Dancing East is English National Ballet’s programme of creative ballet classes for older people.

Launched in 2017, weekly dance classes are delivered through LinkAge Plus, a free service for anyone over the age of 50 living in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The service aims to help older people achieve a better quality of life, improve their physical and mental well-being and overcome social isolation through the provision of activities and an outreach service.

Classes are being delivered in person from June 2021 at three community centres in east London; Neighbours in Poplar, Peabody Sundial Centre and St Hilda’s Sonali Gardens.

What to expect?

You will receive a warm welcome at all our Dancing East centres. Enjoy live music and performance repertoire-inspired creative dance sessions led by our experienced Associate Artists. Explore works by celebrated choreographers from Akram Khan to Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and the classical repertoire including Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet and Nutcracker. You will also have the opportunity to attend an English National Ballet performance in London.

Why dance?

Ballet has many health and well-being benefits. As a form of exercise, ballet builds strength, improves posture, balance, coordination and flexibility, thereby increasing mobility and improving spatial awareness to reduce the risk of falls. Learning combinations of movements develops mental agility and improves concentration and memory. As a stress reliever, Dancing East is a social, artistic and celebratory activity that improves our mental well-being.

To find out how to join a Dancing East class, please contact one of the listed community centres via LinkAge Plus.

Learn more about Dancing East by tuning in to Episode 2 of Link Age Let’s Talk – the Link Age Plus podcast. Laura Harvey Head of Creative Programmes here at English National Ballet, explains the programme’s artistic, community and wellbeing-focused aims, the many benefits of dance, and what a Dancing East session looks like week to week. You’ll also hear from John Sadaful, a long-time Dancing East participant, about his experiences being a part of the programme! Listen now.

“I never want to miss a class; I cancel other things to make sure I can be there.”
Dancing East Participant
“We love the arts; it is so wonderful to be able to participate. It is nice to be in the audience but so different to be part of it. Who would have thought it, dancing at my age!”
Dancing East Participant
“The dance/movement classes run by ENB are hugely popular due to the incredibly high standard of teaching which caters for the individual needs of each participant.”
Outreach Coordinator, Sundial Centre, Linkage Plus