Against the wall behind Ms. Downs-Young, her artworks including a sketched self-portrait were displayed.


Spotting a ruby ring on her left hand, she gently flipped through a sketchbook filled with Japanese anime characters and explained how feelings can be illustrated with colours.


“The colour of his hair, purple and red, represents rage. The black shadow on his neck is a form of subdued anger. For shyness, we generally use green to mean caution,” she said.


Ms. Downs-Young from Healthmont is herself an avid learner of the arts. She has taken ceramics, drawing, photography and digital imaging courses at TAFE, Gippsland.


To the right of the stage in the same hall, the upbeat rhythm of Enrique Iglesias’s Tonight (I’m loving you) attracted a group of on-lookers.


Their attention was shifted towards Rose. She wore a tight white tank bearing the words ZUMBA diagonally across.


In her youthful sneakers adorned with blue laces, she led her body into a synchronisation with the beat. Her arms were raised as though holding a baseball bat. They swung across her chest as she tapped her feet moving from left to right.

Those who were at first the on-lookers had begun to imitate her movements, however with much reserve.


Rose, in her 60s, teaches Zumba at the Jan Wilson Community Centre in Noble Park North. Two of her students – Mary, 65 and Deirdre, 56 – had come to give their support by joining in Rose’s Zumba demonstration.


“We take Zumba twice a week. It’s a lot of fun and helps us to keep fit,” said Deirdre.

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