Over 65s in South Tyneside can now dance their way to stablity with new project

New dance classes aim to help those over 65 gain more confidence on their feet
New dance classes aim to help those over 65 gain more confidence on their feet

Free dance classes are to be offered to older people in South Tyneside to help them find their feet.

Organisers say men and women over the age of 65 can inprove their confidfence after having a fall by taking to the dance floor.

Make new friends at dance classes

Make new friends at dance classes

‘Falling on your Feet’ has been devised by Tyneside-based arts organisation Helix Arts in partnership with contemporary dancer and choreographer Nadia Iftkhar.

Cheryl Gavin, senior project manager at Helix Arts, said: “Falls represent the most frequent and serious type of accident in people aged 65 and over.

“After a fall, an older person is more likely to have seriously impaired mobility, destroying confidence, increasing isolation and reducing independence. Costs to the NHS are significant too.”

The classes are open to those aged 65 years and over living independently.

Dance and movement can improve your mood, your fitness and your overall wellbeing.

Nadia Iftkhar

It has been funded by Henry Smith Foundation, Dunhill Medical Trust and supported in South Shields by The Cultural Spring.

Choreographer Nadia Iftkhar, artistic director of Company of Others, added: “You don’t need any previous experience of dance to take part in Falling on your Feet although many people loved dancing in years gone by. We welcome all age, from 65 to 85 and beyond.

“It’s a great way to make new friends and take part in an activity that will make you happier and healthier. Dance and movement can improve your mood, your fitness and your overall wellbeing. People are encouraged to come along and dance for an hour then stay for a chat and refreshments afterwards.”

Emma Horsman, project director at The Cultural Spring, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Helix Arts and bringing this dance project to South Shields.

“We’re keen to engage older residents in this project as part of our aim to increase participation in the arts across ten wards in South Tyneside and Sunderland.

The Cultural Spring’s four partners are The Customs House, South Shields; the University of Sunderland; Sunderland’s Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust and Sangini.”

The classes are held on Tuesdays and Fridays at Ocean Road Centre in South Shields.

Places are free but must be registered in advance by calling 241 4931.

Each session lasts around an hour, with time for people to socialise at the end.

For details visit www.helixarts.com