Dancing Helps You Keep Positive and Active
by Colleen Bond
My husband, Bob, and I recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. One of the many interests we share is our love of pattern dancing. When our children were old enough to stay by themselves, we started dancing and we’ve had a great adventure ever since. Some of our friends had asked us earlier to go, but we didn’t like getting a babysitter on school nights.
A couple from Wadena took us to our first pattern dance at Hazel Dell. As we entered, we heard that great old-time music and the floor was full of dancers doing patterns. We danced a few times, but mostly watched as the dancing was so graceful. As we caught on, we started doing more ourselves. We found out that nearly every town around had one night of pattern dancing every month, so we started going quite often, as much as three times a week! It is so much fun and good for the emotions as it helps me feel more positive.
It is important to dance with different partners during the night as it makes you a better dancer. The dances are dry, so we sleep well after the exercise and feel full of energy the next day.
In the years since we started, we have done about 300 patterns. We don’t remember them all, but every so often we will bring up another old one and review it. Most pattern dancers will tell you that it’s good for the brain as we have to remember the steps. It’s not like square or round dancing where they have a caller. Dancing helps your balance and keeps you limber. It keeps you in shape for your work at home, whether it be wood cutting or washing walls. Dancing is good for your posture and for stress. The socializing is an added benefit. When we go dancing, it’s like going on a date, and you get to wear some of the good clothes from the closet.
I’ve noticed people coming for the first time who are short of breath and maybe even have blue lips. At first they will just get up a few times, but as they build up stamina, they will dance more because they love it. They will look healthy, breathe better, and the blue lips will be gone. Men and women all love it—you can see it on their faces.
Bob and I belong to the Saskatchewan Pattern Dance Association. We are instructors and Bob is President. There is a jamboree at Manitou Beach every summer in June where we have three days packed with fun. A great get-together for pattern dancers from all over the province as well as Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia. In 2019, the association will be celebrating 30 years.
I always think dancing should be a part of the Senior Games. It was in the 1990s when some of my clients won prizes for the Jenny Linn double step. I think square dance, pattern dance, and ballroom should be there as well!
Colleen Bond is a reflexologist who lives in Kelvington, SK, with her husband Bob. To contact her for information and appointments call (306) 327-9090.