Daphne Cushnie, a neurological physiotherapist for the NHS, has long been a proponent of the positive impact dance has on the mind.
‘Music and dance acts as an organiser for the brain, and ballet is incredibly effective in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders,’ she says. Evidence comes from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, where dancing was found to be the most effective activity to ward off deterioration of the brain. Learning routines stimulates brain activity.
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Welcome to Silver Years Ballet.
Silver Years Ballet was developed by Carrie Johnson, with the idea of bringing together a community of retired ladies to regain fitness, flexibility and companionship through the medium of ballet. Having four daughters and spending many hours watching them enjoy the love of ballet, I pondered on the thoughts of why ballet could not be continued through adulthood and into the silver years. Zumba, aerobics, the gym and keep fit can be intimidating not to mention hard on limbs, knees, hips and shoulders. However, exercise especially gentle exercise has shown great improvements in flexibility, posture and core muscles.
Therefore, I investigated the benefits of ballet and to my surprise not only realised the physical benefits, but found that ballet and other forms of gentle exercise can ward off dementia (See article below). Armed with all this information, I set about finding the right teachers and venues for my classes. My teaching team are all highly trained and have a wealth of knowledge, experience and passion for dance but most importantly a sense of humour.
We always end our classes with a welcome tea, coffee and biscuit. It's not just about the exercise, it's about making new friends and being party of a community.