Program has fun, fitness at its heart

Harvey-Waroona Reporter
Harvey shire chief executive officer Annie Riordan and president Tania Jackson get some lessons from Stella Johnson, centre, at the Golden Giselles dance class wind-up.
Camera IconHarvey shire chief executive officer Annie Riordan and president Tania Jackson get some lessons from Stella Johnson, centre, at the Golden Giselles dance class wind-up. Credit: Jacinta Cantatore - Harvey Reporter

Grace and elegance helped improve the posture and muscle tone of participants in a unique eight-week fitness program.

A group of 61 women gathered across two localities to learn ballet once a week as part of the Golden Giselles program.

The classes wrapped up with a performance of the participants’ dance skills to Harvey Shire Council staff, shire president Tania Jackson and chief executive officer Annie Riordan at the Leschenault Leisure Centre on Tuesday last week.

“This class has reminded us that at any age we can all be graceful women,” Cr Jackson said.

The ballet program was led by Harvey shire community development officer Stella Johnson who started it following expressions of interest from community members interested in learning ballet.

Ms Johnson, who has a background teaching ballet, said she had been in awe of the women’s ability to learn the discipline in such a short space of time.

“It has not only improved the participants’ coordination, posture and muscle tone, but it has increased social participation and overall health and wellbeing of the seniors who took part in the program,” Ms Johnson said.

She said the Department of Local Government Sport and Cultural Industries approached her to apply for an active ageing grant to enable the program to run.

“I sent out expressions of interests and once I knew there was enough interest I applied for the grant,” Ms Johnson said.

The classes will restart after the April school holidays.

Classes in Harvey will remain on Monday at 1pm and Australind classes will be on Tuesday, with times still to be confirmed.

For more information or to join the Golden Giselles call the council on 9729 0300.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails