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Beacon Senior News

Give dance a chance with the San Juan Dance Club

Apr 26, 2021 04:00PM ● By Gary Robertson, San Juan Dance Club
San Juan Dance Club Board members Pat Douglas and Ron Black dance together

Getting started is easy and fun

Pandemic blues? Housebound claustrophobia? Isolation itch?

Whatever you call it, we’re all ready to get back to how things were before everything shut down. Seniors especially need ways to engage our minds and socialize more, as well as physical exercise to lift our spirits and get us into better shape. But what can do all that, and entice us to get up and get going? Dancing!

Exercise body and mind

As dancers know, moving to the music engages multiple levels of one’s body and mind. It stimulates the release of feel-good endorphins, exercises muscles, and challenges one’s balance and coordination better than walking the dog. Dancing together is the most fun a couple can have in public, and can even be therapeutic because it requires cooperation and moving in unison.

Studies show that dance reduces stress and leads to a 21 percent increase in the volume of the hippocampus, the brain area responsible for memory, emotion and balance. They’ve also noted that dance has anti-aging effects that lower the risk of dementia.

Learning to dance

Men often use the medically unfounded claim of possessing “two left feet” as an excuse for being reluctant to dance or take lessons. Truth be told, if a man can walk, he can dance. If he can skip, he can do the polka and triple step. Combine walking and skipping and we have swing. To start, it’s simple. All you have to do is:

1. Feel the beat with your feet. Then move to it using basic steps. 

2. Communicate by leading.
The gentleman gets to lead the lady using standard signals in order to communicate clearly. 

3. Learn the steps, which is easier when the emphasis is placed on having fun rather than doing it right.

For Gary Robertson and Joy Wright, dancing is one of the most fun things they can do together. 

With a few lessons, dancers forget about how well (or badly) they’re doing. Instead, they get swept away with how much fun they're having.

For Michele Webbe and Dan Lynch, dance changed their lives. 

“Meeting each other at dance lessons was a surprise for the heart,” said Webbe. “When we married, we continued dancing because we enjoyed it so much. It became a great communication tool between two people and something we both learned to love.” 

Lynch added he never expected to like it so much.

“As an added bonus, my back issues completely healed and I feel so much healthier,” Lynch said. 

So give dance a try. All it takes is a lively tune to get you moving across the kitchen floor while fixing meals.

Where to dance

Ready to put on your dancing shoes? Here are a few places that offer dance lessons or have a dance floor where you can show off your moves! 

Mesa County:

Colorado West Area Square Dance Council

Grand Junction Elks Lodge

Grand Junction Parks & Rec

Western Colorado Community College

Montrose & Delta Counties:

Delta Hubwheelers Square Dance Club

Montrose Pavilion Dance Club

Montrose Elks Lodge

San Juan Dance Club
252-9600, [email protected]