Yorkshire Dance Launches New Dance Classes For Over-55’s In Holbeck, Belle Isle & Holt Park

Everyone aged 55 and over is invited to join one of three free dance classes being launched in Leeds.

Yorkshire Dance, the dance development organisation for the Yorkshire region, is adding to its already impressive range of activities for older adults with new classes in Holbeck, Belle Isle and Holt Park.

Holbeck, St Matthew’s Community Centre, St Matthew’s Street

Tuesdays and Fridays, 1.30pm – 3.00pm

(from Tue 30 Jan)

Belle Isle, St John & St Barnabas Church, Belle Isle Road

Wednesdays and Fridays, 10.30am – 12.00 noon

(from Wed 14 Feb)

Holt Park, Welcome In Community Centre, Bedford Drive

Mondays and Wednesdays, 1.15pm – 3.00pm

(from Mon 5 Mar)

These new Dancing in Time classes are funded by Public Health and co-created in partnership with University of Leeds and Leeds Community Health Care, and are part of an ongoing study into the impact of dance on the health and wellbeing of older adults.

Each class will run for ten weeks, with participants attending twice each week. They are designed to be gentle, lots of fun and very good for people’s health. Participants don’t need to have any previous experience of dance, and Yorkshire Dance is keen to stress that it welcomes people of every shape and size.

A spokesperson from Yorkshire Dance also promises, “plenty of free tea, biscuits and chat.”

The classes are particularly suitable for people who are recovering from a fall, or who are concerned that they might experience a fall, and will give participants new confidence and stability.

Yorkshire Dance has been working with researchers from Sport and Exercise Sciences at University of Leeds’, Public Health Leeds City Council  and with Leeds Community Health Care since 2013, studying the impact of dance on the health and wellbeing of older adults, and a research paper was published by University of Leeds in June 2016.

The new Dancing in Time classes will allow the researchers to develop their existing research and add a wealth of new data to their studies.

Adie Nivison, Project Manager at Yorkshire Dance, says, “We’re really delighted to be able to re-launch Dancing in Time in these three new locations. And I’d want to reassure potential participants that they don’t need to worry if they haven’t danced before, if they feel overweight, if they’re recovering from an illness or if they’ve no one to come with. The dance activity is designed to be easy for everyone, and we’re going to create a really inclusive, friendly atmosphere where everyone’s genuinely very welcome.”

Richard Porter, Health Improvement Specialist at Leeds City Council, says, “It’s an exciting time for the partnership because we’re striving to Make Leeds the Best City to Grow Old In, and one way we can to do this is by simply getting ‘active’. The number of people who are active drops from the age of 55 above. Although it’s feasible dance is a great way to become active and benefit from reducing risk or managing existing health conditions. All it requires is having the opportunity to participate, so give it ago and get involved.”

Sarah Astill, Lecturer in Motor Control at University of Leeds, adds, “The research project we’re working on aims to find out how dancing can help older people in Leeds stay active, and whether it helps improve balance, mood and self esteem, and ultimately enable older adults to enjoy better health and overall wellbeing.  So far our study with other Dancing in Time groups in the city has proved very worthwhile so we’re looking to generate more data.  Being part of the research is totally voluntary, you can still attend the classes without taking part in the research if you don’t want to.”

Places in the Dancing in Time classes are free, and there’s no need to book in advance. If you’d like to know more about the classes, please contact Adie Nivison at Yorkshire Dance on 0113 243 9867 or adienivison@yorkshiredance.com

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