Physio degree inspires future of dance fitness programme

Dance is one of Ros Glendinning’s passions, and she shares it through her interactive dance fitness programme, CheeziFit.

But as more people with a variety of conditions started to attend the sessions, she decided she needed to tailor the moves to make them clinically relevant. Ros has found that people who enjoyed the classes kept coming back, therefore helping them to achieve a regular level of physical activity which is also key to good health. 

Now, thanks to undertaking BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy at the University of Plymouth, she is putting her research into her choreography and enjoying ‘changing lives’. 

Ros, who graduated in September 2018, said:

“Music and dancing are proven to have a positive effect on wellbeing, so the classes have always been good fun. However, people who had Parkinson’s, dementia, COPD, depression, PTSD and a variety of different health needs were coming along, and I wanted to help make the dance as relevant to them as possible. My group dissertation was focused on Parkinson’s and dance; which was an incredible opportunity and whilst studying, I taught dance at Help for Heroes Recovery Centre Plymouth to help veterans and their families. My physiotherapy degree has afforded me an incredible opportunity to help others through dance.”

Ros (far right) with Michael Chequer at the BBC Radio Devon studios.

What has Ros added to her choreography thanks to her physiotherapy degree?

  • Singing – helps open up the lungs, and useful for people with asthma and COPD
  • Clapping – proven to help people with co-ordination, Ros has added clapping for people with dyspraxia
  • One leg – balancing on one leg as one of the moves is helping improve balance receptors in the brain
  • Interactive choreography – to help reduce isolation and loneliness
  • Personalised music – to help alleviate mental health conditions

Ros is now in discussions with local NHS physiotherapists to talk about introducing CheeziFit to the NHS, through chair-based dance exercises for patients.  

She added: 

“CheeziFit has such a welcoming, community feel and is so simple, and that it’s now of clinical relevance is taken seriously. I’m training other instructors and physios to deliver it within their own communities but they must have an in-depth understanding of the reasons behind the choreography, it’s a very thorough process. 

"I’m also going to be working with another Plymouth physiotherapy graduate on EasyCheezi – which will be chair-based dancing so even more people can get achieve the benefits. People really trust the work we’re doing thanks to the University degree. It’s one of the best things I could have done and I can’t wait to help more people throughout the city.”

To find out more about CheeziFit, visit https://www.facebook.com/CheeziFit/

Physiotherapy is one of 14 Allied Health Professions (AHPs) celebrated as part of the inaugural national AHPs day on Monday 15 October #AHPsDay. The aim of the day is to celebrate the work of AHPs and encourage people to consider it as a career.

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