Article by Simon Garner for Senior’s Victoria
Cheryl Bastow says dance has become an obsession. For more than 13 years, she has sashayed and tangoed every week at a studio run by HD Entertainment.
Six month ago, a health scare reconfirmed the 68-year-old’s commitment to and love of dance.
“A brain tumour diagnosis really shock me but made me realise that continuing to invest in ‘me’ was the way forward and dance would be front and centre in that,” she said.
The studio’s founder and chief instructor, Dalena Leggieri Ebadi, said more and more clients aged over 60 are discovering the benefits of dance.
About half the clients she and husband Hooman partner as instructors are older people.
“We often find that older students lamented that they never took up dancing when they were younger, so they’re embracing this time to get on the dance floor,” Dalena said.
“Two ladies are determined to learn the Melbourne Shuffle – It’s popular with young hip hop dancers, upbeat, very energetic … and we’re going to do it.”
For Cheryl, the dance lessons are more than good exercise; they’re an important social outlet that helps keep her mental health in check.
“Loneliness is a terrible thing and for many women over 50, who are single or divorced, social isolation is a real problem. My weekly lesson with Hooman is the opportunity to connect with another person and be able to express myself creatively. “