9 Aug 2007

Cefn Coed Community Centre in Merthyr Tydfil is set to be transformed into a hub of ballroom activity thanks to a lottery grant from the Sports Council for Wales.

Ballroom Dancing

Currently used as a weekly meeting place by a group of ladies aged 60 and over, a Community Chest grant of £950 has been secured to help fund their calls for physical activity opportunities during their social gatherings.

And ballroom dancing classes will be the order of the day as the ladies perfect their fancy footwork under the expert eye of a dance tutor over a twenty-week period, starting in September.

The project has been developed to help encourage more people to become physically active and to help make greater use of community centre facilities during the day.

The grant will be used to fund posters and leaflets to help publicise the classes in the local area and to help cover hall hire costs. The classes will initially be offered free of charge but – if successful – a charge could be levied in the future to ensure sustainability.

Experts say the older body performs far more efficiently when it is given regular exercise. While rest and relaxation is important, it is vital that older people fit in regular activity to stay active, healthy and independent in later life. After all, there’s no point living to a ripe old age if the body is not in tip-top mental and physical health!

Dancing has great benefits for your health and it's simply a question of finding a dance you enjoy. Dr Mark Ridgewell – who works with the Sports Council, explains:

"Dancing is an aerobic activity that improves the condition of the heart and lungs, and helps to improve posture and balance.

"It helps to build bone strength because you’re on your feet and this helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

"The main purpose is to be active and to enjoy it. As with most activities, it's a case of starting gently and building up."