‘It’s almost like we’re the forgotten age group’

A grandmother has launched a new exercise class to “fill the gap” for people aged over 40 who have been reliving their youth and making shapes to disco classics.

Debs Forsyth says her Midlife Movers classes have “literally gone mad” after she started them just six weeks ago.

Midlife Movers members enjoy a boogie to disco music

The 54-year-old put a post on social media asking if anyone would be interested in joining a disco dance class and received a positive response.

The first class was held in her home town of Sandwich but has since expanded to Deal, Dover and Thanet.

Mrs Forsyth said: “We all love disco dance music.

“It’s taken me back to my dancing days when I was younger and it’s invigorating. It’s almost like we’re the forgotten age group.

Debs Forsyth started Midlife Movers six weeks ago as she wanted to find a fun way to stay active

“This is filling a gap for people who love to dance, want to learn something new, and want to get out of the house but don’t want anything too high impact.”

The mother-of-five and grandmother-of-soon-to-be-six already works a full-time job, as well as running the classes.

She added: “My brain doesn’t switch off but when I’m in that room for that hour, all I’m thinking about is dancing and I think it helps hugely with mental health.

“Any class that gets people out of the house, meeting other people, and moving can only be good.”

She added: “It’s literally gone mad.

Mrs Forsyth held a class outside on Walmer Green to enjoy the sunshine

“It’s about 40 people a class and some have come all the way from Surrey.

“I think people love it because it’s not about perfection – people can see it’s not too difficult and it’s a bit of fun.

“People also see they don’t have to be a specific shape or size, anyone can join.

“It’s reaching people in villages who haven’t really got anything else.”

She added that because of the age group, there is potential for daytime classes as several of the people who attend are retired.

Scores of people have joined the classes

“I think the oldest member must be in their late 70s,” she said.

Classes cost £3.50 but amid the cost of living crisis, Mrs Forsyth has said that if anyone is struggling financially and can’t afford it, they can talk to her about it.

“It’s never been about the money,” she said.

“It was a case of I thought it would be a fun way to keep active and I thought if I could get enough people together to cover the costs of a hall and have a really good, fun time for an hour a week, then brilliant. But look what’s happened.”

“It’s incredible. People come along, be themselves and have some fun for an hour.”

Classes are held in different locations throughout the week running from 7pm until 8pm.

On Monday, a class is held at the Salvation Army Hall in Minster, Thanet, on Tuesday a class takes place at The Guildhall in Sandwich, and on Thursday a class is held at St Georges Hall, High Street in Deal.

People don’t need to book before attending a class, they can simply turn up and pay.

The class in Dover will be held on Sunday nights at the Buckland Community Hall from 6pm to 7pm.

Deal Dover Kent Sandwich Thanet Chantal Weller


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