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Coronavirus & Cheshire Dance



Face To Face Classes are Back!

In-person classes are now starting to return to Cheshire Dance and will complement our virtual sessions. Click here to find out more or see our open classes on Facebook Events.

You can also find Pre-Recorded Activities for older adults and those living with disabilities to follow at home on our YouTube Channel.

Educational facilities that wish to ensure that the art form still forms an integral part of pupils’ education can visit our Dance & Education in Schools During COVID-19 page.




* Offer for Schools *

This spring, thanks to the #CulturalRecoveryFund, Cheshire Dance will be offering 8 heavily subsidised “Connect, Move, Learn” Schools Packages.

Limited to just May and June, this offer will include... a bespoke session for one year group, a CPD wellbeing workshop for staff and a Senior Leader’s meeting to provide guidance on embedding the art form into student’s learning going forwards.

Find out more here or contact to discuss this opportunity.





Cheshire Dance Awarded £75,000 from Second Round of the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund

Cheshire Dance is among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery with a £75,000 grant to help the organisation recover and transition towards a new to normal in the months ahead.

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. For Cheshire Dance, this grant will go a long way to ensuring its three key groups of young people, older adults and those with disabilities – including Profound Intellectual and Multiple Disabilities – once again have unrestricted access to the art form.

Throughout the pandemic the organisation has been a frontline service that has been highly valued by the communities that it supports. Despite lockdown restrictions and periods with social distancing – and despite the absence of its live programme – between 2020 and 2021 Cheshire Dance was still able to deliver 10,713 community participation experiences through 1,300 creative sessions, largely online. Over 90% of its dance experiences during the COVID-crisis targeted vulnerable groups in the community – particularly those facing inequalities and/or with Protected Characteristics.  

With this grant Cheshire Dance will focus on re-engaging its participants and audiences and will relaunch its community programme safely and effectively to ensure everyone everywhere once again has access to dance.

In the same manner, the organisation will continue to support the freelance artists that deliver its extensive programme in communities and who have felt the full force of the pandemic on their income.

Adam Holloway, Director of Cheshire Dance, said: “With investment through the Cultural Recovery Fund, we are #HereForCulture. It means as soon as restrictions allow, we will be welcoming back our dancing communities to face-to-face sessions.  As always, we will do this safely and with particular regard to those who face inequalities in their everyday lives as this is of critical importance to the whole team and Board at Cheshire Dance.

“Furthermore, this fund also means that we can invest in the artists whose role in society we champion and who are #NeverMoreNeeded. To all the many hundreds of dancers connected to Cheshire Dance, see you soon!”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said: “Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work. 

We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, commented: “Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced.

“Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors - helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead."


The funding awarded in April is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute. 





A Year in A Pandemic - Our Covid Response

Here's how we responded to the pandemic with more than 90% of our sessions targeted at vulnerable communities:



Despite lockdown restrictions and periods with social distancing, between 2020 and 2021 Cheshire Dance was able to deliver 10,713 creative participation experiences through 1,300 creative sessions. In terms of support, training and practise sharing for artists, Cheshire Dance enabled 6,750 development participation experiences over an additional 319 sessions.

These figures highlight that the Cheshire Dance programme has been a frontline service during the pandemic, which has been highly valued by the communities that it supports – particularly amongst those facing inequalities and/or with Protected Characteristics.

Despite restrictions over the past year, Cheshire Dance still successfully delivered some 68% of sessions and achieved 45% creative participation in comparison with the period 2019-2020. At Cheshire Dance we are immensely proud of all those involved in making this happen - and of our participants, who have "danced with us at a distance" for the past 365 days.


For a greater insight into how Cheshire Dance has responded to the pandemic - and to view feedback from our participants, funders and friends, please view this edition of WildFire.



Communications Update: February 2021

Read the latest news in our February edition of Wildfire here.



Update: January 2021

Cheshire Dance kicks off the New Year with a new session. Starting 19th January on ZOOM... Moving Matters – A FREE Online Wellbeing Workshop every Tuesday at 10.30am.

