HEALTHY LIFESTYLES: Get your boot-scootin’ boogie on

Free class offered April 12, with the chance to win a free set of six classes.

  • Apr. 9, 2015 5:00 p.m.

The gaggle of dancers at Carole Mason’s line dancing class at the Greenglade Community Centre certainly get their share of exercise

Get ready to kick up your heels and get moving! Spring has sprung, and what better way to boost your cardio than with some good old fashioned country line dancing.

Carole Mason has been teaching line dancing (among many other styles) for more than 25 years, and is as passionate about it as ever.

“Everybody can do it,” she says.

“People who think they have two left feet discover that they can actually do the patterns. We have a lot of fun!”

With high energy music and easy beginner’s steps, it’s a workout that’s open to anyone, and fun to boot.

The benefits are many, says Mason, both physical and mental.

“It boosts your memory, it can help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s, it improves flexibility and gives you muscle tone,” she says. “It reduces stress and depression.”

“You learn rhythm and timing and musicality. It’s dancing, and it’s a cardio workout.”

Country line dancing also offers a built-in social boost too.

“The social aspect is really good for your health as well, being able to have a community of people that you can have fun with,” says Mason. “The part of exercise that I hate is the drudgery. And when you do it with people, it’s a lot more fun.”

Fun equals a much higher likelihood that you’ll stick with it and reap all those benefits. And despite not being perhaps as flashy as a Zumba class, country line dancing will sure get your heart rate up.

“If you do it continuously for 30 minutes, you can burn 300 to 400 calories,” adds Mason.

That’s comparable to an hour of jogging, and much more enjoyable.

The health benefits and “camaraderie of the family” are what’s kept Mason in the dancing world for more than two decades.

“The entire dance community becomes your family,” she says.

To get the word out, Mason is offering a free class this Sunday (April 12) at Greenglade Community Centre, 2151 Lannon Way, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

Participants get to try line dancing, and can also put their name into the hat for a chance to win a set of six classes beginning April 26.

“Anyone who participates can enter to win,” says Mason.

Dancers are asked to wear soft-soled shoes. No experience is necessary.

For those who get bitten by the line dancing bug and want to stretch their skills, Mason also offers a Beyond Beginners class teaching more intricate dances.

For more information, call Greenglade Community Centre at 250-656-7055 or visit countrydancevictoria.com.

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