Go dance to the music

DANCE has been with us since toddlers took their first tentative steps on the carpet and did a little quick-step to celebrate the moves.

It's a means of communication, of expression, of showing joy and sadness and of getting fit and healthy, and can be enjoyed solo, with a partner or within a group.

There are so many reasons to get up and dance, but the fundamentals seem to start with wanting to improve your self-confidence, and to feel again that thrill of movement you had when you were a child learning to dance for the first time.

Like Anita Jamieson, 58, who said she never even knew she had the ability to dance.

"I was an awkward child growing up, but at school in grade 6 we learnt the basics of the Barn Dance and the Pride of Erin as a class exercise and loved it.

"It was never something I gave much thought to after that year. As I got older and grew more interested in the arts, I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to capture that happy feeling again. I watched the passion and talent of the people in those TV dance competitions and my curiosity eventually led me to try dancing again.

"I had no idea of my ability or what more it could give to me. I joined a dance studio and can safely say this beautiful hobby has given me the gift of serenity and 45 minutes of peace per lesson.

"I'm so grateful for the teachers and people I've met along the way."

No matter what your age or state of fitness, dance is something everyone can do and enjoy.

There are stately waltzes for the less energetic, hip hop for the more acrobatically inclined, classical ballet and jazz dance for others.

Every country has their national dance too - it's a universal activity. There's Irish dancing, Scottish dancing, flamenco and more. And for the really energetic there's pole dancing and zumba. Dancing is fun, it's pleasurable, it's sociable. If you've been holding off joining a dance class, now is the perfect time to do something about it.

So shine your shoes, click your heels, put on your kilt or tutu, or drape yourself in something slinky as you get out there and dance now.

Best of all... dance is for anyone and everyone.

Did you know?

In Ireland during the 1800s, a popular event was a cake dance. A cake would be placed on a stand in the centre of a field as the prize for the best dancer. The winner would of course "take the cake".

Attempts by the parish priests to suppress dancing were frequent, but appear to be mostly ineffective.

Class in is for dance lessons

At the Castlemaine Ballet Academy you will find a friendly and inclusive community.

There are experienced, qualified teachers who create a culture of care, nurturing respectful and cooperative relationships in the dance classroom and beyond.

There are weekly dance classes for students from complete beginners to seasoned performers, age is no barrier.

Serious ballet students have the opportunity to undertake annual Cecchetti ballet exams, and to learn ballet pointe technique.