Behind the doors of the Camira Springfield Community Centre every Wednesday at 10am songs of the 60s and 70s start roaring and the tapping of feet begins.
Open the doors and you’ll discover the “Westside Bootscooters” line-dancing away in the large, air-conditioned room.
The Camira group is an intermediate-level class run by experienced dancers Ringi and Irene Taituha, although a free beginners’ demonstration is planned for early October.
“Westside Bootscooters is a line-dancing group for older, mostly retired people,” Irene said, although people of all ages are indeed welcome and encouraged to hop in.
“We do a repetition every week, so within about six weeks they know a dance.”
Their first classes were in Forest Lake in 1994, and since then, they have branched out to Camira, Redbank, and more recently Greenbank, for beginners.
Irene said she loves line-dancing with the Bootscooters because they play a range of old classics that take her back in time.
“We do all the dances we used to do when we were young, like Rod Stewart, and they can just relate to a lot of them. We also throw in a lot of new songs too,” she said.
Irene said she was surprised by the positive influence an active engagement with music has had on memory.
“Your memory seems to get better. At our age, sometimes we go ‘oh, what was that?’… but once you get on the floor and the music starts, it’s like our memory comes back to that song.
The activity is supported by Westside Community Care, and volunteer June Johnson helps with all the organising and advertising.
June said that more than 20 people joined in on the fun last Wednesday, and it’s easy to see the benefits.
“Line-dancing is a great mental and physical exercise. It is definitely important to jog and test the memory and to move the body even more as we age. You can do anywhere between 4,000 and 6,000 steps in one hour.
“We have a lot of fun and joy in our class. We laugh a lot and can even laugh at ourselves when we struggle with certain parts. Perseverance pays off!”.
June said participants were becoming fast friends, and even organised a birthday surprise for one of the gentlemen who attends.
She added that Ringi always amazes the class with his phenomenal repertoire of dances.
“We don\’t have to be perfect at it to enjoy ourselves. There is much victory in giving new things a go and realising how much fun and joy it brings,” she said.
“Obviously dancing and teaching for 25 years or so reaps great health rewards too!”
Want to become a “Bootscooter”? The Wednesday 10am sessions run for one hour at the Camira Springfield Community Centre, at 389 Old Logan Road, Camira – for just $5. All proceeds go towards local struggling families.
For enquiries, email Irene at email@example.com or call 0416 310 930.
Megan Woolley contributed to this story.