If you ever felt your age stopped you from doing what you wanted to do like dance, think again. Today we share the stories of Gina and Carolyn, both part of the Salsabor familia, who started dancing with us in their 50s and 60s and they haven’t looked back. With Salsabor you can dance at any age.
Gina started dancing with Salsabor in late 2014. Retirement opened up space in her life for her to pursue things she had always wanted to do, learning to dance being one of them.
“Having retired recently, I could do things which I had been wanting to do,” she said. Now, dancing contributes to her general fitness in different ways, “one of which is maintaining a good sense of balance,” she said.
To anyone thinking about giving dancing a try, Gina says, “Do it now, because it gives you physical skills, it’s a more enjoyable way to keep fit than sessions in the gym, and it enhances your self-esteem, no matter what your age group.”
For Carolyn, she started with Salsabor in May 2015, because she loved dance but also a health scare reminded her to not waste any more time.
“I have always loved to dance, but as often happens, life’s responsibilities were prioritised ahead of having fun,” she said. “In adulthood I got busy with work, then family. I got out of the habit of taking time out for myself; it seemed selfish to do stuff just because it keeps me fit, or makes me happy – and I could never find the time….”
“Then four years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. While I was undergoing treatment and uncertain of my prognosis, I wished I had done more dancing. I realised how short life is – no time to waste! So as soon as I had recovered enough, I started dancing.”
Aside from realising she needed to prioritise fun, dancing has also impacted Carolyn’s life in other ways.
“Since I started dancing I have got a lot fitter,” she said. “It’s good for my head, too. And something else that I didn’t expect – I have met lots of like-minded people, dance tragics all – from many walks of life, but we all share this enjoyment of dancing. Good company!”
“I’m back at work full time now and my days are often stressful. After a horrid day at work I go to a dance class and I’m an uncoordinated gumby during the class – but doing the class always shifts my state of mind so that I go home in a good mood, pleasantly tired, then I sleep well. So dancing is physiologically and psychologically good for me.”
“I still have post-cancer health issues, but physical perfection is not the goal. I will never be a champion on the dance floor, but technical mastery is not the main point either. Dancing just makes me happy in my own skin.”
For anyone thinking about starting to dance, Carolyn has this to say, “Life is shorter than you think – Stop wasting time. If there is something that you really want to do, and doing it keeps you healthy and happy, just do it!”
“Stop worrying about ‘oh I need to get fit first’, or ‘maybe people will think I’m silly’ – just do it. First, dancing will make you fit – the more you dance, the fitter you will become. Second, every other beginner is feeling self-conscious too – we’re all in the same boat.”
And for anyone in their 50s or 60s, Carolyn says, “I’m almost sixty years old. I heartily recommend dancing to all people in my age group – it’s a fun way to keep learning, keep physically active and stay socially engaged.”
“The Salsabor teachers are friendly and encouraging, and I admire their teaching methods. But most of all I appreciate the inclusive ethos at Salsabor.”
“Students and teachers are various ages and shapes and sizes, from various cultural and professional backgrounds. What we all have in common is that we love to dance. We dance for various reasons, but everyone is there to dance. I felt welcome from the start.”
“I also really enjoy the way the classes are conducted – constant changes of partner, so that everyone dances with everyone else – it’s a good way to learn technique, but it’s also a good way to get the members of the class to mix with one another.”
“At the start of my first beginner class, everyone was almost paralysed with self-consciousness. Half way through the class, everyone started to relax with their classmates, and laugh at their own mistakes. That’s when we all started to really enjoy ourselves. I’m a slow learner, so I’ve done most of the classes twice – and that’s okay too! After a year I’m feeling confident to go to the social dances and they are a great way to spend an evening.”
Thank you so much for sharing your stories with us Gina and Carolyn. We love having you both as part of our familia. Regardless of your age, size, shape or experience, we love welcoming anyone with a deep desire to dance and have fun to our school.
Interested in joining us? Take a look at our classes to see if there is something that catches your interest.