Veronique Price, dancing since the age of three and an avid wellbeing and fitness enthusiast started the Lindfield-based Dancing for Wellbeing just over a year ago. In the time since its inception, the Better Balance 55+ classes teaches older residents of the Ku-ring-gai area vital skills in balance and flexibility through ballet training.
As a sport that typically involves the kind of physical exertion that can be difficult to replicate with age, Veronique offers an alternative that places importance on non-competitive gentle practice and what’s called ‘dynamic stretching’, a method that incorporates movement into the stretches themselves, to entice people from all physical backgrounds.
“I emphasise the use of feet, because I have found it to be really important in balancing, and in fall-prevention,” Veronique explains.
“It’s a classical ballet class, so we do all the ballet exercises that kids learn all the way up to professional level to go through a set, albeit at a very slow, gentle rate, in this age group I don’t do any turns or any jumps.”
And it’s worked, in the time since the classes started, Veronique has been surprised by the amount of people who have showed up to every class, and the improvements her students have made for their own physical and mental wellbeing.
“A lot of people after 4-5 classes really felt it had helped with their flexibility and developing their balance and ability to weight-transfer between two feet.
“Because they have to remember the step sequence, there’s a mental challenge as well, so I usually do a series of 4-5 classes where we repeat the same exercise every time to that people can remember the sequence.”
It’s also just a wonderful opportunity to socialise with people from a diverse range of backgrounds, experience learning a new skill and to get further involved in the local community.
“I’m very blessed to have some really lovely ladies in my class, and they’re all very supportive, and because it’s a small class I can give individual attention and correction, and so everyone is very patient with that.”
Veronique will be offering free classes on 6 and 13 April through the Ku-ring-gai Seniors Festival.