This month sees the launch of DANCE ON, a new series of dance classes for older adults in Bradford, Doncaster and Leeds.
Supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England, DANCE ON will see newly-appointed dance artists working with various community groups to set up new classes across the three cities.
Designed to be a fun way to meet new friends, move to music and have a laugh, the sessions are targeting people over the age of 55, and are open to anyone.
Participants don’t need any experience of dance, and it’s possible for people even with limited mobility to take part, either standing or sitting.
Five groups are already meeting regularly in venues across Bradford, seven around Leeds and six in Doncaster. Many more are scheduled to start in the coming weeks.
Dance On is delivered by a partnership of One Dance UK, Yorkshire Dance and darts (Doncaster Community Arts) and funded by Sport England thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. In time, the partnership aims to be running dozens of groups across Yorkshire.
Arlene Phillips CBE – the choreographer, theatre director, television judge and presenter, former dancer and Patron of One Dance UK – is a champion of Dance On. She says, “Dance On is a wonderful dance programme that’s fun and social. Everyone is welcome and the Dance On team will match the moves to your ability. So feel good, keep moving and Dance On!”
Anyone can attend their first Dance On session for free, and admission prices are being kept to a minimum to ensure that they are as accessible as possible, with many offering free places in every session.
Hannah Robertshaw, Programmes Director at Yorkshire Dance, says, “We are delighted to launch Dance On as part of our rapidly expanding programme of work with older adults. We are dedicated to bringing the most artistic and joyful experiences to the communities we work with, and to seeing all the benefits of dance – companionship, fun, exercise and more – blossoming in all our new groups.”
Sport England’s Strategic Lead for Health, Sarah Ruane, said, “Our research shows that you are more likely to become inactive as you get older. But getting older doesn’t have to mean slowing down. Instead it can be a time for change like learning a new skill such as dance.
“Being active can bring about significant benefits and moving more is key to maintaining physical function as you age, even in your 90s.
“Many people just need the right opportunity and support to feel capable to do more activity. That’s why Sport England is investing £10 million of National Lottery funding into over twenty projects – like Dance On – specifically designed to be fun, accessible and well supported.”
Researchers from the University of Leeds are using the classes as a way of measuring, over the course of a year, how much dance can benefit the physical and emotional wellbeing of older adults.
Any venue or organisation interested in setting up a new Dance On group in Leeds or Bradford is invited to contact Adie Nivison at Yorkshire Dance: 0113 243 9867 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To set up a group in Doncaster, contact Amy Knowles: 01302 341 662 or email@example.com
Find out more details of sessions near you: http://dance-on.org/
Sport England is a public body and invests up to £300 million National Lottery and government money each year in projects and programmes that help people get active and play sport.
It wants everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. That’s why a lot of its work is specifically focused on helping people who do no, or very little, physical activity and groups who are typically less active – like women, disabled people and people on lower incomes.
One Dance UK
One Dance UK is the sector support organisation leading the way to a stronger, more vibrant and more diverse dance sector. It presents one clear voice to support, advocate, enhance and give profile to dance in the UK. Its aim is to provide information, resources and opportunities for a workforce that is well-equipped to secure dance’s prominence in the cultural landscape of the future.
Yorkshire Dance champions the development of dance in Yorkshire. It creates opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to see, make and take part in high quality dance that is rooted in their creativity, in their lives and in their communities.
darts (Doncaster Community Arts)
darts is an award-winning team of artists, makers, musicians, performers and support staff who collaborate to design and deliver creative programmes which inspire learning, build good emotional health and strengthen professional practice for people of all ages who live, work or learn in Doncaster. Based at The Point, a friendly and welcoming place which is open to all and where they make and share art, darts has almost 30 years’ experience in Doncaster. Its mission is to create art with people in Doncaster to improve life, learning and health.