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A group of retirees with a combined age of 2600 years wowed lunchtime shoppers in Melbourne today with three Flashmobs at three malls click here for video.

The group of 33 residents from the Weary Dunlop Retirement Village in Wheelers Hill performed three Flashmobs in three hours at Brandon Park, The Glen and Waverley Gardens shopping malls.

They’d been practising their dance moves for six weeks and were asked for encores.

Brian Snell was one of the performers for hundreds of lunchtime shoppers including his grandchildren Jasmin, 10 and Alex, 8.

“It was a great experience,’’ Brian said. “I’ve never done anything like this before, I’d never had time for dancing lessons or anything like that.’’

“I’ve been a lifelong toe tapper though.’’

Jasmine and Alex Barton were proud of their granddad.

“He was really good at dancing and I think he kept an eye on the person in front to know what to do. He looked really happy up there. I think he’s cool,’’ Jasmine said.

Alex went one better, describing Brian as his “supercool’’ granddad. The eight year-old wasn’t sure he’d tell his friends at school until - he’d wait until he’d seen the video clip on YouTube.

Shirley Head is 82 and admitted to a few nerves ahead of the performances. She had grandchildren at all three venues.

“We were all a bit nervous at first but we just let go and let it all happen. I can’t wait to do it again.’’

Shirley’s biggest thrill came from one grandchild’ comment.

“She said Nan, if I can dance like that when I’m as old as you I will be very happy. That made me happy too.’’

The Flashmobs were cooked up to mark the Victorian Seniors Festival and were designed to prove that you’re never too old to be fit and funky.

Weary Dunlop Retirement Village in Wheelers Hill is owned by Ryman Healthcare. Ryman’s activities and lifestyle manager Nicki Brown said the Flashmobs showed it is never too late to tackle a new physical challenge.

 “Flashmobs aren’t just for young funky people, they’re for older funkier people. There’s a serious point to this though – the fitter at any age or stage, the healthier and happier you will be.’’

All the participants are regulars at Ryman’s Triple A (Ageless, Active, Aware) classes.

“Our residents credit their agility to the Triple A classes. Without it they wouldn’t have dreamed of taking part in something as adventurous as this.’’

Nicki is an exercise physiologist and has completed a study of Triple A as part of her continuing education. Her conclusion was that individuals exercised less prior to moving into a retirement village, and their fitness improved in the new environment.

Nicki’s mantra is that the fitter you are – at any age or stage – the healthier you will be in the years ahead.

“Having such a good take up of the programme is significant because there’s a wealth of evidence that shows the more you exercise the healthier and more independent you will be in the long term,’’ Nicki says.

“The truth is that you’re never too old to exercise – you’ve just got to choose the right way to do it.’’

More than 2500 residents follow Nicki’s regime each week at Ryman’s 30 villages.

About Ryman Healthcare: Weary Dunlop is owned by Ryman Healthcare. Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies.  The company owns 30 villages and serves over 9,000 residents in New Zealand and Australia.  Each village offers a combination of retirement living and aged care.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Corporate Affairs Manager David King on 0064 3 366 4069 or 0064 3 21 499 602 or david.king@rymanhealthcare.com

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