Dancing to the same beat
Warracknabeal’s Enid Schultz started dancing at 12, and at 85, still enjoys a whirl around a dance floor. Enid and her husband Ed, 96, travel to Horsham several times a month for old-time dances in Hamilton Lamb Memorial Hall.
“Ed is still able to drive and he drives us here,” Enid said. “But even if we couldn’t dance, we’d still come for the company – as long as we could still drive or get a lift.”
Enid and Ed have been married for 63 years and dancing together even longer.
“We had a gap when we had children, but we love it,” Enid said. “Ed knew how to dance when we met but he wasn’t a dancer. He started dancing when he wanted to go out with me.”
Cancer Council Victoria’s Horsham branch hosts an oldtime dance in Hamilton Lamb Memorial Hall on the first and third Tuesday of each month.
Enid and Ed are among regular attendees.
“If anyone asks me to do anything on a dance night I tell them it doesn’t suit,” Enid said. “I don’t tell them why – but it’s because I don’t want to miss the dancing.”
Enid encouraged people with an interest in dancing to attend an event.
“A lot of people who come are 80 and older,” she said. “Sometimes there are up to 15 of us who are older than 80. We’d love to see some younger ones come along.
“Dancing is a lot of fun and everyone has such a good time. They would enjoy it once they got here.”
‘Dance for Cancer’ events start at 8pm, but if you arrive an hour earlier, you can benefit from the tutelage of long-time dancers and hall committee members Bruce and Susanne Beattie.
Bruce and Susanne teach dances ‘on the run’ to anyone who wants to learn, to music supplied by the evergreen Don Papst. Don has performed at events across the Wimmera for longer than he can remember.
“I love it,” he said. “It keeps me alive.”
Hall committee member Susan Hogan said along with providing a good time, dancing had a wide range of health benefits.
“It’s a great way for people of all ages to stay fit,” she said. “It not only improves your co-ordination, balance and aerobic fitness but it is good for mental wellbeing and building self-confidence and social skills.”
Susan said the dance group welcomed new participants of all ages and abilities.
“If you don’t know how to dance, we can teach you,” she said. “If you’re not sure if you want to dance, you can come along anyway to meet people and have a chat. It’s a really fun, friendly environment and we’d love to see more people attend our dances. You can come as a couple or by yourself, there is always someone to dance with.”
Susan said the hall committee hosted a monthly old-time dance on the second Friday of each month, at 8pm.
“Each Monday night there is a night of mixed dancing, which includes old time, line dancing and rock ‘n’ roll, with proceeds going to a local charity,” she said.
“Horsham Rockers have their dances on Friday nights in the hall, except for the second Friday of the month, when we have the old-time dance. The hall has a great dance floor, which provides a wonderful venue for this pastime whatever the type of dancing. We want the hall to be a
‘hub’ of dancing in Horsham, where people of all ages and abilities can come together to exercise both body and mind while enjoying a fun, social outing.”
People can call Susan on 0419 538 206, Dawn 5382 4371 or Bruce and Susanne on 5392 0220 for more information, or just show up to an event.
Lois Natt and Karl Kaucner