Discover new ways to relax, breathe, move and express yourself. Join Cheshire Dance for a FREE online session that will give you the space and time for you to just be YOU. Everybody welcome, simply email for a ZOOM link or visit the Facebook Event.

This session is brought to you by The Bubble from Healthbox Cic in Partnership with Cheshire Dance.


Take a look at what our Moving Matters workshops are like in this video.

Read the latest news in our Christmas edition of Wildfire here.



Update: December 16th 2020

As our team starts to wind down for Christmas, we wanted to share with you a little insight into what we’ve been up to over the last year or so. So much goes on behind the scenes that sometimes we have to pause to reflect and take stock of our achievements – especially this year, during which we’ve all been so busy battling the pandemic that we’ve had little time to consider just how many people have continued to dance with us despite the challenges.

The numbers make us smile.

Thank you ALL for dancing with us this year - and thank you to our supporters, funders, partners, Board and friends.




Latest Update: November 2nd 2020

Following the announcement on October 31st that a lockdown will resume from Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December, Cheshire Dance regrets that face-to-face classes will be paused until further notice.

Sessions will once again be delivered online via the platform Zoom. Please visit Our Virtual Classes page for more information or contact us at for details and guidance.



Update: October 2020

Moving Moments - Age Proud Month

"International Older Persons Day" took place on October 1st 2020; but throughout the whole month, Cheshire Dance has been celebrating and championing older adults in our community with its project, 'Moving Moments- an initiative to ensure that older people keep active, healthy and of course, keep on dancing.

From hosting a free taster virtual dance session on 21st Oct for active older adults for "Get Online Day" (Cheshire West and Chester Libraries), to creative movement sessions for carers in conjunction with Cheshire and Warrington Carers Trust, and pre-recorded seated and standing dance activities for older adults, Cheshire Dance is spending 'Age Proud Month'  highlighting the important contributions that older people make to our society and working to ensure that as many older adults as possible have access to dance.


For this "Moving Moments" initiative, Cheshire Dance has also come together with a local artist, Rachel Almond, to create five beautifully designed prints to inspire and encourage older adults in Cheshire West to stay active. In an A5 format, these specially commissioned "Moving Moments at Home" watercolours feature tasks and activities on the reverse to encourage people to integrate movement and dance into their daily lives.

With thanks to funding from Sport England and support from Cheshire West and Chester Council, Age Friendly Lache and Sanctuary Housing, at the end of October 100 older residents will receive these prints. We hope that they will be displayed in homes as a reminder to keep on moving for enhanced health and well-being.

Discover more here.



Update: October 2020

Participants Share Their Stories

Throughout the pandemic, whilst Cheshire Dance has been unable to deliver face-to-face classes it has successfully adapted its practices to ensure that its participants can keep on dancing. Back in March it created a virtual dancing community, taking 10 classes online. Six months later, it asked participants how they felt about dancing online with Cheshire Dance. We asked if dance was of any benefit during lock down and if the artform had enhanced their mental and physical well being during the pandemic. 

Without a doubt, it's clear that dancing with us has become a staple in their lives, bringing structure to their weeks and improving their emotional responses to this very difficult situation. Many of these participants had never danced before and yet have since come to rely on our weekly sessions. 

This video is their story.



Update: August 2020

CHALK! Activity Packs

During the week beginning August 10th, 150 families in Lache and Frodsham received our CHALK! Activity Packs. Specially designed by Dance Artist Emily O'Shea, these packs contain ten different activities for children and their families. All activities inspire imagination, outdoor play, drawing, writing… and, of course, dancing!

Cheshire Dance is delighted to have worked with Emily as a commissioner of these special packs, which have been funded by The Westminster Foundation and Cheshire West and Chester Council through the COVID-19 Community Response fund.

Emily will also be encouraging everyone to send in images and videos of those exploring the activities at home, which will be transformed into a special CHALK! Film to celebrate the creativity of families during this unique summer period.

