Many dance clubs are starting their beginners' courses soon. A list of beginners' square dance courses can be found on www.uksquaredancing.com
. All clubs are run on a voluntary basis and use the Callerlab syllabus, which can be found on www.callerlab.org
under Dance Programs. The course taught is to Mainstream level so look for the page called Mainstream. All modern square dancing is done in duple time and the tempo (124-130bpm) can be tweaked if necessary. Expect to pay £2-£4 per week, including refreshments. The course finishes when the whole class has covered the entire Mainstream syllabus.
Another useful form of dance is Playford, which is practised mainly by country dance clubs. You can find details of these via the English Folk Dance & Song Society's website, which can direct you to local clubs: www.efdss.org
Of the two, square dancing is likely to be better as the music always has a strong beat. Neither form includes any running, skipping or jumping but Playford does include slip steps, whereas square dancing has only side-steps (and then only a few).
I am happy to advise people who are interested in either form of dance and to help to find funding should any patients' groups wish to set up their own square dance courses, which must be to Mainstream level or above.