by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow
Seventeen years ago Millicent woman Christine Gurney watched a Line Dancing demonstration at a Millicent Hospital Carnival in George Street and seeing that one demonstration, began a lasting passion for Christine.
She immediately joined the local Line Dancing Group and 4 years later graduated from student to teacher; thirteen years later she is still teaching the weekly class held in Millicent. About 12 regulars attend the 2 hour session on Wednesdays between 10 am and 12-00 noon at the Salvation Army Hall in Millicent.
Participants vary in ages and ability and Christine said that most routines can be modified to suit the individual. It is a low impact type of exercise but there are high energy ones too for those able to take the pace.
“It is ideal for people recovering from illness, cancer, breathing difficulties, arthritis and those wanting to increase their exercise level for well being or weight loss; and it is also a friendly social event for people to enjoy,” Christine said.
Recently Christine received a call from a Supervisor from the Millicent Group Home, who asked if the residents could visit the line dancing class. They enjoyed it so much they returned the following week and now call Christine – the Line Dancing Queen – which she said she loves. Wheelchairs and challenges were no obstacle to enjoyment.
Line Dancing has been a major part of Christine’s personal health and weight loss journey over the past 5 years. This month she reached her goal weight after a weight loss of 42 kilos. Earlier heart issues caused Christine to re-think her health and after making the decision to lose weight and get fit, she never looked back.
“It’s a mind thing really, and once I had in my mind that I must control my portion size and start exercising I grew to love it. I am healthier, happier, fresher, much more confident and have so much more energy. I love exercising and I walk every day. It was difficult for a few weeks in the beginning; modifying our cooking etc but once I had it in my mind, it was easy. My doctor supervised my weight loss and he is very proud of my achievements because it was steady but consistent. As I began to lose weight it motivated me to continue and helped my commitment to achieve my goal,” she said.
“Line dancing was an important part of my exercise routine and still is.”
“People who line dance, love music too,” Christine said. “We play a lot of Country Music to dance to but once a woman said to me she was sure we’d never play AC/DC at Line Dancing; so I did. As long as the beat is there, you can use any style of music to dance too.”
“I just love it; it is good exercise and even just the movement can be good for health and mobility.”
Three and half years ago Christine was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, but she didn’t allow this to be a set-back and with the same commitment to her recovery as she applied to her exercise and weight loss program, she has recovered fully.
The Millicent Line Dancers have entertained at Banksia House and Hart Court and even though some are a little shy of public performances, with encouragement, they will perform at community functions.
“Any one is welcome to join, and it costs just $3-00 a session and no special clothes or shoes are needed.”
Christine’s love of community has included volunteering at 5THE FM for many years.
If you would like more information about Line Dancing you can call Christine on 0497 087 724
Photos by Christine Gurney