Keep Dancing in Later Life!
This week, we started our first project in partnership with Age Uk Bexley. Age UK wanted to set up a Dance Class for people in Bexleyheath. I have a passion for dance and previous experience, so I was delighted to create a new class.
I attended the People Dancing Summer School 2018 and am a full member of the organisation as well as a Physiotherapist.
We run Fit Move, a dance inspired class on a Friday 1.15-2.15 Geddes Place, Bexleyheath
I have devised a class structure linking my physiotherapy skills with my love of creative choreography and free movement and expression. I was particularly fortunate in the timing of the People Dancing summer school 2018 where I took class with Diane Amans. Diane is an independent dance artist, community dance facilitator and author. She has a wealth of experience in running dance workshops and classes for older people. Reflecting on our session enabled me to create some aims for my classes and further reinforced my vision for bringing dance and physiotherapy together.
It is very early days and we have only had one session but feedback from the session was very positive. These are the types of comments we had at the end of the session:
"I've not seen mum turn in a circle in the middle of the room like that for a very long time"
"My GP told me to do more exercise. I asked him where could I exercise, which I would enjoy? He suggested to contact AgeUK, I was pleased to see dancing was an option, so I though I would give it a go."
"I didn't think my husband would join in but it was lovely to see his toes tapping and I'm pleased to do an activity to keep him mobile."
AgeUK Mobility in 2017 wrote about the benefit of dance in later life after attending the People Dancing summer school
One Yorkshire project they discuss appears to have had some good evidence for improving balance.
"Yorkshire Dance’s ‘Dancing in Time’ project commissioned by Leeds Public Health in partnership with University of Leeds.
“The ‘Dancing in Time’ team worked with three groups of older adults in different areas of Leeds for ten weeks, running two 90-minute sessions per week in each location. As well as decreasing their number of hours per week spent sitting and increasing their hours engaged in moderate or hard physical activity, ‘Dancing in Time’ generated solid statistical evidence. Participants improved their mobility and balance and became increasingly confident in their ability to undertake tasks without feeling that they might fall."
Photographer: Rachel Cherry, People Dancing – Summer School 2017
We aim to review our class in 12 weeks in a view to understand any changes in quality of life and life impact.