Yorkshire Dance’s We Danced project, funded through Provident Financial’s Good Neighbour Fund, has achieved media success in recent selection for a national campaign by media company Upworthy*. The short film documenting We Danced was selected as one of 7 national films created as part of Esmee Fairbairn’s Eye Opening Films and has received over 150,000 views, raising awareness of the project and highlighting the strength of developing opportunities for arts interventions in care homes.
We Danced has grown from strength to strength and is currently developing a small scale touring performance to visit care homes in Parson’s Cross, Sheffield. The touring performance, titled Here and Now and created by TC Howard and a company of three professional dancers will focus on creating quirky, idiosyncratic moments which bring together care home residents and primary school children in performance and play.
“Here and Now is a playful, poetic piece of dance theatre full of humour and warmth, mischief and beauty. It is gently interactive, responsive and sensory; inspiring positive connections with life stories, thoughts and feelings past and present. Local primary school children are woven into the action to assist the performers and engage creatively with the residents. The performance is a shared experience between young and old and culminates in a spontaneous exchange of dancing and singing and chat.” TC Howard
The impact of the project to date on residents and primary school pupils has been significant with care home staff and family groups witnessing the joy and release that the sessions bring to residents. Read some of our personal stories from the project below:
June is one of the youngest residents in her late 60s / early 70s (at a guess). She has mobility difficulties and stands /walks only with a frame or the support of two staff. Her enthusiasm for dance and music has always been strong but only when sitting down chatting. Over the course of the project she has built trust with the dance artists and they have been able to persuade her to stand for a dance. This has become more regular and her confidence has grown to the point where she now enjoys a dance holding onto one artist (rather than two staff holding her up). She always says she can’t but ends up joining in and loving it – forgetting her nerves in the dance!
Xander is one of the boys at Mansel who was very self conscious and felt he “couldn’t dance”. Like June, his confidence has grown to the extent that he not only joins in with enthusiasm and joy but offers creative ideas to others and happily performs in front the rest of the school group and the older people. The lead teacher “couldn’t believe he is the same shy boy” when she saw him towards the end of last term.