20 years of Line Dancing – Lynn’s Success Story
Lynn Hill has been leading these line dancing classes for 20 years now, bringing together people from all different backgrounds to form a welcoming and supportive community around the dance.
Lynn has been teaching this particular Line Dancing class at the Linc Centre for around 20 years now, and teaching others even longer than that. But how did it gain such success and longevity?
Upon watching the class, it was easy to see one of the reasons for it: Lynn is a fantastic teacher. She knows her steps, knows how to bring participants of all different abilities and levels into the fold, and knows how to teach. She calls out the steps 2 beats before everyone will complete them, lets the participants learn from each other and take lead from each other, and, most importantly, brings a warm, lively energy to the room.
The participants I spoke to loved it for its gentle, low impact exercise. It allowed them to stay fit whilst avoiding over exertion. One woman, Sue, was attending for the first time after an operation and found that this was the most suitable exercise for her. Another, also attending for the first time, loved dance but found other classes – like Zumba, for example – too much. This line dancing was perfect for her, and she left with a smile on her face. Others like Linda, suffering from a blood disorder, and Sue, fully retired, had been coming for years as a way to stay active but work within their limits and abilities. Lynn, aware of their different needs and capabilities, was more than happy for them to sit out of certain dances if they wanted to, and made sure to give them plenty of breaks between dances to catch their breath and get a drink of water.
But perhaps the biggest reason for the success of the class was the community that Lynn has built up around it. As soon as I walked in I was greeted by women catching up with their friends, sharing biscuits, and passing around a get well card for someone who couldn’t make it to the class that day. During the dances they would learn from each other and in the breaks they would chat and laugh. After the dancing ended they all gathered around the table for teas and coffees and to share biscuits they’d all brought along to the class.
Many of the participants were retired, and loved this social aspect of the class. From Barbara, coming for 18 years, to Sue, newly retired and trying to adjust to having so much free time, coming for the first time, many of them came to get out of the house. Another Sue mentioned that it was the chance to meet a great group of people and interact with different cultures. Linda agreed that it was a very friendly bunch, one that didn’t stop at the class. Lynn would often get theatre tickets for them, she said, and there were often birthday parties and events to attend through the group.
It was warm, welcoming, and a really fun environment for these women to come and stay active in.
Why should I join?
These classes are completely flexible to your needs, so don’t feel intimidated. It’s a gentle, low impact exercise that may be perfect for you if you find other classes too much.
It is also great for the mind. Not only does the social aspect help avoid isolation, but, unlike couple’s dancing, line dancing involves more thinking and memory with a number of steps and sequences to learn. This means, as a recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience found out, it is incredibly beneficial when it comes to delaying the onset of dementia compared to other activities like walking or cycling.
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Such a friendly bunch, people should definitely come along!