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Dance is key to healing

JUST DANCE: Dance Health Alliance teachers Leigh Leiman and Jodie Dunne with dancers Janette Carlsen, Sandy Warren and Jane Heath.
JUST DANCE: Dance Health Alliance teachers Leigh Leiman and Jodie Dunne with dancers Janette Carlsen, Sandy Warren and Jane Heath. Jamaica Lipson

DANCING may not be everyone's favourite thing to do but for some it's the best way to keep them moving.

The Dance Health Alliance Class is an innovative chair-based dance program for people living with rheumatoid or osteo arthritis, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and the elderly.

The program is designed to improve the quality of life and help restore mind/body balance. The Dance Health Alliance is a not-for-profit organisation.

Noosa local and Queensland co-ordinator and DHA senior certified dance teacher Leigh Leiman said the classes were all inclusive and catered for every individual's needs.

A former ballet teacher with more than 20 years of experience, Leigh has a passion for dance and helping others.

"I love the fact that it's so rewarding. You get so much back from teaching people," Leigh said.

"You see little sparks of enjoyment and changes in their bodies and in their minds.

"We don't like to have massive classes because we still want to have that one on one with everyone.

"I've got people who have no mobility issues, people with early onset dementia and one with Parkinson's disease and a few people with mobility issues.

"I'd like to get some people with MS involved.

"We always do classes in a chair.

"We start off with a warm-up and then we do a bit of a rhythm, which helps with the neuroplasticity of the brain so they learn movement patterns like clapping."

Classes go for an hour and at the end of every class there is a cool down.

"We always address them as dancers," Leigh said.

"We try and get them to leave their disease at the door and they come in and they are dancers."

For more information visit danceforhealth.org.au/.

Classes:

Peregian Beach Community House, every Monday at 11.30am.

Noosa Leisure Centre, every Tuesday at 11am.

The cost for each class is $15 if you pay on the day.

The cost is to cover the room hire.


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