Sharing Dance Seniors program coming to St. Catharines’ performing arts centre

An eight-week dance program for seniors starts at FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines March 25. – Martha Doiron , Torstar file photo

by John Law, The Niagara Falls Review

A new dance program for seniors is coming to FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines.

Sharing Dance Seniors, developed by Baycrest Health Sciences and Canada’s National Ballet School, will be an eight-week workshop held in the Algoma Central Lobby starting March 25.

A free information session on the program will be held at the PAC’s Robertson Theatre Wednesday, March 11, at 6 p.m.

“It is a creative movement class for seniors who are interested in expanding their artistic expression and coming together in a shared art experience, with health and wellness as a welcome byproduct,” said facilitator Maggie Forgeron of St. Catharines.

“It is not meant to be a strenuous workout. Classes are designed to be adaptable to meet physical and cognitive challenges.”

Forgeron is a recent graduate of the National Ballet School’s teacher training program, and said she wants to promote “physical literacy” with the program. It’s designed for people 55 or older.

“In North American culture, we seem to have this dualistic approach to the body,” she said. “We see the body as this machine that we dominate through movement training and exercise routines. We think that we possess and have complete power over our bodies.

“For me, approaching the body through the art of dance is an opportunity to shift our thinking from control over our bodies to simply being in our bodies.”

Classes run 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. every Wednesday from March 25 to May 13 and will be taught via video streaming from the National Ballet School.

Blending physical activity with the arts “deepens our sense of belonging to ourselves and others,” said Forgeron.

“I can see how this kind of approach could benefit a more mature population who might be wanting to move without excessive drive.”

The program costs $40 plus HST. To register, visit or phone 905-688-0722.