Retirement Line Annuity Specialist Josie Thomas (Formerly Limback) has seen first-hand the impact that movement and dance can have on the wellbeing of retirees. Josie teaches a Ceroc class each week - a type of dance which encompasses a range of styles, including ballroom and salsa.
“It’s easy to learn,” says Josie. “We cater towards a range of different ages and ability levels, from someone who has never stepped foot onto a dance floor through to intermediate and advanced levels.”
Dancing has numerous health benefits for those of retirement age, including improved fitness, coordination, posture, balance and flexibility. It can also boost mood, contribute to an improved sense of wellbeing and even reduce the risk of dementia.
Josie began dancing after attending a birthday party at a Ceroc class. She’d never heard of Ceroc before, but had a great time and decided to continue having lessons in Peterborough.
She then began to learn to lead and train as a ‘taxi dancer’ - an experienced dancer who is on hand throughout the evening to support beginners - before auditioning to become a teacher herself.
“What motivates me to teach is being able to pass on something I love to others. It’s great to see them progress from a nervous first timer through to a regular confident dancer,” says Josie.
“I now dance two to three times a week and regularly go to freestyles and weekenders all over the country. I recently danced on the Cutty Sark in London, which was by far the most interesting venue I’ve performed at.”
With retirees often amongst the most lonely of age groups in the UK, it’s not just physical health benefits that dancing brings. The sense of community at classes can reduce feelings of social isolation, especially in retirees who may not have a large network of social contacts.
“Coming to a regular Ceroc night means you become part of a dance family and make lifelong friends,” says Josie.
Classes begin with a 45-minute beginner lesson where participants take turns to dance with everyone else in the class. There’s no need to turn up with a partner and there’s plenty of chance for interaction.
During the beginner lesson, Josie teaches three simple movements that the class memorise and then dance through to music. Next there’s a short freestyle session, where the lights go down and the music is turned up.
“Ceroc can be danced to any music with a regular beat,” Josie explains. “Our DJs play music ranging from 60s Motown, 70s disco, 80s rock and 90s dance through to current chart music.
“We have a regular Motown and soul class in Peterborough which is a firm favourite and will usually be our busiest night.”
Retirement Line is committed to supporting worthwhile charities, groups, clubs and individuals. We are also proud of all our staff members who actively participate in the community. To read more about the projects we support, visit our Community Matters page.