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Jane - from simple steps to fancy footwork

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A determined group of walkers committed to getting their daily steps done has taken a giant leap into some fancier footwork with the support of the Midlothian Local Area Coordination (LAC) team. The LAC was on-hand to encourage and facilitate the re-forming of a team of keen walkers, after their regular walks had been disrupted due to lockdown. Group leader Jane was delighted to have the support allowing her and her friends to re-establish their friendships and get active in their local community.

Before long, that one simple step led to another much more interesting one.

The walkers regularly passed a local dance studio and when they saw a class in action one day they decided to pop in. It quickly emerged that dancing was a favourite activity of many of them so Jane approached LAC to see what could be done.

Working together the LAC team and Jane set up a trial six-week class. The class is open to the whole community and is for all abilities - perhaps no surprise that it was an instant hit. Taking part in dancing of different styles with all types of music has been an incredible boost.

One woman, who the LAC knew had been struggling with isolation since lockdown, had a real passion for dance. This was an opportunity for her to enjoy something she loves in a safe and welcoming environment. She is now a regular at the class and feels energised by the company of her new friends and their shared sense of purpose and enjoyment.

Dancers describe feeling happier, having more energy, having a reason to get out of bed. Mental well-being, as well as physical has improved.

The walkers continue to meet regularly and the dance class is growing in number each week. The walking group, followed by a social lunch and the dance class have all become important activities in the lives of those who take part, with friendships developing naturally and people meeting up out with these activities.

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