Shoppers in Blacktown’s WestPoint centre got a surprise earlier this month when dozens of seniors showed off their moves in a flash mob, aimed at encouraging older people to stay active.
Dancers, jivers and hip shakers met outside the shopping centre and Blacktown Library on the morning of April 14 to demonstrate several feets of strength, balance and coordination, all choreographed to Aussie rocker John Paul Young’s hit Love is in the Air.
Line up and ready to dance, the oldest member of the flashmob was over 90 years old making it quite possibly the oldest flashmob in Australia.
The booty shaking incentive was created by the Healthy Older People Partnership, a program run inconjunction with Western Sydney Health, and aims to raise awareness of the importance of regular exercise for older people.
Trish Nove, HOPP coordinator, said it is important for people in Western Sydney to keep active well into their old age.
“Western Sydney is an ageing community, with somewhere between 82,000 to 85,000 people currently over age 65. These numbers will double over the next decade. Without regularly doing strength and balance activities, this group is at risk of a fall injury, which could impact on their health and well-being and their capacity to continue living independently,” Ms. Nove said.
She also said strength building activities, including dancing, walking, yoga and swimming, are crucial to keeping up a healthy mind and body, particularly for older Australians.
“Building the strength and balance of older people is key to improving older people’s confidence, their capacity to live independently and reducing the incidence of fall injury, which is the biggest risk to morbidity and mortality of this age group,” Ms. Nove said.
After the mob had stopped dancing there has been calls for HOPP to hold similar style events in other local areas.
“Many people in the audience were asking for a repeat performance in other local government areas at the end of the event,” said Ms. Nove.
No word yet on whether or not more golden oldie flashmobs will be hitting the Western Sydney region.
If you want to find any similar events in your area head over to www.activeandhealthy.nsw.gov.au for more information.