Dance On/Dance Activator Programme
- Start date: June 2018
- End date: May 2020
- Partners and collaborators:
Funder: Sport England
Partner: One Dance UK, Yorkshire Dance and Doncaster Community Arts
- Primary investigator: Dr Sarah Astill
- Co-investigators: Dr Silviya Nikolova, Dr Laura Britten
Dance On is a new initiative that will create community dance programmes across Bradford, Leeds and Doncaster to engage inactive older people and improve their health and wellbeing. Dance On is funded by Sport England and One Dance UK is working with Yorkshire Dance and DARTS (Doncaster Community Arts) to establish at least 30 new dance groups in disadvantaged areas over the next two years. The sessions will provide physical activity for people 55+ years “disguised” in fun, social dance activity.
The sessions will be open to all and will be adapted to welcome people with limited mobility or who may be living with health conditions. Dance Development Artists will build links to communities and work with Health and Social Care partners to reach out and engage older people who may be socially isolated or inactive. The aim is to create a programme that is sustainable in the long term with participants contributing to cost and volunteer support. The University of Leeds will carry out detailed research on the programme to build on existing evidence, which shows that dancing can improve mobility, prevent falls and enhance mental wellbeing and brain function. The Dance On programme can also potentially make cost savings for Health and Social Care, which will be investigated through a Health Economics study.