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How older people are dancing to health

Aesop Dance to Health class
An Aesop Dance to Health class
Published: Monday, 9th March 2020

A pioneering project that helps with falls prevention in older people through dance is to be extended across the city thanks to a grant from Birmingham City Council.

Dance to Health, devised and run by charity and social enterprise Aesop, combines evidence-based exercise with the creativity, energy and sociability of dance.

Dance to Health sessions are led by professional dance artists from leading dance companies who have been fully trained and qualified in falls prevention exercise methods, FaME and Otago; falls prevention techniques which improve strength, balance and mobility.

The programme has already been running in Ladywood and will now extend elsewhere in the city with grant funding from the council’s prevention and communities grants programme.

Cllr Paulette Hamilton, cabinet member for health and social care at Birmingham City Council, said: “These grants are a really important part of our prevention strategy, which aims to help people stay as independent as possible and have a really good quality of life. So we’re investing in projects that aren’t necessarily traditional adult social care investments.

“Every project we fund addresses a range of issues, in this case falls which can be really traumatising for older people and a major challenge for the health system. They destroy confidence, increase isolation, reduce independence and impact life expectancy.

“So it is great to see this programme having a real impact on people’s lives which is why we are pleased to fund an expansion across the city.”

Karen Hamilton, Dance to Health Head of Programme said: “We are delighted to be a part of the Birmingham City Council prevention and communities programme, and are very grateful for their funding. This will enable us to expand Dance to Health and reach greater numbers of older people in Birmingham.

Working in partnership with local community organisations is key to us ensuring that as many older people as possible have access to the physical, mental and social benefits our unique programme offers.”