Come dance with Annie Alchin at Sri Om Care Senior group

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by Neena Badhwar

If you know Annie and have been in her”˜Gentle Exercise & Dance Program ©’ sessions for seniors then you will definitely come out relaxed, laughing and dancing. Annie Alchin is a dance teacher who studied metaphysics, psychology and counselling and being a dancer since the day she was born, says she, ”My self-discovery classes are aimed at guiding people in their own direction,  she adds,“they come always more eager to find out ”˜who they are’ to themselves and everybody else.”

She also does card readings, energy readings when people ask as a form of counselling.

The program Annie has designed is to help any person regardless of age. Her classes are lively though people come out feeling extremely relaxed and peaceful and laughing with joy. She slowly and patiently takes everyone step-by-step through gentle exercises while making everyone aware of their breath.

Right and then left, the steps are mirror images with stretches, and flexes and points, round and round, clockwise and then anticlockwise, head, shoulder, arms, knees, hands, elbows, neck and back all get their due attention. And the steps are aimed finally when her slow soothing music soon moves towards ”˜La bamba’ or even at times an Indian song from yesteryear Dev Anand and Nutan  starrer ‘Paying Guest’ ”˜Maana janaab ne pukara nahi’. Thats when even the most hesitant join in.

”The program I have designed for the seniors is for their heart health, focussing on balance, general well-being, mental and brain function, memory games and it’s all through dance,” says Annie cheerfully, people just love her.

Never a frown on her face and so also on her students, says Annie how she got into helping people who were aged and debilitated, “In 2000 when I was very sick and laid up with pneumonia and pleurisy.”

“After that bout of illness it took me months to recuperate and my dance and breathing exercises came in handy. I thought if it could help me why not I help others.”

“I didn’t ever want to stop dancing. My mum had died of Alzheimer’s, lonely and sad even though I stayed in touch  with  her during that time. I could not help her but I decided I would do it for seniors when through a contact I was introduced to Sri Om Care.”

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Annie now teaches not only at Sri Om Care but also Uniting Church and Homecare Australia. “It’s averaging almost three classes a week now.”

“I strongly believe that music is the food for soul. And one must have passion as well as compassion. I also teach regular dance classes at Ingleburn and my students perform as ”˜global gypises’ which they have done at Body, Mind and Spirit festival in Sydney, Royal Easter show and at Seniors week.”

“They bring colour, music and dance and spread love and cheerfulness dressed in vibrant colours.”

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At 62 years of age Annie is all dressed up in bright colours, matching hair do and shoes. Her steps are light, her instructions easy and clear, and smile that is broad and eyes that sparkle and laughter that tinkles. No wonder it takes a lot of time for Annie to leave after the class because you know that seniors just want a hug and hold on to her for a little while more and also the experience. It is just so relaxing. I am sure Annie ka saath hum sab ko not only gawaara hai par extremely zaroori hai for healthy and happy ageing.

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