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Dancers in the dark

After tidying up our mess, the cleaning ladies and men of University of Copenhagen take over the basement to dance. The University Post takes a peak at the hip-shaking

The rooms might be low down, but the spirits are high. Two University Post reporters followed cleaning staff down into the basement of the City Campus. Here cleaning ladies and men meet up to dance for an hour every Tuesday and Thursday after work.

The weekly dancing is the initiative of Kanwal Preet. It started just three weeks ago after the release of an investigation concerning health problems made by the cleaners union 3F. The results of the investigation were alarming – every fourth cleaner believes he or she will not be fit for their job in two years.

Fitness at work can change this. A study by the National Research Institute for Working Environment shows that groups of cleaners that received physical training three times a week for 20 minutes had 20 per cent more muscle strength and 16 per cent better co-ordination than at the start of the study. This physical improvement meant that cleaners were more fit for their job, and got more satisfaction from it at the same time.

Strong community is important

Kanwal Preet backs this up: »It is important for us to move – and dancing is fun!«

Dancing is also good for the cleaning community. The workplace livens up as new friends are made.

»We have no time to meet our colleagues while we work – so dancing together gives us a great opportunity to talk, meet new friends and ‘hygge’ together,« Kanwal Preet explains.

University supports initiative

This is important, as the 3F study showed that the cleaning profession at the University of Copenhagen had one of the lowest work satisfactions among employees.

The University of Copenhagen supports the cleaners’ initiative. This means that they can use the campus basement for dancing classes for free.

The atmosphere is informal and the instructor is the always energetic Kanwal Preet, who studied Physical Education in India before she came to Denmark. As we prepare to leave, the room is filled with smiles and sweat.

Sight for the Gods

One of the ladies while takes a needed water break. »A sight for the Gods« jokes .

See our gallery of the dancers here Gallery: The dancing cleaning staff.

Read also article: Cleaning staff fired after outsourcing.

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