14 October 2014

YMCA St Paul’s Group is delighted to announce that we are shortlisted in this year’s Kingston Business Excellence Awards 2014, in the ‘Commitment to the Community’ category. 

It is the unique and inclusive fitness dance classes at the YMCA fitness centres in Surbiton and Kingston (YMCA Hawker) that has secured YMCA St Paul’s Group a place among this year’s finalists.

The Business Award winners will be announced at a Gala Event on Thursday 23rd October 2014.

From Tap Dance to Tango…

Fitness dance classes are among YMCA Surbiton and YMCA Hawker’s most popular fitness classes and every week, seniors from all over the Kingston Borough come to YMCA Surbiton and YMCA Hawker to practice Tap Dancing, Jazz Dancing, West End Jazz, Tango, Bollywood, Ballet and Zumba Gold.

Dancing is not just a great way of keeping fit, maintaining mobility and preventing injuries; it also brings a smile to people’s faces and creates a great social atmosphere since it involves working as a team when learning the choreography.

Physical and mental health and wellbeing benefits

The social atmosphere in these dance fitness classes is very unique and after class, many members are socialising in the YMCA café over a drink and a lunch. Many report having made new friends in the classes.

Gina King, Director of Health & Wellbeing at YMCA St Paul’s Group, said:

The senior dance classes have benefits both on a fitness level and a social level to the local community. Firstly, benefits of the classes are increased wellbeing, better physical health and injury prevention. Secondly, the classes brings together seniors who might want to expand their social life, and after the classes, many meet in the YMCA cafe for a chat and a cup of tea or coffee‘.

Came first in Croydon Dance competition

Also, earlier this year, dance class members from YMCA Hawker and YMCA Surbiton won 1st and 2nd place in the Croydon Arts Festival’s Dance Competition for adults, where they had tough competition from six other dance schools.

A driving force in the senior dance and fitness classes at YMCA Surbiton and Hawker is Jill Baldock, a former West End performer, Music producer and Theatre director who teaches Tap, Jazz and West End Dancing at the two centres.

In June 2014, Senior dance class members from YMCA Surbiton took part in the highly successful and sold out ‘Come Fly With Me’ dance show at Kingston Grammar School. From the end of October 2014, Jill will be stepping down on teaching dance classes at YMCA Surbiton and Hawker.

She said:

‘As we progress in age, we tend to gather more hurdles and more problems, whether they be ours or our families. However, when attending a community senior class you will find like-minded and strong-minded people who gain strength, not from just the camaraderie, but also from the unspoken support in the classes’.