The Ageing Ravers dance the day away to get fit

JACKIE Carstairs hated the idea of getting fit at the gym, but the 81-year-old had a brilliant idea while watching a TV program about people with the average age of 79 getting fit while dancing.

"I wrote a letter to the paper saying is there a group, I wanted to join, I thought there must be a group here doing it, and Pat (Hewitt) answered," Ms Carstairs said.

Ms Carstairs and Ms Hewitt got together to create their own group, the Ageing Ravers, where people of all ages can get fit while dancing to music.

"For the first couple of minutes we do breathing exercises, which Pat at almost 91 controls, we are trying to manage some steps to Rose Garden because it's good to start everyone off with a routine," Ms Cartairs said.

"Then after that we do our own thing, but that time we've lost our self-conciousness and the seven or eight of us who have been turning up have been dancing and it's just great fun."

Ms Carstiars, who suffers from fibromyalgia, said a lot of her symptoms go away while she is dancing.

"I start out with back ache and aching muscles because I had fibromyalgia which is like arthritis of the muscles, and all the aches and pains go when I'm dancing," she said.

Eva Coutts, Pat Hewitt, Jackie Carstairs and Anne Hewitt get into the groove of the \
Eva Coutts, Pat Hewitt, Jackie Carstairs and Anne Hewitt get into the groove of the \"Ageing Ravers\" at the GDSC. Adam Hourigan

Eva Coutts who is another regular raver, said the dancing helps her condition as well.

"It's amazing really, my sister says 'what do you do with your sore back when you go there', I said I don't feel it," Ms Coutts said.

Ms Hewitt said the Ageing Ravers have a whole host of dancers with different issues that they work around.

"There is one woman with a walker who just moves most of her top half around, a lady with a walking stick who just sits and moves her top half," she said.

"We can move to the music, even though we're seated, and I move with my walker and dance with it as if it's my partner.

"It's very liberating, you just feel that you can just move.

"When I'm dancing with my wheelie I've got support and it's great."

Ms Hewitt's daughter Anne does the music for the group and dances with the group.

The Ageing Ravers are looking for more people to join in the fun, they meet on Fridays at 11am at the Grafton District Services Club. Anyone of any age can join the group for an hour of dancing. The cost if $5, which is donated to help animals in need.

The group is considering adding another day to get a little more exercise in.

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