Dance instructor hosts classes for blind
For two years Maria Cashmore has had a project in mind and she’s finally swinging it into life.
Cashmore has decided to instruct partner dance classes for the blind - for free - to give them an opportunity like no other.
‘‘I don’t know; but I assume when you’re blind there would be some level of sadness that you can’t do things without your relatives helping you out or without your dog,’’ Cashmore said.
‘‘I think they will benefit from being able to go out and actually listen to music and do something different.’’
Cashmore, the dance instructor for South Taranaki Partner Dance Community, regularly does six-week lessons but admitted she had never taught to a class like this to the impaired.
‘‘It’s all theories and concepts at the moment,’’ she said.
‘‘But just imagine yourself waltzing with your eyes closed and your partner just takes you that’s pretty much it.’’
Understandably dance may not be for every blind person, but Cashmore thinks there are people who would be interested.
‘‘I have heard that there’s approximately 70 registered blind in South Taranaki and there’s more in New Plymouth,’’ she said.
‘‘And If there’s a lot of interest in New Plymouth then I will go and travel there eventually.’’
She went online to see if there were any other blind dance classes in New Zealand but couldn’t find anything.
‘‘So this is all my theory - I will use it and I think it will work.’’
Cashmore uses a range of teaching techniques in her usual classes. The only difference with the blind classes is she won’t use her visual technique.
‘‘My theory is when you lose one sense, other senses get heightened,’’ she said.
‘‘So I’m going to tap into three different senses - so that’s the feeling or movement, and the sound and beat of the music and also what we call in partner dancing, a lead and follow.’’
The blind dance classes will be held once a week for six weeks in both Stratford and Ha¯ wera. They start on November 7.
The classes will run from 5.30pm-6.30pm at the Ha¯wera Presbyterian Centre on a Tuesday and at the Senior Citizens Hall in Stratford on a Thursday.
Cashmore encouraged family members to come along and give it a try too. For any inquiries talk to Maria by calling 0277271749 or going online to www.taranakidance.co.nz.
Maria Cashmore, of South Taranaki Partner Dance Community, is about to start her dance classes for the blind.