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dance on for health and happiness

Dance On makes people happier, healthier and more connected

A group of women dancing and smiling

Our Dance On programme for inactive older people is having a big impact. To date, over 200 people have been taking part in fun, social dance in twelve community locations across the borough and at The Point, home of darts.

Dance On is a partnership project with One Dance UK, Yorkshire Dance and researchers at Leeds University, funded by Sport England. We are engaging mainly women who are over 50 and who are doing less than 30 minutes of excercise every week.

The approach is very much about making and nurturing strong community relationships, finding spaces in the heart of neighbourhoods where people feel safe and welcome and then getting our community advocates to spread the word about what’s on offer. The classes are based on enjoyment – whatever people’s level of mobility, they are encouraged to join in and have a laugh. We include everyone – those sitting down, standing up, moving around or rekindling their incredible dance moves from years before.

Participants have told us that engaging in the sessions has had a hugely positive impact both on their health and general happiness:

The music really gets you going!
Gentle Movement that anyone can do.
You can just be yourself in this class.
Beautifully inclusive. So lovely to see everyone happy.

Having the opportunity to work with an academic partner has been hugely beneficial. Researchers at Leeds University are gathering a raft of data and evidence over the project period. So far we can already see that the weekly classes are having a significant impact on physical health – moving people forward from being inactive to moderately active or from moderately active to fairly active. We know, from collecting participant feedback and case studies, that there is also a positive impact on people’s mental health and feelings of connectivity:

I feel much less isolated thanks to joining Dance On.
Dance On makes me feel really good, more alert and happy in myself.
My back is a lot better since I started coming to Dance On and my posture has definitely improved. I also suffer with a knee problem, but the sessions really help relieve the ache.
Before joining Dance On, I hadn’t considered going to a dance session to improve my health. I feel so elated after the sessions, and they give me a fresh start to the day.

We have held a number of Dance On Socials which have proved extremely successful. These events bring our dancers together from across the borough to feel a part of something fun and exciting. One event had a Northern Soul theme and we had a live DJ, decorations and a room full of smiling, happy, dancing people.

All of the current classes are listed here:

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