Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing
Older people dance their way to good health as part of a nationwide initiative.
Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing is an ambitious programme of dance classes and events across the UK aimed at targeting older dancers. From ballet and tap to chair based dance and classic ballroom, the classes cover a multitude of styles for all capabilities.
Dr Anne Hogan, our Director of Education, says: 'We have seen an increasing demand for adult dance classes with a 70 per cent rise in new dancers in the past 12 months. This programme of new classes will open up opportunities to many novices who recognise the health benefits that dance can bring, but who may not have had the chance to try ballet, tap or ballroom before now.'
Our President Darcey Bussell also comments: 'People have forgotten that dance is meant to be part of their lives. Socially, it gets you out and about; physically it’s exercise without too much strain; and it makes you feel great about your body'. Read the full article in The Telegraph.
Throughout April and May, RAD is offering FREE weekly dance classes in the London borough of Wandsworth for over 60s, funded by Wandsworth Lifelong Learning.
- RAD headquarters, Battersea: Friday 7 February – Friday 11 April, 2.45–3.45pm
- Hestia Age Activity Centre, Tooting: Friday 7 February – Friday 11 April, 3.15–4.15pm
- Regenerate Rise, Roehampton: Friday 7 February – Friday 11 April, 2–3pm
- Katherine Low Settlement, Battersea: Wednesday 12 February – Wednesday 16 April, 11.30am – 12.30pm
- 60+ Café, Roehampton: Thursday 27 Feb – Thursday 15 May, 2–3pm (no classes on 17 or 25 due to Easter)
For further information or to register please contact Libby Costello by telephone on 0207 326 8921 or email email@example.com.
Also, available are RAD Adult Associates classes in Birmingham. Following a successful pilot in early 2014, these classes have been extended and they are held at the same time as youth classes to encourage parents to get involved. Classes start on 27 April.
Scheme information and background
Lessons started in January and have been set up in response to a study - funded by the Skills Funding Agency in 2013 and completed by the RAD's Faculty of Education - which highlighted the physical, emotional and social benefits of dance amongst older people ranging from their mid 50s to 100s. The results were published in a report entitled Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing and shared via a conference which took place in April 2013.
The RAD will be publishing a book in the Summer 2014 expanding on the research, sharing real life stories and interviewing dance professional.
Dame Gillian Lynne, Royal Academy of Dance’s vice president, ambassador for this scheme and renowned ballet dancer and choreographer said: 'The RAD’s Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing pilot study showed the positive mental, physical and holistic benefits to be derived from dance. Whether tackling simple ballet steps or creating leg and arm dance routines whilst seated, dance can offer something for everyone at whatever level of fitness.' Dame Gillian Lynne has just released a fitness DVD for oldies – read all about it in The Telegraph and Mail online.
The initial activity included:
- Older adult dance classes in the London borough of Wandsworth which started in November 2013. These classes build upon the Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing pilot scheme and will be continued into 2014. They are funded by Wandsworth Life Long Learning and will be held in Battersea, Roehampton and Putney.
Silver Swans, a legacy of the Genée International Ballet Competition held in Glasgow in September 2013, has been trialled in Northern England and Scotland. Our participants have all expressed a keen interest in continuing their dance classes:
'Thank you - the realisation of a lifetime's ambitions and I am aged 81'
'My first ballet class at 67. Just wonderful!'
Julie Bowers, RAD Regional Manager for Midlands & East of England, and Ilona Johnson-Gibbs, attendee of adult classes (pictured below) were interviewed by BBC West Midlands.
Leo, 83, another lady taking part to our classes said:
'I have been going to a Bone & Balance class organised by the osteoporosis clinic and as a result of coming to dance classes the nurse said she doesn’t think I need to go to the Bone & Balance class anymore as I seem to be getting enough exercise!'
Read what journalist Charlotte Metcalf had to say about one of our classes.
For press enquiries, more information or a copy of the Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing report, or to interview Dr Anne Hogan or Dame Gillian Lynne, contact Becky Short at Midas Public Relations on 020 7361 7860 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In response to the great interest received for our adult classes, the Academy has launched the new Silver Swans™ Teacher Training and Licensing initiative. Experienced dance teachers can now apply to become licensed to teach branded Silver Swans™ adult ballet classes. The first workshops will take place in the summer of 2016. Read more.