Taoist Tai Chi continues to grow in Amherst
Wayne Slade teaches Taoist Tai Chi during the first of two open houses yesterday at the Atlantic Dance Academy in Amherst. Dave Mathieson – Amherst Daily News
Instructor calls Tai Chi moving meditation
AMHERST – The growth of Taoist Tai Chi is secure in Amherst as 17 people came out to the first of two open house classes yesterday at the Atlantic Dance Academy.
“Since I started 14-months ago I’d say the club has almost doubled in size,” said Wayne Slade, who was teaching his first Taoist Tai Chi class yesterday. “We have about 22 members and there were 17 people at the open house today and it looks like many of them will come back putting us above 30.”
Taoist Tai Chi has been taught in Amherst for about five years now and Slade likes the relaxing aspect of the activity.
“There’s no doubt it’s a very soothing, relaxing form of exercise, and it’s very social as well,” said Slade. “It’s a two-hour class and we break about an hour in for a tea time. where we sit for 15 minutes and sit and talk about other events coming up.”
Participants go through 108 moves.
“It is a sequence of moves that, in theory, there’s no breaks between them,” he said. “You start with the first move and go through 108 moves and they flow together so you don’t notice any breaks in them.
“Some people think it’s a martial art but it's a healing art. It’s not taught in a way that’s aggressive, it’s taught to promote full body health.”
Slade said people find it’s good for improving circulation and flexibility.
“A lot of people will come because they have back pain, neck pain, shoulder problems and arthritis because it moves the whole body,” he said. “The 108 moves move the whole body. Balance is another thing, for seniors especially...”
Classes for seniors and students it’s $90 for 24 weeks of instruction, otherwise it’s $110 for 24 hours of instruction.
“Right now we’re setting up an Wednesday afternoon class and next Wednesday there will be a starting class for beginners and we currently have a beginners class going Wednesday evenings,” Slade said. “Also on Wednesday evenings we have another group we call the continuing class which intensifies the 108 moves.
“We also do an open practice Friday mornings,” he added. “There’s no instruction the group just comes together and practices what they’ve learned.”
Slade said people of any age are welcome to join them at the Atlantic Dance Academy in Amherst.
Taoist Tai Chi is a volunteer, non-profit organization, with 40,000 practitioners worldwide. It started in Canada in 1970.
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