According to the DomPost – the Mayor Ceilia Wade-Brown – thinks that her councillors should be taking up dancing – specifically Ballroom Dancing.
Actually if they did they would be following in the steps of other politicians including Tim Shadbolt – who generated huge publicity as the dancing Invercargill Mayor on Dancing with the Stars a few years back. More relevant may however be ACT’s Rodney Hide – who although an object of derision amongst some for his less than coordinated efforts – in fact Hide credits dancing with getting him fit and getting his weight under control.
Ceilia Wade-Brown is suggesting that Councillors learn new skills to improve their cognitive ability – but dancing – compared to her other suggestion of a new language- has far more benefits than that. Ms Wade-Brown herself is fairly fit given her regular cycling around town – but most of the Council could probably benefit from loosing a few kilos. Specifically if they take up partner dancing with their significant others they may even improve their home life!
Ballroom dancing has been quoted in several international studies as being beneficial for warding of the dementia in older adults. The theory is that the brain, just like every muscle in the body, needs to be exercised. Dancing certainly does that with a combination of physical coordination and memory required.
In addition adults who dance often have more social interaction and make new friends – both factors in aging well. Most of the Wellington Council aren’t that young – so they quite possibly should be looking for a new hobby to see them into old age…
Anyone who has been to a dancing class after a stressful day on the job will know the stress reducing benefits of dancing too!