VIDEO: Tap dancing keeps Joanie and Shirley young

Tap dancers Shirley Allen and Joanie Cowie. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Tap dancers Shirley Allen and Joanie Cowie. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

The sessions are not only keeping them feeling young but are also helping them dance away from dementia.

The two ladies have been tap dancing with Karlie Bellew's Tap into Dance adult tap school for the past seven years and believe it's the reason why they are so healthy, both physically and mentally. Joanie, 67, said she used to dance when she was little and wanted an excuse to bring her tap shoes out of the cupboard.

"I thought to myself, I'm not too old yet so I dusted off the shoes and have been doing it for the past seven years," she said.

"I just feel really good about myself when I dance and my doctor told me to keep on tapping because it's helping my heart condition.

"I just don't think age should matter because I feel like I'm in my 50s when I'm doing it and a lot of people my age have trouble with movement and here I am tapping so it's definitely keeping me young."

And she's not the only one feeling young with Shirley, 77, also tap dancing up a storm.

Shirley said she never had the opportunity to dance when she was younger and is making up for lost time.

"I didn't have the opportunity to dance when I was a little girl so I started up with Karlie because I just thought, why not," she said.

"I just love coming along every week and performing in the dance festivals. I just enjoy everything about tap dancing ... the exercise, the social side of it and I just feel years younger when I dance.

"I used to have really bad arthritis in my hips but since I've been tapping, it's definitely improved. It also helps with dementia because you have to learn repetitive steps and remember what's after what."

Shirley and Joanie's adult tap group ranges in age from 26 to 77 and recently competed in the Rockhampton September Dance Festival, winning the over-18 section with 90 points, the second highest points for groups in the dance competition. A new beginners adult class at Tap into Dance starts October 28.

WANT TO TAP?

  • Tap into Dance holds adult tap classes for anyone 17 and above.
  • The classes are held at the Fitzroy Presbyterian Hall in Rundle St.
  • Contact Karlie on 0417604392.


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