View more here.



PRESS RELEASE: 15th July 2020

Cheshire Dance has helped to keep us healthy and connected throughout lockdown


 “It’s been a life saver, really. Cheshire Dance has been with me every step of the way through lockdown and I want you to know that my family and I really appreciate it. You made isolating at home that bit easier and gave me regular opportunities to stay active and in-touch with others.”

From Chester and Ellesmere Port in the West, from Northwich to Winsford and from Macclesfield to Congleton and Crewe in the East – as well as many villages in between – Cheshire Dance has always taken its work into local communities. But with the arrival of the pandemic and the UK’s subsequent lockdown in March, it was suddenly unable to deliver face-to-face community classes for the foreseeable future.

From the outset, Cheshire Dance winner of the 2019 One Dance UK "Dance Healthcare Practitioner Award" – vowed to keep communities connected despite social distancing measures. Three months on, having transitioned from face-to-face activity to a virtual community, it celebrates that people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities (including many groups identified by their protected characteristics) have continued to dance together.

Through its initiative: “Keep Active. Keep Social. Keep Healthy. Keep Dancing with Cheshire Dance!” the organisation delivered more than 720 ‘virtual dance meet-ups’ by the end of June. This included 12 previously existing weekly classes, as well as new live and interactive sessions, virtual training and industry-connecting discussions.

Director Adam Holloway explains: “Enabling access to dance and the dance profession underpins all of our work and as usual, large numbers of people have been engaging even in lockdown.  At a time when we all had to focus on those things most vital to us, we have seen many people choose dance to help keep them active and creative.”

In all, Cheshire Dance has supported over 5,800 online attendances and video content has been streamed a further 2,000 times. The sessions have brought together groups of young people, older adults, people living with dementia and people with disabilities, alongside training groups of independent artists and industry debates with colleagues in other organisations via Dance Consortia North West. It has given so many people the opportunity to enjoy a dedicated space where they can focus on all aspects relating to dance engagement, practice and resilience.

Other steps taken to ensure that everyone everywhere during lockdown has been able to access and enjoy the benefits of ‘dancing at home’ (including older adults in care facilities and individuals with complex needs) have included the creation of pre-recorded activities and specially-created home resources.

Following the relaunch of its YouTube Channel this April with newly released content to meet the needs of diverse audience types, its playlists for older adults and for those with learning disabilities have achieved 24.2K impressions and 2K views over a watch time of 53 hours. This audience has largely comprised of female viewers between the ages of 45 and 64 who have returned on average x2.5 times to repeat the recorded activities.

Other initiatives currently taking place within the organisation include the creation of ‘Dancing at Home Resource Packs’ for people with learning disabilities and autism – thanks to support from the Vivo Care Choices Community Fund – and an Educational Resource Pack for schools working with Key Stages 1 and 2 children.

Creative Director Jane McLean adds: “Dance has been so important for so many of our participants. Parents have considered our sessions ‘a lifeline’ both for themselves and their children, and our older adults are in firm agreement that the live and interactive classes with their regular groups have helped them to feel less lonely and more motivated whilst remaining alone at home.

"It has been clear that the community has felt connected and together through dance during this very difficult time. Cheshire Dance is delighted to have played a role in keeping the community active, healthy, social and, of course, dancing.”  


For more information on Cheshire Dance's Virtual Classes, please click here



It’s clear that in these difficult times dancing is good for the heart, the mind and the soul, and we’re delighted that we can keep delivering opportunities to dance with the support of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Arts Council England and others.

Partnership working behind the scenes is so important in supporting engagement - particularly amongst the most vulnerable groups.  For decision-makers and those responsible for investing scarce funds in recovery and response, Cheshire Dance is a long-trusted partner of many organisations and a frontline service in tackling the effects and impact of the pandemic on our society. 

So often hidden, the benefits of dancing together are clear. At present the need is so great and there is little doubt that the participatory arts are immensely cost effective.



