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)

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 Project

The Dance and Dementia project is in full swing, and a Cheshire Dance Dance Artist is spending one day a week as artist-in-residence on a ward at Leighton Hospital in Crewe. A days training has been given to the Royal Volunteering Service so that they can continue to support bedside movement as part of their regular visits around the wards.

To find out more about the hospital sessions click here

To find out more about community sessions in Crewe 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 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%.

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

To read the Pilot Evaluation project go to


In THIS Moment


Due to the enthusiasm of the residents of Beechmere Residential Care Centre and their willingness to want to continue dancing we have secured funding from the Austin Hope Pilkington Fund and the Cheshire East Give Back Fund, this ensures that we can continue the great work.

Underwood West Primary School have now joined us on this Intergenerational Project and we are celebrating on the 15th July 2015. For more information click here


In THIS Moment

January 2013 - October 2014

A Dance and Health Project Celebrating the youthfulness of older and younger people.

Images from the celebration day at Beechmere can be found here and further images of the wokshops at both Sable Cottage and Beechmere can be found here.

Three films were also made. Find them on our you tube channel and look for 'In THIS Moment', 'Sable Cottage' and Beechmere'.


Background to the project

In THIS Moment is a cross-generational dance project that aims to develop and push the boundaries of high quality art provision for older people.

Through care support training, movement sessions and collaboration with primary schools, we aim to progress healthy, creative and social outcomes in THIS moment, amongst young and older people.

Sessions in the care settings have been running for over a year now and we have had so much fun. Combined sessions with the schools started in January and it has been wonderful to watch the generations interact and learn from each other.

There is a wealth of Continuing Professional Development sessions available through this project. They are open to dance artists, care staff and teachers. Get in touch to find out more. See contact details below.

Join the celebration events at each centre. See what the groups have been up to and watch the premieres of 2 new dance films. Get in touch to find out more. See contact details below. Places strictly limited.

We've had some very interesting enquiries from Housing Associations and Care organisations about arranging additional dance and movement sessions for older people in their settings. If you want to talk to us about setting something up, please get in touch.

Contact Jane Atherton on 01606 861770,

Cheshire Dance is grateful to the following organisations for investing in and supporting In THIS Moment:-

Dosage (Dance and Family Health programme)

Ellesmere Port Dosage
The pilot involved CPD for a group of 15 dance practitioners as well as the start of a long term partnership with a 7 family groups (23 people).

It all took place at Trafford Hall (National Tenants Resource Centre), just outside Chester 20-25th July 2010. Specialist dance practitioners and specialists in health and nutrition worked with the groups with the aim of supporting the families to lead healthier lives.

A full report, following this initial stage of the pilot, including publication of a model that can be rolled out to other areas is about to be realeased. For a copy, please get in touch.

Warrington Dosage
The 2nd Dosage project has been initiated, supporting artists connected to Warrington as well as families seeking to improve their health through dance. Contact us for more info. 01606 861770.

Let's Dance with Change4Life

Subscribe to the Lets Dance YouTube channel here. Download the Let's Dance Local Supporters Guide. Also, visit Official Let's Dance website and why not come along to one of our Dance Classes.

'Helping you get families and children up and about dancing.'


Local MP, Stephen O'Brien joins in a Cheshire Dance class


Healthy lifestyles
An issue of growing importance in this country. All Cheshire Danec activities have broad physical and mental health benefits whilst some are designed specifically around identified health needs, including training and participatory activities with people with disabilities, older people, and teenage mums to name but a few. In a recent study conducted by the Local Authority, Cheshire Dance was highlighted as a key organisation in the delivery of its healthy living and quality of life remit.

"At first I was a bit nervous meeting people but as soon as we started dancing, everything became much more comfortable."


HMP Styal
A partnership project with women at HMP Styal involving annual performance projects, regular dance sessions and advocacy for a permanent space and programme with a population that have significant mental health and learning needs. This project is also linked to other activities in the community to help support individuals integrate back into the communities where they live.

"I was pure angry over the weekend, and I took it out on my dance, instead of lashing out at someone or screaming. I was just totally focussed and took it out on the dance, it was brilliant."


"Our funding of this sort of initiative, goes the heart of what a Local Authority is for. I very much doubt whether many of those I saw perform received much in the way of nurture during their childhood years. Our role is to do what nobody else will do - to discriminate positively in favour of the dispossessed and disadvantaged in our communities. "

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.

Design By Balance