“There are shortcuts to happiness and dancing is one of them.”
So says Di Cuming, CEO of Lancaster charity Ludus Dance, who is encouraging people to take up the art to help get their year off to a healthy and happy start.
Dance development organisation Ludus Dance, based in King Street, has been inspiring and engaging people of all ages and abilities through dance for over 37 years.
Di, who takes her mantra from the writer Vicki Baum said: “Dancing is a great way to meet new people and have fun and also a way that anyone and everyone can stay in shape and gain a range of positive health benefits. These include better flexibility, strength and stamina, and reduced stress and tension.
“But dancing is a social activity too which has been proven to contribute to high self-esteem and a positive outlook.
“Joining a dance class can increase confidence and build social skills to add to the overall sense of wellbeing.”
Backing this up are the experiences of Ludus Dance members Jade and Vickie.
13-year-old high school pupil, Jade, is part of the Luducrious street crew.
She said: “I meet people, learn lots of new moves and have fun at the same time.
“It’s been life-changing for me.
“It’s given me freedom with the confidence to show off my talents and I’ve been encouraged to believe in myself and my abilities.”
Vickie Wenlock, who was diagnosed with depression after unexpectedly giving birth to her son very quickly and at home, is part of the Flash Mob, a group for all ages which performs in surprise locations.
“I came across a flyer for Ludus Dance and decided to give it a go,” she said.
“It doesn’t matter if I get the steps right or not, it’s about enjoying it. It gives me a buzz and always puts a smile on my face.
“It helped me come off medication because the positive feelings I get are far better than being on anti-depressants.”
The charity’s work also aims to reach people across Lancashire and the North West by creating opportunities through dance and working with schools, colleges and community groups.
Young dancers and dance professionals are given the opportunity to showcase their work at Ludus Dance events such as the Lancashire Youth Dance Festival for 11-19 year olds at the Dukes in May 2013.
Dance Cuts for professional dancers and choreographers, with Live at LICA and guest dance company Candoco, will take place at the Nuffield Theatre next March.
For more information on the Lancashire Youth Dance Festival and Ludus Dance visit www.ludusdance.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.