A line-dancing former policeman aged 75 who runs dance classes for other pensioners says the pastime has helped him recover from a heart operation.
Cowboy shirt-wearing Mike Baker, a policeman for more than 26 years, first got into line dancing as a way to keep fit after retiring in 1992.
But when he suffered a heart attack after collapsing in a doctor’s consulting room four years ago, he feared he would have to stop dancing.
Against the odds though, he was back on the dance floor within a matter of just weeks.
He credits intense dancing sessions with getting him back to full fitness and has now vowed to continue teaching the dance classes he runs for other people.
Dozens of enthusiastic dancers regularly gather for Mike’s classes at Elgin’s town hall which he has run since moving to Moray 12 years ago.
The dancers all move in unison as pensioner Mike calls out the moves to country, jazz and pop hits while dressed in a cowboy outfit.
Pedometers have counted Mike making an impressive 7,200 steps during the hour-long sessions.
Mike, who lives in Elgin, insists he is not prepared to step out of line to put his feet up just yet.
He said: “I’m not quitting while I’ve still got my health and people are interested.
“Four years ago I started to get out of breath while walking back from the town centre and it got worse.
“I got my blood tested and as I was getting the results I collapsed in the doctors‘ office which is probably the best place to collapse.
“I needed to get an operation on arteries near my heart, it was all very scary.
“Although I felt good afterwards I had to take it easy.
“I would say the line dancing has helped me get back fit again though. I could have sat around moping but I wanted to keep my energy up.”
The line dancing stalwart is originally from Norfolk, where he served with Norfolk Police.
Dancers at his Line Up With Mike sessions have praised his heel-tapping high-energy routines.
Although eager to be continuing his moves as he approaches his 80th birthday, Mike insists line dancing should not be seen as just an old man’s game.
He said: “They come from every walk of life but I wish some younger people would come.
“For some reason they don’t seem to go for it, I guess it’s not as interesting as Pokemon.
“It’s good for your health and it gets you thinking about all the moves because you’ve got to be aware of what’s around you. It’s really great both physically and mentally for everyone who comes to it.
“It’s all about having fun though, we always have a great laugh during the classes.”