A cross community group of older residents from Shankill/Woodvale and Falls/Clonard meet in Forthspring every Wednesday morning to dance. Some group members have been coming to Forthspring for over 20 years and have built strong networks of friendship and support.
The tea dancers usually do old time and line dancing, but they have been known to try their hands (or is that feet) at different types of dance such as merengue. They also organise regular trips and attend different events in Forthspring. Once a month, MUMO volunteers cook a healthy community lunch for the tea dancers, promoting healthy eating along with physical activity and creating opportunities for social contact. This helps to connect the different groups using the building. After a long break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Forthspring was delighted to welcome the tea dancers back in October 2021.
The group contributes to the physical and emotional wellbeing of members and helps to combat social isolation. It provides peer support and networking opportunities as well as a fantastic opportunity to keep moving and active into old age.
Research shows that dancing has many benefits for older people:
- Improves mental health
- Improves balance
- Helps to maintain health and fitness levels
- Helps to maintain a social life
- Increases independence
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