Health and Wellbeing

English National Ballet’s Dance, Health and Wellbeing programme encompasses regular weekly classes for people with Parkinson's , Dance for Dementia in Westminster Dementia Day Care Hubs and Dance for Health which engages older people in high quality dance activities and extends performance opportunities to older people throughout the year.

This June, we presented our Dance for Parkinson’s programme as part of the Culture, Health and Wellbeing International Conference in Bristol, attended by 350 delegates from 22 countries worldwide. Read More

Our dance programme for older people and for people with Dementia primarily focusses on enjoying artistic and creative dance activities. Weekly dance classes in accessible arts centres and day care settings enhance participants’ day-to-day quality of life, and improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing through creative expression.

Regular participation in high quality dance and music activities helps to reduce isolation. Participants develop social networks and personal relationships through engagement with cultural activities and attending performances and special events with English National Ballet.

Our Dance for Dementia work continues this term with Housing 21 Westminster Day Centres. We are also pleased to begin a new series of classes with Kensington and Chelsea’s older people forum. Our Dance for Dementia classes provide older people in regular day care with the chance to engage in a creative and stimulating art form, which can have a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing at all stages of Dementia.

Arts 4 Dementia Workshops
This season we are working in partnership with Arts 4 Dementia , to deliver dance sessions that inspire and re-energise people with dementia, their carers and family members through dance.

“Arts 4 Dementia is a new charity helping to develop and co-ordinate high-quality intergenerational arts opportunities for people living with dementia in the community, stimulating brain activity and bringing inspirational relief from anxiety and confusion, for them, their families and carers”

The dance sessions, led by specialist dance artists from English National Ballet, connect participants to company repertoire and provide a creative outlet for artistic engagement with dance and music. Each session will guide the participants through the story of English National Ballet’s Nutcracker exploring themes and characters from the ballet to live musical accompaniment. The final class will include an open sharing giving you the chance to invite friends and family to join in and watch what you have achieved throughout the weekly sessions. Refreshments will be provided at the end of the class each week, giving you time to share experiences, socialise and connect with like-minded people.

In addition, we are offing participants an exclusive behind-the-scenes day at the London Coliseum with presentations from members of Wardrobe and Orchestra, a chance to glimpse the sparkling costumes and observe the dancers in their class on stage. This special insight is followed by a performance of English National Ballet’s Nutcracker, giving context to the music and choreography that participants have learned in the weekly classes.

Workshops will take place from October to December 2014. For more information or to book your place contact Hayley Ovens at Arts 4 Dementia by Friday 3 October 2014
Phone: 020 8780 5217

Court Whispering
In April 2014 we were pleased to work in collaboration with Open Age Westminster on a partnership project with Historic Royal Palaces . Dancers from our regular Westminster Dance for Health sessions (run in collaboration with Open Age), worked with professionals from English National Ballet to create a piece inspired by their interpretation of the life of the Georgians. 

The final piece Court Whispering was created for the magnificent surroundings of Banqueting House and performed at a unique performance event on Wednesday 16 April. 

Court Whispering was performed again at Sadler’s Wells Elixir Festival by dancers from English National Ballet’s Open Age group this September. Elixir Festival was a four-day festival, celebrating lifelong creativity and the contribution of older artists.

More information can be found on the Court Whispering project page .

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