(c) Andy Wood

Dancing in Time

In May 2013 Yorkshire Dance launched a partnership with the University of Leeds and Leeds Community Health Care focusing on the impact of dance on the health and wellbeing of older adults.

In January 2015, following some research into enablers and barriers for older adults to engage in dance, Dancing into the Third Age was followed by a Yorkshire Dance, Leeds Public Health and University of Leeds partnership project, Dancing In Time.

The project, taking place in three areas across Leeds, aims to provide new dancing activity for older adults who have little access to dance, researching the impact of dance on the health and wellbeing of older adults, especially the impact of their physical activity levels, which is widely accepted as contributing to health and happiness.

A 10 week project has now taken place in Middleton and also in Woodhouse, in partnership with Middleton Elderly Aid and Woodhouse Caring Together. The thirteen adults who took part in the Middleton project were very proud of their achievements.

The group took part in twice weekly sessions creating work which they then showed to a small audience to celebrate how well they had got on. The group loved the project so much that they are continuing to meet, and will carry on working independently with one contemporary dance session per week. The group is also due to perform at the Launch of our Time to Shine project on the 26th September. (Possibly hyperlink to Time To Shine?)

One participant told us, “At first, I didn’t know what to expect, I thought it would just be exercise but it’s nothing like exercising, it’s dancing, which is great and I’ve really enjoyed it. Making friends, meeting other people and just basically having fun.”

Janetta Maxwell, who led the project for Yorkshire Dance, added, “From my point of view I can already see that people have benefitted. One lady has more mobility in her shoulder than she had before, one lady has started to feel muscles that she forgot she had, that are starting to tone up, there’s already an improvement – and an improvement in confidence levels.”

At the end of April the second phase of the project began with ‘Caring Together’ in Woodhouse, and the third phase began in late September 2015.