North Shore seniors can keep moving with dance

In a report published in Sports Medicine in January 2024, dance was found to be ‘equivalent or superior to other physical activity interventions to improve psychological wellbeing and cognitive capacity’.

According to the report, dancing can help prevent anxiety and depression, particularly in older people.

Mosman Council offers many types of dance several times a week at the Mosman Square Seniors Centre.

Line dancing: ‘Walking in time to music’

Gordon Elliott has been teaching line dancing for 35 years and has choreographed about 400 dance routines.

He has people in their 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s in his classes, some attending for over 20 years.

Gordon says line dancing is like ‘walking in time to music’ and is not just a great low-impact exercise. “It’s good for memory, like learning a new language,” he says. “You have to learn what the different steps are called and remember the pattern.

“But a huge part is the friendships people make,” he adds, saying that the class often has coffee together.

Gordon’s classes are attended mainly by women, though he does have men dancing. These days, it’s not just country music either, with waltzes and tango, The Beatles, Pink and even Taylor Swift on the track list.

You need neither a partner, a Stetson or cowboy boots!

Line dancing is ‘walking in time to music’

Movement and Music: Dance for Parkinson’s

Originating from a Parkinson’s dance program in New York in 2001, Dance for Parkinson’s Australia (DPA) was established in 2013 a great way to improve mobility, coordination and balance.

The classes have significant benefits, and people are empowered to explore movement and music. Teachers are specifically trained in how to modify exercises for people with Parkinson’s.

DPA holds regular classes at Mosman Seniors Centre. Dance teacher and program leader Cathie Goss says the classes are beneficial not just to those with Parkinson’s, but are also ‘accessible dance and movement classes for everybody’.

“It’s specifically targeted for the Parkinson’s community,” Cathie says. “But is also for those with limited mobility, such as arthritis sufferers or people who have had an accident.”

Classes begin with participants seated before progressing to standing and moving routines, but people can stay seated if they prefer.

“You can partake in the class with the body that you bring on that day,” says Cathie. “If you’re having a bad Parkinson’s day, you can still come to class and see your community and just remain seated, which keeps you safe.”

Zumba Gold: Exercise in disguise!

Zumba Gold is especially for active older adults and is a low-intensity version of the traditional Zumba class, so it can be easier on the joints.

It involves easy-to-follow Zumba routines that focus on balance, flexibility and coordination.

The Latin-inspired dance Zumba has enormous benefits for heart health and mobility. Great for balance and co-ordination, it has been called ‘exercise in disguise’ because it is so much fun.

As well as the health benefits, Zumba is great for mental health and social interaction.

For details on all classes visit or phone 9978 4128.