Our commitment to lifelong learning and to providing high quality, workplace-relevant CPD came together in an innovative project this year, supported by a grant from the Community Learning Innovation Fund.
The project provided opportunities for older adults, who would not normally get an opportunity to dance, to participate in tailored classes. We believe that dance is not just for children and young adults, and that people of all ages can enjoy, and benefit from, participation. Our oldest learner on the project was 102, showing that dance can form a part of lifelong learning, from infancy through to very old age.
An integral element of the project was the provision of training and mentoring for the six teachers who volunteered hours of their time to lead the specialist classes. Our project teachers took part in an intensive two-day seminar on dance practice with older learners. Once they were on placement they received regular mentoring visits from Faculty of Education staff. Following eight months of regular practice, reflection, and study on working with older learners, our project teachers are now able to deliver CPD on this topic and to further contribute to workforce development in this rapidly growing area of work.
Alongside the provision of lifelong learning for seniors and CPD for dance teachers, this project also engaged in research to explore the benefits of dance for older learners and to prepare guidance on best practices for dance teachers. The outcomes of this research are shared in the Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing Project Report .