dance teachers and it didn’t take them long to realise it’s not just about learning to dance, people take dance lessons for all sorts of reasons, some obvious, some not so much.
If you think about it, we all have “internal glasses” that can become empty over time or because of our experiences. For instance, our self- esteem glass can be low, our physical fitness glass can be completely empty, our relationship glass may be half full or our social connections glass may need topping up!!
Social dancing can be a way topping up all those important glasses.
Joe’s Story, dancing happiness into your life
Way back in 2012, a very dapper gentleman turned up at the studio in his smart sports car for his first lesson. At 83 he was older than our usual student, but really willing to give it a go.
In fact, he embraced the whole learning process, but over time we found out his outgoing personality hid the fact that he was lonely and depressed after the death of his wife of 57 years, in fact he was referred to the studio by his GP who was worried about him.
8 years later, at 90, Joe is still dancing, he’s travelled overseas to competitions, socialised with other students, made lifelong friends and dancing has kept him engaged and active. In fact, he’s often the ringleader who suggests heading out for coffee or a drink after a social!! In Joes’ words “If I didn’t have dancing, I probably wouldn’t still be around!”
So why is Joe’s story so important?
Well, it shows that it’s not just about the dancing, Joe gets to fill his learning cup through brain training as he learns new steps, he has goals to work towards as he works through the syllabus, dancing has inspired him to take up yoga and regular exercise to stay fit, he is no longer depressed and loves his life, but most importantly he is now connected to a dance family who cares about him and respects his life experience. In many ways he’s become a role model and at the studio we like to say…” Be positive, be like Joe”.
How can I help?
If you know someone like Joe, give them a gentle nudge towards dance classes or a dance studio, better still, go along with them (you might even find you love it too).
You are never too old to start, so if you relate personally to Joe’s story, take the plunge and look for a dance studio that focuses on social dancing rather than competitive dancing. If you don’t know where to start, feel free to give us a call, we can talk you through all those “I’m too old “and “I can’t learn new things” worries. If you don’t live near us, we’ll try and help you find an understanding dance studio or teacher near you.
Meet the authors
After owning and running Social Dance Company for 15 years, Matthew and Dani feel like they’ve taken a degree in counselling and have dramatically changed the way they teach to make sure every student’s cup is full. In this blog series we’ll be sharing the latest research, telling the stories of people we’ve taught and generally celebrating the power of social dancing.