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  • Caroline Wigley

GEMS Dancer John - Spotlight Story

This is the second spotlight story to mark National Boys Dance Day (23 October 2023), and highlights the experience of another of our amazing dancers, and this time from one of our GEMS classes.


Our GEMS sessions are for over 65s, and take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They include a mixture of seated and standing movement, with everyone encouraged to go at their own pace - and above all, with the focus on having fun.


So, meet John Salter, one of our fabulous GEMS dancers!


John attends the Tuesday GEMS class at Unit 12 in Winnall, Winchester. John doesn’t go to any other dance forums, and so our first question to John was: What made you decide to attend GEMS classes? John replied: “To have enjoyment with others of my age group in an activity involving exercise and music.”


You can see the rest of the interview with John written out below.


Why do you like dancing? Because it involves bodily movement to rhythms and lyrics. It is good for coordination of arms and legs and for keeping in step with the group as a whole.


Why do you like dancing with GEMS? Our teachers have greatly challenged us with our capacities on a wide range of routines and given us time to get accustomed to them before moving on to something new. The sessions are fun and relaxed.


Have you made new friends through GEMS classes? If so, what do these friendships mean to you?

Most certainly. By meeting regularly I have been getting to know each one of our group. Their friendship is a valuable thing. We enrich one another as we share our life experiences, before, during and after the sessions.


What are the benefits of coming to GEMS classes - for example, health/social benefits?

The physical side is definitely beneficial to my health, strengthening arms, legs and breathing. We have become quite a close-knit group, getting to know one another better and enjoying the laughs we have from time to time.


What is your favourite part of the class?

Creating together the movements to fit the lyrics of a new song and the sense of achievement when we eventually get it all together.


Any particular type of music or piece of music you like?

I like all types, from lively to relaxed. But if I have a favourite, it would be Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash.


Do you watch Strictly Come Dancing or any other dancing programmes? I really enjoy watching training sessions for ballet dancers on YouTube.


GEMS dance teacher, Keeleigh, says: “I love teaching our GEMS classes, and it’s great to hear John’s feedback.


“We know the benefits of dancing for both physical and mental health, and it’s really good to hear one of our dancers say how important the classes are for him, health-wise.


“But, with one of our main aims to ensure that the classes are fun, it’s wonderful to hear how much John enjoys himself, and values the friendships he’s made and the social side of coming to class.”


And thank you so much for telling us all about your experience of dancing with Move Momentum and GEMS, John!


If you’ve enjoyed John’s story and think that GEMS classes might be for you - whatever your gender! - the Tuesday class takes place.10-11am at Unit 12, Winnall Valley Rd, Winchester SO23 0LD. Our Thursday class is held 10-11am, at St Barnabus Church, Fromond Rd, Weeke, Winchester SO22 6EF.


Classes are £3, and there’s a discount block booking - and you can also attend a free taster session. Do please get in contact if you have any questions or would like more information about GEMS.


And if you’d like to read another of our National Boys Dance Day stories, yesterday (24 October) we posted Jack’s - one of our wonderful Liberate wheelchair dancers! And look out for Alfie's tomorrow, and Harry's on Friday.


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