A DANCER from Shebbear is to run fun, new dance classes for local cancer patients. Jennie Dodd is absolutely delighted to be able to offer the free sessions, which will combine Zumba and contemporary dance, at North Devon District Hospital,
"I've worked with all different groups in the community and I heard about this opportunity and I thought what an amazing thing to be able to do," said Jennie, who trained with The Peninsula Cancer Network and is working with Dance in Devon and Macmillan Cancer Support. "I think it's a fantastic thing to do, to provide something for people who are having this horrible time in their lives."
Jennie, who is a community dance practitioner, has been passionate about taking dance into local care homes and day centres but is now relishing this chance to extend her work to people diagnosed with cancer.
"It's not going to be hugely technical," she said. "The accent is more on having fun and enjoying the music. People will find they are dancing without thinking about it."
According to Jennie, physical activity has been proved to have a positive impact on the side effects of cancer care while dance, and exercise generally, lifts the mood and combats fatigue.
"I think people are going to be buzzing," she said. "The music is really exciting so it gives people an adrenalin rush. People are going to feel like they have got a little bit of a workout so they are going to feel physically healthier and mentally happier."
Jennie said the class will be adapted to everyone's needs.
"I would really encourage people to come along and understand they need to listen to their own body," she said. "They know what their limitations are and we work within that. We work with what people can do rather than what they can't."
Although there are plenty of dance and exercise classes in the community, this one, in particular, will offer a supportive environment to anyone who has been affected by cancer and wants a kick start to get fit, have some fun and dance.
"It will be a chance to share your experience with other people. There is the social side to it. It's a more supportive arena for doing dance."
Free dance sessions are offered on Mondays until March 25, 6pm in the gym in the physiotherapy department at North Devon District Hospital. Details: Jennie Dodd on 07810 706960 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org