Dance teachers and councillors hail mental and physical benefits of dancing

The Lait Dance Club will have experienced and social dancers strutting their stuff for the evening.

The Lait Dance Club will have experienced and social dancers strutting their stuff for the evening. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Strictly Come Dancing-inspired dancers in Ipswich have the chance to learn some steps and meet new people at a social dance in town.

The Lait Dance Club in Clarkson Street is opening its doors to all comers for a monthly dance social designed to keep people active and bring people together.

Club founder Pat Lait said: “We’ll be teaching people ballroom and latin moves, all the things they have seen on Strictly for the last few weeks.

“We have complete beginners to dance and people who have been dancing to years, so we encourage everyone to come and give it a go

Raju Arulanantham, a teacher at the dance club, tells people the dances are a way to keep healthier and even combat loneliness.

He said: “When people come and dance with us, everybody has a fantastic time. Young, old, men and women, everyone can come along and has a good time.”

Lucy Worrall, who attended one of the Lait Dance Club’s previous social dances, said: “Raju’s dance evening was such a joy to be a part of, everyone danced the night away.

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“Strangers and friends were brought together by the uplifting and vibrant music.

“Both Raj and his wife Lorraine included everyone, making sure that we all got a short and informative dance lesson too.”

Suffolk County Council, who are working to make suffolk the most active county in the UK, recognise that adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits, including maintaining good physical and cognitive function.

Recent figure showed that over 15,000 people in the county are living with loneliness and ‘social prescribing’ - group leisure activities being recommended by Health Secretary Matt Hancock as an alternative to medications - could help combat this.

Cllr James Reeder, cabinet member for health, said: “Local communities are known to play a vital role in helping people to be active and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“Regular physical activity has a positive benefit no matter what age or stage of life you’re at, whether that’s feeling fitter, socialising, or just having fun.

“Some physical activity is better than none, and more physical activity provides greater health benefits. It also is a fantastic way of bringing people together and reducing isolation.

“Through our ambition of becoming the Most Active County in England we are working in partnership to integrate physical activity into as many aspects of life as possible.”

The evening starts at the Lait Dance Club at 8pm this evening. Entry is £7.50.