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Joints are moving as seniors dance classes grow

Joan Campbell and Dennis Cooper attend the Dance for Parkinsons at the Lennox Head Community Centre.
Joan Campbell and Dennis Cooper attend the Dance for Parkinsons at the Lennox Head Community Centre. Marc Stapelberg

CLASSES to get seniors on their feet and moving their joints are soaring on the Northern Rivers, leading to a region-wide expansion of the program.

Since dance teacher Jodie Lee started Dancing for Parkinson's Disease at Lennox Head last year people with dementia have come forward with their interest.

With the help of two other women - Yvette Connors and Julie Simpson -they now run those classes, as well as Dance, Movement and Music Classes for seniors at community venues and aged care facilities across the Northern Rivers.

"It's all very exciting,” she said. "It's a very rewarding job to be able to give them that moment of joy, and see them all smile and laugh ... it's really beautiful.”

The dance and movement routines exercise every joint, helping with mobility and cognitive function while participants have some fun.

"I've had a woman I do a lot of hand movements in the class with, and she's knitting for the first time in four years,” Ms Lee said.

She has also seen first-hand the benefits of music and movement for people with dementia.

"I Looked after my mum with dementia for 18 months full time and I saw the impact movement and music had on my mum,” Ms Lee said.

"It's good for their memory, it's good for their cognitive function.”

Classes run weekly in different locations, with a Tweed Heads class due to begin in October.

Ms Lee's next goal is to train aged care facility staff in areas as far as Cairns and Sydney, to run Dance Movement and Music classes for residents on a weekly basis.

She said she would like to see more community transport opportunities for seniors.

"I would absolutely love to see the government offer some sort of community transport for people to attend a range of things for health benefits.”

For more information about classes, contact Ms Lee on 0408 665 275 or email her on jodielee004@yahoo.com.au



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