We are delighted to have another guest post from Polina Liu – local and a personal trainer – introduces us to some of the dance options in SE16Priya stretch - thumb

It is that time of the year again party season approaching, Strictly is on TV and in the press, and even if we grumble at the glittery cafuffle around us, we can’t help but sway to the foxtrot and waltz tunes, shake it a bit to the salsa, wishing we could be Fred ’n’ Ginger gliding across the floor…

Hear it from your Body (and Mind)

If you’ve been looking for some encouragement to get on the dancing path, here are the health benefits of dancing which may just be what you needed to take that first step:

  • Dancing dramatically improves your coordination and spatial awareness.
  • Dancing boost your memory and can help prevent developing dementia and Alzheimer’s as you get older.
  • Dancing is an excellent cardio exercise, improving circulation, heart health, cholesterol levels.
  • Dancing is whole body exercise, helping you get stronger and more flexible.
  • A 30-minute dance class burns between 130 and 250 calories, about the same as jogging.
  • Dancing works core muscles and improves posture.
  • Dancing helps fight depression and anxiety, it improves confidence.
  • Dancing is a low-impact exercise, and is suitable for people with medical conditions such as high cholesterol or diabetes.

DanceStudioKristinaPfefferporCarolCavi-117 - thumbIn addition dancing helps relieve tension and stress. Remember getting into mad dances as a kid when feeling extremely happy? Or wanting to jump with joy? Here you go! Dancing is the most natural way to express how we feel. We just forget about it. Or grow too self-conscious.

And best of all: dancing is super social! You meet new people, share your enjoyment with them, charging up on smiles and positivity.

Listen to the experts

Bethan Peters dance teacher from Arts Odyssey says, “Dancing keeps you fit, is fun, provides the opportunity for you to meet and dance with people you may never have met in your everyday life and takes your mind off a busy day at work . Participants develop physical stamina, awareness of their body, creativity, as well as their confidence, communication and teamwork skills.”

AO adult 1 - thumbOften dancing is considered somewhat of a girly thing, men tend to feel more reserved signing up for dance classes. However, in recent years more and more men are deciding to join in. Body confidence and coordination are important for men and women equally, especially as we age, and learning the steps, getting over the awkwardness is a benefit in itself. “Sometimes women tend to have more dance experience or experience in things such as aerobics classes, etc, which means that they are more used to moving. But it is very individual and some men pick it up just as quickly or quicker than the ladies. In the beginning, the challenge for men is that they have to lead the ladies. But most ladies find it just as challenging to follow,” explains Kristina Pfeffer, ballroom dance teacher at the Dockland Settlements and Dansation London.

It is never too late to find your dancing feet! Maybe you will not become a prima ballerina but anyone at any age can certainly enjoy the health-body-soul benefits of dancing and have a great time on the way! And SE16 offers plenty of choices for children and adults, see the links below and give your local class a go. Everyone needs some dance magic in their life! 🙂


Arts Odyssey

Projects focusing on choreography, improvisation and contemporary dance exploration, open to all regardless of their previous experience in dance.

Louisa Pestell E: louisa@artsodyssey.co.uk Facebook: ArtsOdyssey Twitter: @ArtsOdyssey

Photos from Arts Odyssey by Jonathan Vines (top right, mid right and below left)


AO Scoop Chelsea - thumbDockland Settlements Centre

Ballroom, ballet, contemporary dance, R&B dance, Irish & Tap dancing. Not all classes listed on the website, best to contact the centre for the timetable and classes info.

Ben North T: 020 7231 7108 E: ben.north@docklandsettlements.org.uk

Facebook: DocklandSettlements Twitter: @DocklandSetSE16

400 Salter Road, Surrey Quays SE16 5LJ


Canada Water

A range of ballet and dance classes for kids and adults.

T: 0207 127 0676



Preschool classes (2-4 yo) for boys and girls at Time and Talents Mondays 10:00-11:00

Ann-Marie Wilkins M: 07973 982790 E: annemarie.wilkins1@btinternet.com


DanceStudioKristinaPfefferporCarolCavi-117 - thumbDansation London

Kristina Pfeffer M: 07751 048 369 E: contact@dansationlondon.com

Saturday 12:30-13:15 Strictly Kids (7-12yo)

Saturday 13:30-14:30 Adult Ballroom and Latin beginners

Other photos courtesy of Dansaction London

List of dance companies running classes in Southwark

Why is dance so good for you?

Ballet dancers’ brains adapt to stop them feeling dizzy

Going Through the Motions Improves Dance Performance

Why Is Dancing So Good for Your Brain?

Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly

Use It or Lose It: Dancing Makes You Smarter

Polina Liu - trainer - thumb

Polina Liu – MeanFitFoxes
E: pol@meanfitfoxes.com