At Tapestry we believe you are never too old to try new pursuits – even belly dancing!
As part of a community collaboration with Dance Victoria and their annual Dance Days festival, we recently offered an older adult belly dance fusion class that was open to the public as well as residents at Tapestry at Victoria Harbour.
“Tapestry has a commitment to being authentically local,” says Amber Reis, General Manager at Tapestry at Victoria Harbour. “We also love to support like-minded organizations and Dance Victoria has a history of giving back to the community,” she adds.
Each winter, Dance Victoria produces Dance Days, a 10-day celebration of dance with free classes, workshops, and performances at local dance studios and other venues to promote dance appreciation, joyful movement and connection.
The introduction to Dance Victoria was made by the grandson of one of Tapestry’s residents, who is on the Dance Victoria board of directors. Dance Victoria was eager to collaborate and suggested Tapestry’s participation in Dance Days. The concept was quickly endorsed and Tapestry’s on-site Kinesiologist, Fatima Rabago, also a former dancer, set out to design a class that would allow participants to explore the beauty of belly dance fused with elements from various other dance styles.
“We focused on simple steps to the music, starting with a full body warmup, and worked on steps to increase mobility, coordination and balance,” says Fatima. “Everyone had so much fun, they said it didn’t even feel like working out.”
To help participants really connect with this particular form of dance, they were given belly dancing scarves to wear around their hips. “The jiggle and jingle of the skirts helps to bring more awareness to your hips and can give you extra motivation to move them a bit more,” says Fatima.
As an activity, dance is not only excellent for improving your cardiovascular system, it has other benefits that tie directly into Tapestry’s 7Dimensions of Wellness, says Fatima. “All of your senses are activated,” she says, “Dance also has great cognitive effects because you have to work to make the mind-body connection, and performing repetitive steps is good for your memory.”
Dance is a perfect blend of fitness and social enjoyment, tailor-made for Tapestry’s active-ageing community, along with the added benefits of the emotional and spiritual connection that can come from exercising to music.
Amber, who also has a dance background and still dances in her spare time, was thrilled to open up Tapestry’s belly dance fusion class to the public as a Dance Days event. “I think this class was a good outreach tool to show non-dancers that it’s never too late – no matter your age or gender or your body size. As you get older, it’s amazing what your body can do if you let it,” she says.
Dance classes like this one are just one of a wide variety of activities offered at Tapestry each day. If you are considering a move and looking for a vibrant and active retirement living community, please contact us and we would be pleased to host you for lunch and a tour.