u3a - Spotlight on Dance

Our u3a Subject  Advisers for Ballroom Dancing, Gill and Greg Greenhalgh talk us through their passion for ballroom and latin dance and how this has evolved within u3a. 

As a child growing up, I was taken to a social dancing group that my mother attended, I remember doing a Cha Cha Cha!  Greg’s mother was a child ballerina and he recalls being taught the rudiments of dance as a child.  Later, when we met, it became our social outing, learning to dance together in a class. We would attend a few terms, then take a break to return again. A few years on we attended Argentine Tango classes and stuck with that style for several years. When Greg took an early retirement he saw that the local Cockermouth U3A offered a social Ballroom and Latin class. When I joined him in retirement, it was a natural choice for us to pick this up!  We have never looked back. Dancing is a great skill to have and is strictly perfect for holidays.

Cockermouth dance team at Bassenthwaite Lake station

Cockermouth u3a dance team at the Bassenthwaite Lake Station

Over time we have become the leaders for the group and we love being so. This latest period of Covid restrictions has highlighted for us how important for everyone, being a part of ‘the group’ has been. The biggest miss by far has been the social networks that were created. We had grown to a large group of up to seventy dancers on the floor and many, many friendship groups had developed.  The next important thing aside from laughter was the learning: dancing trains the brain, the body, the creative side and it enhances the ability to build and maintain balancing skills. Then there are the health benefits. These include improved heart and lung function, increased muscular strength and flexibility together with increased vitality. Add to this list, keeping a healthy weight through exercise and learning a new skill and hobby!  In short we cannot see any reason for anyone not to dance.

Starting out in dance

The future of dance in u3a