Local professional dancer and personal trainer Millie Mayhew is to launch a series of free weekly dance sessions to help children keep active during the current lockdown.

The on-demand ‘Dance with Millie’ sessions will be available every Wednesday for 6 weeks starting Wednesday 27th January on the Keep Moving Suffolk website.

Millie, who is a graduate of Bird College and recently spent a year in Germany performing in Disney’s Tarzan The Musical stage show, said “As someone born and bred in Suffolk, I wanted to give something back to help the county’s children and young people stay active during lockdown.”

“Exercise is so important to children’s physical and mental health and their ability to learn, so when you read in the press about how the number of inactive children is really going-up it’s very worrying.”

“Dancing is a great way of staying active. It’s fun, you have to move your whole body, so you use lots of muscles, you get to listen to great music while you’re doing it and, most importantly, you feel amazing afterwards.”

“I hope that these sessions will offer an alternative for children who want something more than a fitness session. The dances are really easy to learn. Anyone can do them, boys or girls. All they’ll need is themselves and lots of energy. They can even bring a grown-up if they like.”

The ‘Dance with Millie’ sessions come hot on the heels of a new digital resource aimed at helping parents and carers in Suffolk build exercise into the daily routines of children being home schooled during lockdown.

Providing information about, and access to, a host of curriculum-based and other popular resources, the resource brings together, in one place, everything parents could need to bring exercise into the home in a fun and engaging way.

Cllr James Reeder, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Prevention at Suffolk County Council, said: “I would like to thank Millie for her support with this digital resource to help parents build exercise into their child’s day, and importantly to make it fun.

“Besides the obvious health benefits from being active, exercise has a wonderful ability to help and support a child’s educational attainment. It is proven to improve their concentration and make them more focused, so by building in regular exercise breaks throughout the day children will be happier, healthier and better equipped to study.”

Established as part of the popular Keep Moving Suffolk campaign, it responds to Sport England data showing that activity levels of children and young people have fallen significantly during lockdown prompting fears of a long-term impact on their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

A link to the ‘Dance with Millie’ sessions can be found at www.keepmovingsuffolk.com/home-schooling.

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