Dancers meet health challenge

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A group of dancers from Peta Spooner Dance Academy are raising awareness of asthma through steps and movement.

It was all song and dance at Fashion Island yesterday.

Dance for Asthma is the theme for this year’s Asthma Awareness Week, and a group of dancers from Peta Spooner Dance Academy put on a show for bystanders yesterday to raise awareness.

Nelson Asthma Society manager Hilary Croft said there were about 3800 under-15-year-olds in the Nelson region and that one in four children in New Zealand struggled to blow up a balloon because of their asthma.

Dance academy owner Peta Spooner said she was happy to have her dancers involved in supporting such a good cause.

“Heart, asthma, cancer, anything to do with health and promoting awareness for the kids who are healthy, we always support it,” she said.

One of the dancers, 16-year-old Hamish McIntosh, said he sometimes suffered from asthma.

Luckily, it didn’t affect his dancing very often, he said.

Keeping it under control so he could continue dancing was important.

Ms Spooner agreed, and said that asthma should not deter anyone from dancing.

“It’s like anything, nothing stops you from doing what you love.”

As part of Asthma Awareness Week, information tables have been set up around the region each day. A table will be set up outside the Farmers store in Nelson on Friday.

Ms Croft said the tables had resources and brochures about how to keep asthma under control.

She encourages those with asthma to work with their health professionals, have an asthma management plan, use their preventers regularly and to get their free flu vaccinations.

“Having asthma shouldn’t stop you from doing anything,” she said.

Ms Croft also launched the first of the Richmond Better Breathing Classes yesterday.

“They are designed to help you breathe better and enhance your quality of life.”

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