Feeling Stressed or Lonely? Learn How To Shake It Off. Get dancing!

When was the last time you danced?

Whether it was dad dancing at a wedding or just jiving around your kitchen. Think about how it made you feel. Carefree? Joyful?

We don’t need to tell you that dance is good for your physical health. From the gentlest jiggle to a high-energy tap – getting your body moving is good for you. But did you know that dance is great for your mental wellbeing too?

As with all exercise, you’ll get a feel-good rush of endorphins as you get active. But dance has its own unique benefits too. Dance is a great way to express yourself and communicate your feelings, without saying a single word.

So what’s stopping you?

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If you’re worried about the high-pressured, competitive world of spandex and spats shown on dance reality TV shows like Dance Moms then John Darvell’s West Berkshire based dance company NOCTURN is completely different. Its welcoming and highly-inclusive dance programmes are a world away from the constructed reality TV shows. Instead of spurring competitiveness, NOCTURN’s programmes focus on community and building a feeling of togetherness and friendship while learning a new skill.

It can often be difficult to find time to socialise while you’re juggling adult and parental responsibilities. Mums especially can often feel isolated and lonely, particularly when their children are at school.

NOCTURN’s community programmes are a great way to socialise and grab a bit of me-time. Whether you’re a mum, a dad or a grandparent. There’s a whole range of friendly drop-in sessions for people, including the very popular Adult Contemporary Dance, Dare to Dance for adults over 55s and even something for the 11-14 year olds. There’s never any competition, only collaboration.

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John explains why community-building is at the core of the programmes, “That’s linked back to my personal journey. The biggest thing that turned me off dance was thinking I had to be bigger and better than everyone else. I looked at the barriers and wanted to do the opposite. It’s still high-quality, but with a lot of laughter included. It’s challenging, but always accessible.

Don’t just take his word for it. Community programme member Gail explains,“I’ve gained some great, supportive friends – we all have one thing in common – we love to dance and have fun!

These are the people you will play, perspire and pick-up new skills with. We won’t lie – you’re going to sweat. But you’ll have fun! You’ll also be learning a new skill. It’s a great way to challenge yourself and it can have a big impact on your life.

John believes the key to this is confidence, “Our community and youth programmes are a great learning experience, with a lot of laughter. We never dumb the content down, we would rather raise people’s estimations of what they can achieve and support them in that journey.

NOCTURN can help you ditch the dodgy dancing, but keep the fun and excitement.

NOCTURN runs a range of classes for all ages and abilities – you can check out the full timetable at nocturndance.co.uk. Or email help@nocturndance.co.uk. Everyone is welcome. Classes take place at The Corn Exchange’s Learning Centre in Newbury.