“Forward two, three, four, back two, three, four”

The Macmillan Prevention and Re-enablement project is delighted to be working with Bristol dance teacher Barrie Shields, extending the offer of our Macmillan Taster Tokens to his Gentle Dance class held at the Trinity Centre in St Philips.

The Gentle Dance class is a dance session for the over 50s and runs every Monday from 13:00-15:00. Barrie has been running this class since 2012 and in that time, numbers have increased and that there is now a nice mix of men and women coming along every week to practice their dance moves.

Sally Crocker, Macmillan Prevention and Re-enablement Project Manager, went along to the class to find out for herself why this dance class is such a hit with the over 50s.

Arriving five minutes early to Barrie’s session, the room was already alive with the hum of chatter and laughter. On a cold February afternoon, I was surprised to see that twenty people had turned up to shake their dance steps to some lively music. After a simple warm up, Barrie introduced the dance of the day: Bachata!

It quickly became clear that the class is excellent for people of all experience and abilities, with many people attending the class on their own and taking up dance for the first time. Barrie’s session is run with clear direction and simple steps, and in such a supportive and friendly environment, it was clear to see why so many people are continuing to come along years after first joining.

Mid-session the group took a break, and whilst enjoying a good chatter over tea and biscuits, I got talking to one attendee who summed up the class perfectly, “You’ll go home smiling, and that’s a good job done.” For those wanting to get moving to music, this light-hearted class is just £3 a session. If you are living with any beyond cancer, or a carer/supporter, this class is free if you use our Macmillan Taster Tokens.

To find out more about the Macmillan Prevention & Re-enablement project, how to get your taster token, and how to receive support with finding activities that are right for you. Please call 0117 353 3042. 

Enjoy dancing? Barrie also teaches Ballroom Dancing at Henbury and Brentry Community Centre every Tuesday at 11am-12pm. £3 per session, or use your Macmillan Taster Token to try this activity for free.