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Online dance participation programmes build resilience in young people and keep over-65s connected

PUBLISHED: 12:28 23 September 2020

An On the Move class run by East London Dance. Picture: Chris O'Donovan

An On the Move class run by East London Dance. Picture: Chris O'Donovan

CHRIS O'DONOVAN

A dance organisation in Stratford has announced its upcoming season of online programmes promoting participation.

East London Dance�s over 65s group Leap of Faith at Elixir Festival last year. Picture: Ellie KurttzEast London Dance�s over 65s group Leap of Faith at Elixir Festival last year. Picture: Ellie Kurttz

The programmes by East London Dance include: dance and resilience training for young people and over 65s; hands-on production and personal development coaching for the next generation of dance creatives; and a “festival” showcasing emerging artists.

With limited access to arts engagement because of the Covid-19 pandemic, East London Dance built on its existing offerings with a new digital programme.

Between May and August, almost 100 young people from the borough attended online dance, coaching and wellbeing sessions across various East London Dance programmes funded by HeadStart Newham and the council’s enrichment grants.

Programme director Molly Sanders said: “Following a hugely successful summer of consistent engagement with our online activity, which saw 1,238 unique attendances across 94 online sessions, East London Dance will build on its digital learning and continue to engage the community most at need with an expanded offer of online activity.

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“This will range from dance and coaching sessions that build resilience and strengthen mental health and wellbeing in children aged nine to 18, to sessions that keep over-65s active and feeling connected to their community.”

The upcoming autumn programme includes weekly On The Move dance and coaching sessions, which are designed to help young people build and strengthen resilience to support their physical and mental wellbeing.

From October 5, the online sessions will enable greater access reaching young people where they are, including areas where in-person sessions have not always been available in the past.

It will also launch sessions aimed specifically at boys as well as young people with special educational needs, both of which are underrepresented groups in dance related activity in Newham.

East London Dance’s over-65s group Leap of Faith will meet online each week to devise the next iteration of a work they created earlier this year.

The final film will feature in Protein Dance Company’s 21st anniversary celebrations.

Visit www.eastlondondance.org for more information about all the online programmes.


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