Retirement living resident, Pam Hind, says for as long as she can remember she has loved to dance, now sharing this passion with fellow residents at her weekly Line Dancing classes.
Retirement living resident, Pam Hind, said for as long as she can remember she has loved to dance, and at 82 years of age, she also credits her love of dance for keeping her fit, maintaining her balance, and feeling healthy and strong.
Pam’s passion for dancing started when she first moved to Australia from the UK at eight years old. She began with ballet before moving on to ballroom dancing, then discovered Rock n’ Roll in her teens.
“Rock n’ Roll dancing was very exciting to me, so I quickly dumped ballroom and made the switch,” she said.
When Pam became a mother to her two sons, dancing took a back seat, but it was in her retirement when Pam found she could spend more time doing what she loved, and thus rediscovered her passion for dance.
“When I first moved into SwanCare 14 years ago, my dear friend Pam, who has since passed away, asked if I might like to teach a class for a few weeks just to see how it went,” she explains, “Until then, I had never taught dancing before. It makes me laugh now, but that was 10 years ago and we’re still going strong!”
Pam teaches the beginners and intermediate line dancing classes at SwanCare Bentley Park, which regularly attracts up to 40 fellow residents, some of whom are in their early 90s.
“We have people who’ve had hip replacements and knee surgeries who can’t wait to get back into the class and learn the new dances,” Pam said, “I’ve met such lovely people teaching dance at the village. Some of my students are a real inspiration and I know it gives them a boost to be part of it,” she said.
While she teaches a number of routines and new moves each week, Pam says it’s not just about the dancing, “Although dancing is lots of fun, the classes are also about staying active and social. We always have a lovely morning tea at the end of class where everyone gets to spend some time together, it really does give people a lift.”
Pam loves all styles of dance and incorporates a variety throughout her class such as Waltz, Cha Cha, Latin and Irish dancing.
“Dancing is great for your coordination, your balance, and for your concentration, and it’s great to see how people progress. I often gravitate towards the slower music, and I take a few of the full turns out because I don’t want people losing their balance, I just want them to enjoy it.”
Pam says one of the great things about line dancing is that it doesn’t require a partner, “It’s the perfect style for residents to try solo. I always say, come and learn what you can, you don’t have to remember all of it, just have fun! If you learn the dance that’s great and if not, you’re still staying active and making friends.”
Pam believes that music is a great mood lifter and memory prompt, with her favourite song being ‘When I Grow Too Old to Dream,’ a classic which has been performed by the likes of Vera Lynn and Doris Day.
“When you’re having a flat day, a beautiful piece of music can really lift you, and when you’re feeling more upbeat you might want to listen to something faster,” Pam said, “I have eclectic taste, I love everything from classical to the Beatles, country and Western too.”
“Music is so attached to our memories; it can take you back in time to a special moment. I always choose music that will resonate with our generation, and I adapt some of the dances slightly so people in the class get the most enjoyment out of it.”
Aside from dancing, everyone who comes to Line Dancing contributes $1 for morning tea, and when the profit builds up, the dance class donate the funds to charity.
“We’ve donated to Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, Telethon, Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Flood Appeals. It’s nice to feel that while we’re enjoying ourselves, we’re also helping others who are less fortunate,” she said.
Pam said she loves being part of the vibrant community at SwanCare because of how much it enriches her lifestyle, “There’s so much to do here, there’s more than 40 clubs, plus we have a gym, a pool and morning exercise group, I also do a yoga class. You can get to the stage where you’ve almost committed to too many things!” Pam laughed.
“I feel safe and supported here. It’s a lovely, friendly atmosphere and you’ll always find someone you have something in common with.”
Thank you, Pam, for sharing the joys of dance with your SwanCare community.