Student Stories

Joseph Vanecek

What would I do without music and dancing?

It would be a very lonely and boring life for me. It is proven that dancing is the best remedy not only for physical health but also depression and memory improvement.

I started to learn dancing at Social Dance Studios in Castle Hill when I was 81 years old after my wife of 57 years married, passed away. I tried everything to help me get back on my feet, from medication to psychologists but nothing worked for me. Then my doctor suggested to try dancing, which I did.

The improvement was remarkable and thanks to my wonderful dancing teacher, Dani who not only taught me how to dance but introduced me to the other people at the studio who have now become my friends. We are not only social within the studio but have all become greats friends outside of the studio.

Dancing has completely changed my life, not only physically but mentally. I’ve learnt to laugh again! Now at the age of 88 I’m still dancing, learning and being social. The results have been amazing.

I am proof that age is no barrier, there are no excuses. Start a better lifestyle and improve your health.

So get up and start with the three magical words “Shall we dance?”

Happy Dancing.

John and Linda Mason

5 Reasons I love dancing – After 6 wonderful years

  1. Social. When you learn to dance, you most likely go to a studio.  And if you don’t, make sure you do. Studio dancing is social dancing unless you do nothing but private lessons (yawn). And there is no better dance studio in the world than Social Dance Studios Castle Hill. These guys (and in particular studio owners Matthew Aker and Dani McLeod) know how to teach, know how to make it social. With group classes as part of your package, you are always meeting new people. There are always at least two social nights a month filled with food, drink and good company. Then there are the outings, the picnics, the dinner parties, the get togethers. Go to as many or as few as you want but go. Linda and I have met some pretty special people and made some very nice, new friends.
  2. Contact. When you dance, you contact. Just hands and arms (and toes sometimes, ouch). Tactile interaction with other people is good for the soul. You also chat, laugh, stuff up. Sharing this with others is nice.  Doing it with your life partner, your soul mate is fantastic. Holding the woman I love in my arms two or three times a week for 45 minutes at a time is just plain magic!
  3. Challenge. The reason it looks hard is because it is. But then again so is riding a bike, playing golf, going to the gym, investing in the stock market. Nothing worthwhile is easy. Nothing. But as with all endeavours, the basics are truly simple and you can have great fun with them. But set yourself a challenge, pick a level of attainment and go for it.
  4. Cool. Watching someone on a dance floor who can dance is pretty neat (just keeping up with the 60’s talk) No matter if it is ballroom, disco, wedding, etc if the person or couple looks like they are enjoying themselves, not crashing into people and are able to string together some moves, it is neater. Knowing when to bust a move, when to flourish, when to cheek to cheek is very, very cool (neatest) when you are that person being watched. Not in a ‘oh look at them showing off’ being watched, but a ‘that looks fun, cool, I wonder if I could do that’ type of being watched.
  5. Aerobic. It’s a workout folks. Dance movement is very good exercise.  How hard you go, depends on how hard the workout is. I once burnt 300 plus calories in one 45 minute class. That’s about a schooner of beer!

Johnny & Eleni

When I got married almost 23 years ago, my wife told me about her love for dancing and she even taught me how to waltz so we could dance our wedding song. Ever since then, she has been trying to get me onto the dance floor but I would never budge. Then one day last year, after a failed attempt to sign up for Yoga, she popped the question, “how about joining a dance school and learn how to ballroom dance?” So she called and we went for a “look, see, decide” session and we got hooked.

Since then our whole life has changed. I kid you not. We have a social life, a regular exercise and we have made some amazing friends. Yesterday I spoke about my wish to be around people that raise my energy level rather than hanging around with energy suckers. Well at Social Dance Studios Castle Hill, I have found exactly what my heart desires and the bonus is that I enjoy dancing too. Every week I am surrounded by people that “light my fire”. From my dancing instructors to my new friends, who I can say is everyone that walks through those magic studio doors.

I call them magic because those studio doors have the ability to put a smile on everyone’s face that walk through it. No matter how hard your day has been or how stressed out or unhappy you are, the moment you walk through those doors, all that negative vibe gets sucked out of you and left outside and its yours if you want it when you go back out. I choose to leave those negative vibes out there every time I go through those magic doors and when I walk out again I walk right past them.

So for those of you who want to go from zero to one hundred and have fun while you’re at it, I recommend a dose or two or three or more of Social Dance Studios Castle Hill to get you really rocking. To all my dancing friends that read this, it’s been an honor spending time with you this past 10 months. You have all rocked mine and Eleni’s world in a good way and I love you all heaps. Love, Life and Happiness to you all.