Cheshire Dance - Health Projects


Why Dance?

“The extent to which one is grounded in the lived-body experience affects one’s perceptions, understandings and sense of relatedness to the world.” (Coaten & Newman-Bluestein 2013, p.677)

(Video: "Tea Ladies" performance by Cheshire Dance for care home settings in Cheshire East)

Of all the art forms, dance is unique in placing the body and it’s lived experience as the site of exploration and art-making. Therefore, it offers opportunities for all participants to connect to their physical-selves, to discover or rediscover their bodies, to pay attention to sensation and to connect to others throughout this process in a way that no other art form does.

Although Cheshire Dance does not consider dance as a therapy, the art form itself has inherent therapeutic properties which enhance the art form benefits, enabling participants to experience wide ranging health benefits; “In contrast to physiotherapy or exercise based models, dance offers auditory, visual, tactile and somato-sensory stimulation, musical experience, social interaction, emotional perception and interaction, memory and motor learning.” (Scholl, 2013, p.5) Particularly when working with older people with dementia, whose cognitive powers may be diminishing, dance offers an opportunity to connect with individuals through a physical, lived body experience, irrespective of their ability to communicate verbally.


In THIS Moment - Dance and Dementia Programme

Introduction to In THIS Moment - Dance and Dementia Programme

The project is going from strength to strength, led from the outset by Cheshire Dance's lead artist Jody Morgan.

Started in 2016 in Leighton Hospital, the programme has expanded out across a range of community and care settings in Cheshire East. It now includes regular community sessions, CPD for artists and care staff, interactive performance commissions and a whole heap of advocacy work.

Community Sessions

Cheshire Dance now supports six, regular, open access communtiy dance sessions for older adults across Cheshire East - Crewe, Poynton, Congleton and Macclesfield. These sessions are particularly welcoming of people living with dementia, their partners, family and carers. More info here

Continuing Professional Development

Continuing professional development for artists and care staff has been a key element throughout the programme. Cheshire Dance has hosted many CPD opportunities including with Fergus Early, Miranda Tufnell/Filipa Pereira Stubbs and Lisa Dowler from the Small Things Collective

Interactive performance is another key strand. Following the launch of the Fabulous 'Tea Ladies' commission, celebration events are planned for September aligning with World Alzheimers Day on September 21st 2019 and again in February 2020.

More and more people are living with dementia and the pills dont do anything. Help us to make a difference by donating £5

In THIS Moment is a Cheshire Dance project commissioned by Cheshire East Council (Cutlure and Public Health) and part of Cheshire Dance's wider programme as a National Portfolio Organisation across Cheshire, supported by Arts Council Enlgand.

Tea Ladies Performance Tour

Tea Ladies’ is an uplifting dance performance created especially for people in care settings. This fun, quirky duet sees our two ‘tea ladies’ going on their daily tea round – encountering each other, residents and staff, telling their stories and having some fun along the way.

Combining watching dance with opportunities for residents to join in and move together, this performance enables dance to permeate and illuminate the care settings it visits, re-imagining the spaces and co-creating joyous moments with those resident there.

This performance is accompanied by live music and song from classically trained cellist and Brazilian music expert Mika de Oliveria (Art Brasil).

Advocacy for dance and dementia

Check out the leaflet, all about Dance and Dementia and download the pdf. Feel free to share across your networks.

Please donate to help people living with dementia lead more active and social lives through dance.

if you're interested in this programme, contact jody via, 01606 861770

From 2016 to 2018

Jody began the programme as artist in residence at Leighton Hospital. Regular sessions, interactive performance, CPD and advocacy work began here and soon spread out across the community. To find out more about the Leighton Hospital programme click here.

Dance to Health

Following a succesful pilot project in 2015/2016, a National phase 1 roll-out which includes Cheshire is about to get underway. Dance to Health is a Nationally significant project lead by AESOP that combines the creativity and social aspects of dance with the proven health benefits of physiotherapy to reduce falls amongst older people by up to 55%.

Cheshire East Council, Aesop’s regional Health Partner, is supporting the roll out of the programme; Cheshire East Council cabinet member for health Liz Wardlaw said -
‘Dance to Health is an exciting addition to Cheshire East’s falls prevention commitment and I am happy to see it rolled out across the borough.
An innovative and diverse delivery of healthy living initiatives is at the core of the borough’s ‘Live Well’ campaign. We, and our health partners, must do all we can to encourage initiatives around falls prevention and help to keep older people out of hospital. I am delighted to support this fun activity that offers such valuable health benefits. This programme sits within our ‘One You’ Cheshire East integrated lifestyles service, which aims to help people live well and for longer’.

To learn more about this ground-breaking project. Read on....

To read the Pilot Evaluation project go to


Bespoke Projects

Cheshire Dance works with partners to devise bespoke projects with your specific needs in mind. Please contact Adam Holloway on 01606 861770 to discuss a project you'd be interesting in developing with us.

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