Update: 7th July 2020

Dance and Education During COVID-19

At Cheshire Dance we work with schools across the borough to enrich the learning and lives of young people through dance.  Our approach is inclusive and person-centred and our artists are passionate about delivering creative interventions that champion the health & wellbeing of students.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst Cheshire Dance has suspended the delivery of classes in schools, the team still remains committed to keeping young people dancing.

Not only is it running weekly live and interact ONLINE CLASSES, but to ensure the art form still forms an integral part pupils’ home education, it has created Dance Learning Resource Packs for KS1 and KS2.

A *NEW Education Offer* has also been put in place to enable schools to continue to integrate Dance into their curriculum with Cheshire Dance in a safe and effective manner. Find out more by clicking here.



News Update: 12th May 2020

A Message to Participants and Artists of Cheshire Dance:

It’s fantastic to see you still dancing with us at a distance. Whilst this may feel somewhat different to dancing in a face-to-face group, we hope our new virtual classes are helping you to stay active, connected, uplifted and creative. So many of you expressed a need to keep on dancing through these times and our dance artists were delighted to witness just how beneficial the virtual classes have been. Thank you for all the positive energy you bring that helps make Cheshire Dance’s dancing community so valuable to so many!

Since Cheshire Dance transitioned to online sessions at the start of the lockdown, there has been no fee for participants to join us on Zoom in this trial period. During these strange times, ensuring everyone continued to dance TOGETHER has been our main priority – and it very much still IS. 

However, the reality is that Cheshire Dance is a small, charitable organisation that needs to keep running to support YOU – our community of dance lovers, participants and dance artists – both now and in the future.  For this reason, from 1st June our online classes will now be charged at their usual rate.

Information on how you can pay for your sessions will be shared with you shortly, but will include options to pay via PayPal, online banking or Debit/Credit Card. Instructions on payment methods can be found here. As I’m sure you’ve guessed handing over cash isn’t an option at present, so we’ll do what we can to make it as easy as possible.

It goes without saying that dance is for EVERYONE and ensuring that the whole community has access to this incredible art form will always be our top priority. After all, dance is not just for enhancing physical health.  As we can see during this lockdown, it is a powerful way to boost positive mental health, uplift spirits and feel connected to others. With this in mind, if you find yourself in financial hardship and feel impacted by this cost, please do speak with us. You can either approach your dance artist or email the team at

Very Best Wishes,


Your Cheshire Dance Team


News Update: 24th April 2020

Despite COVID-19, We're Still Dancing!

Whilst Cheshire Dance has suspended all face-to-face classes and sessions, it is now delivering a selection of sessions online. To date, 10 live and interactive virtual classes have been launched and pre-recorded activities for older people and those living with disabilities are now available to follow at home on YouTube. Our new virtual dancing community can be found by clicking on the images below.




How Can You Help During This Challenging Time?

Times are tough in the world - and the dance sector is no different. But at Cheshire Dance we believe in our team and in supporting our freelancers. With this in mind, we have created a Donations Fund to not only allow us to push through these challenging times, but to continue to support our freelance dance artists that lead YOUR classes. If you would like to help us to do this, please Text CHES001 to 70970 to donate £5. Alternatively, please"Donate As You Feel" here.




To get in touch with the team, you can still email us at: or interact with us on Facebook.




Coronavirus News: 16th March 2020

Cheshire Dance has taken the decision to suspend all classes and sessions with immediate effect (16th March).

Working right across the community and in particular with certain groups that are at high risk of contracting Coronavirus – and given just how fast the virus is spreading and the extent that our dance team works in many different communities – we feel that we have a responsibility to our participants, artists and the wider public to take this step now.

We very much hope this situation doesn’t remain like this for too long and hope we can resume our activities in the not too distant future.

Please do keep an eye on for updates.

Please note: the Cheshire Dance team is now working virtually. Whilst we will be unable to answer our main phone line, you can still contact us via or email. For general enquiries, please message:

With warm wishes,


The Cheshire Dance Team











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