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Connect With…Pacific Dancentre

Meet Pacific Dancentre – one of our ConnectABLE community partners. Pacific Dancentre has been teaching ballroom dancing to the masses in Coffs Harbour for the last 30 years. We talk with principal Carol Myers and a few of her students about what makes Pacific Dancentre inclusive and how dancing helps people live healthier, happier lives.

Why did Pacific Dancentre partner with CCO on the ConnectABLE project?

Carol: I think it is a great cause and it’s been developed for the local community. I’m all for being involved in community activities in any and every way because if people don’t do that, they don’t do anything.

What does social inclusion mean for groups like Pacific Dancentre?

Carol: We just try to make our social classes available to anyone – we’ve had people with physical disabilities, people with vision impairments, people overcoming illness. Our social classes have a nice, casual, ‘go at your pace’ kind of flow so you don’t feel like you have to keep up. This is great for people who are recovering from illness or have some kind of support need. We try to cater to people’s individual ability.

How has dancing helped your students live active, well connected lives?

Carol: Dancing is great for coordination, fitness and the social side of things. It’s also a great activity that couples can do together. Our classes have helped rebuild old relationships and create new ones.

Tell us about your new Senior’s dance class on Wednesdays?

Carol: I had a couple of people ask for a day class so there was a bit of interest. We started the Senior’s class late last year and the numbers keep growing, mostly by word of mouth. Good feedback brings more people. We are doing a presentation for Senior’s week and we also have Friday night social dances.

Helen & Ray: We have a history with Pacific Dancentre. We did classes here for 10 years a while ago. It felt like a family then and we’ve recently come back. The beauty of what Carol does is make dancing accessible to everyone. People see Dancing With the Stars and think, “we could never do that”, but all you need to do is get up, shuffle across the floor and get your brain going. And Carol has the patience of a saint!

Jackie & John: People who are active are healthier. Just getting out and having the music going makes you feel so much better. Carol sometimes has trouble getting us to stop chatting and get on the floor!

Sandra: For me the classes give me the chance to mix with a lot of people. My husband passed away in July last year. He was sick for a few years and I cared for him, which became my life. Helen and Ray encouraged me to come along to the Senior’s dance class and it has helped me get out and about again.

For more details about Pacific Dancentre’s range of classes, contact Carol Myers on 6651 3032, pdcentre@bigpond.net.au or visit www.pacificdancentre.com.au

2 Couples 2 WEB                 Carol serving Coffee WEB

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