Strictly all-round fun for new circle dancing group

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As the competition between couples on Strictly reaches the cut-throat stages, an appeal has been launched for Lanarkshire dancers to take the floor – in perfect harmony.

The pilot scheme in Airdrie sees twinkle-toed participants shine together in large human circles.

A world away from the exacting standards of Craig Revel Horwood, Circle Dancing is designed to be relaxed, fun and available to all, from older people, those with sight impairment – to those with two left feet!

Fiona Graham, who is class organiser of the Monklands Seniors Activity and Volunteering Group, said: “Circle dancing does what it says on the tin. Participants hold hands with the people next to them to form a large circle and the dances are wide and varied, from choreographed, modern music to slow and meditative numbers.

“All the dances are taught at the start of the lesson and everyone is moving at the same time, doing the same steps.

“The group keeps each other right. It’s a world away from the highly competitive element of Strictly but every bit as much fun!”

Throughout the rest of November and early December the Circle Dancers are meeting in Broomknoll Church in Airdrie every Wednesday from 1pm to 3pm.

Everyone, especially older people in the local community and from throughout Lanarkshire, are welcome to join.

If there’s enough interest, The Circle could become a permanent fixture.

The pilot project is being supported and funded by the Voice of Experience Forum (VoEF) as part of their work under the nationwide Reshaping Care for Older People (RCOP) programme.

A key aim of RCOP is to provide more help and support to enable the growing numbers of older people to remain at home and feel involved in their community.

Sheena McDonald, of VoEF, explained: “As part of the RCOP programme we are committed to helping local groups develop the services and supports their community needs.

“This is a prime example. Circle Dancing is a very sociable event and crucial to helping older people stay connected to their community.”

In Lanarkshire, RCOP combines the expertise of third sector organisations, like VoEF, with partner agencies including NHS Lanarkshire, North and South Lanarkshire Councils and the independent sector.

Sandra Mackay, North Lanarkshire RCOP Programme Manager, added: “A key goal of RCOP is to help growing numbers of people over 65 to continue to live full, positive and independent lives in the community. Projects like this are key to realising that aim.”

For more information on how to join the Circle Dancing group contact Fiona Graham on 01236 750863.