Keeping fitter than otherwise, having a good time together, making new acquaintances and developing friendships, sharing tea and biscuits (and sometimes doughnuts!) … oh and quite some dancing, although some of that can be done sitting down!

That’s the welcoming formula for weekly classes taught by dancers Claire Wilson and Kirstie Anderson at the Hebrides Dance and Wellbeing Centre based at Stornoway Golf Club.

And those involved in the longest running of the classes – the Tuesday morning event now called Dancercize – talk of a wide variety of benefits.  Some of the group have been attending for the nine or ten years which the class has run for, others are almost new.

Until Christmas at Dancercize (formerly Groovy Movers) they'll be learning routines “inspired by Strictly Come Dancing – cha-chas, sambas, salsa and jives!  They are choosing a song from Strictly Come Dancing each week.  Lots of laughs to be had, followed by a cup of tea in the Golf Club lounge,” participants are told.

There are many obvious gains – better mobility, more flexibility, greater dexterity, even mental stimulation from all the learning and co-ordination – but one class member also mentions how much coming out to classes had helped her mental health, after suffering from depression, and they all agreed that in today's society, with much more emphasis on mental health as well as physical, that this is an important point to mention.

They also emphasised how the classes were built around what people could do – adapting to individual problems like bad knees or whatever.

Claire and Kirstie say: “Our chair-based movement classes are designed to give everyone the chance to enjoy movement, improve fitness, posture, mobility and strength. They are accessible for everyone and we can modify all movements to suit your body.

“We promote a non-judgmental and friendly environment, where everyone is welcome to come along and do what they can.  Most of all we want people to enjoy moving their bodies and to get the feel-good factor, regardless of levels of mobility and ability.”

One of those involved said that even getting mixed-up with the dance routines ended up with you laughing and smiling and feeling better.  Another said it was “definitely multi-level” to adapt to people’s requirements and abilities.  And they added it was a “mental challenge as well as a physical one” which was great as well.

Some of the Dancercize attenders also go to other classes with one doing three classes a week. There are a range of other classes – originally there was only one, but it grew too big to welcome new members. However, now there’s a big choice including:

Chair Based Movement to Music

gentle dance / fitness class With Claire Wilson

Mondays 3 – 3.30pm, £2 per class

Claire leads a seated movement to music class that will get you moving from head to toe. She uses traditional Scottish music incorporating steps from ceilidh and Scottish step dancing (without any impact. This is a fun, toe tapping class and our participants love Claire’s energy and great choice of music.  This class will only run once the minimum numbers are booked on

Chair Based Yoga
gentle stretch class With Kirstie Anderson
Thursdays 10.30 – 11am, £2 per class
With Kirstie Anderson

This class gives you a chance to stretch the body all over, slow down the mind and relax. In particular there is a focus on easing tension in the upper body, shoulders and neck, using the breath, and working within your own range of comfortable movement. This class can be beneficial for those suffering from stress and anxiety.

Book / Find out more: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., come along and give it a go or phone Kirstie on 0771 5499552. You can drop in to this class but please let us know in advance if you have access issues.

Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;}