On Monday 3 June Dance to Health participants, volunteers, dance artists and partners came together at Birmingham Hippodrome for a day of sharing, reflecting and looking to the future at the Dance to Health Conference.
Dance to Health is a pioneering falls-prevention dance programme for older people, devised and managed by Aesop. Find out more about Dance to Health.
The day started off with a mass warm up, on our feet, led by Birmingham dance artists Jennifer Macnamara and Jenny Murphy. This was followed by a wonderful performance from the Ladywood Dance to Health group.
The conference was hosted by writer and broadcaster Vivienne Parry OBE, and delegates were welcomed by Aesop Chief Executive and Founder Tim Joss and Chair of Trustees Professor Kevin Fenton who told us a little about his own love for dance. We also welcomed speakers from Crowdfunder, Birmingham Community Matters, Sheffield Hallam University and creative artist Jeanefer Jean-Charles led two insightful practical sessions for dance artists.
The conference presented the opportunity for strategic partners to share their experiences of being involved with the programme and participants and volunteers came together to feedback on their experiences to date and gave emotional and inspirational feedback on the impact Dance to Health has had on their physical and mental wellbeing. Looking to the future we discussed fundraising and developing sustainable Dance to Health groups in England and Wales.
“Dancing is a healing process….it heals your body and you mind”
“I’ve made lovely new friends….it makes me feel good”
“Our dance artists are inspiring”
The conference ended with Tim Joss unveiling plans for Dance to Health Phase Two, so more people can be part of the Dance to Health family and begin to benefit from this pioneering falls-prevention dance programme. And then, of course, we got on our feet and danced!
Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to the event.