Dance to Health – From Improvement to Maintenance
We’ve been delivering Dance to Health with lead partner, arts and health charity Aesop, for over a year now across Oxfordshire, Kent and Warwickshire. Dance to Health combines evidence-based falls prevention techniques with the creativity, expression and energy of dance to empower our older generations to stay fit, healthy and mobile. We enjoyed a really high participant completion rate from our first ‘Improvement’ cycle which introduced members to movements and routines designed to improve strength and flexibility and now we’re moving on to a second phase to help them retain the benefits for years to come. The ‘Maintenance’ cycle looks to do exactly that and not just the physical improvements members have made but all the friendships and regular activities that’s built up over time.
The ultimate objective is to empower groups to be self-sustaining and for the people who have enjoyed being part of the programme to become the energy behind its future. Volunteer opportunities exist across all aspects of the programme from Champions who take on the financial and administrative responsibility of running groups, to Peer Motivators who attend sessions, help with fundraising and provide refreshments to Buddies who are matched with new members and provide physical and emotional support. One of our Peer Motivators Pat Axtell was recognised at the recent Oxfordshire Charity and Volunteer Awards for his participation in local classes where he has encouraged more men to attend and has been a powerhouse behind organising extra-curricular activities such as Christmas lunches and picnic outings.