A dance project to help South Tynesiders over the aged of 65 reduce their fear of falling is set to return.
Falling on your Feet is a bespoke dance programme for people aged 65 years and over living independently.
The programme is being delivered by arts organisation Helix Arts, on behalf of the Cultural Spring, an Arts Council-funded project aimed at increasing the number of Wearsiders and South Tynesiders taking part in arts and culture.
An initial Falling on your Feet dance and socialise session has been organised for Friday, September 8, between 1.30pm and 3pm at Ocean Road Centre in South Shields. Then sessions, led by dance artist Megan Brown from Company of Others, will be weekly at the same venue on Fridays between 3pm and 4.30pm.
They will be free to members, although donations would be welcome, existing class participants will be encouraged to contribute £3 per session.
Places must be registered in advance to complete a fit to dance questionnaire – bookings can be made by ringing Helix Arts on 0191 241 4931.
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.
“As we have seen in sessions so far in South Shields, older people’s confidence improves when they start moving in time to the music and they build up a range of new artistic skills.
“They get fitter and their fear of falling can gradually fade.
“Helix Arts produced a pilot Falling on your Feet programme in Newcastle last year, supported by the NHS.
“Participants’ balance and core strength seemed to improve helping them overcome fear of falling.
“They wowed local audiences with their performance and they are still dancing together and our previous sessions in South Tyneside have also proved very popular.
“No experience is needed and participants should wear comfortable clothing and footwear.”
The project is being supported by Dunhill Medical Trust and the Henry Smith charity.
For more information go to The Cultural Spring website www.theculturalspring.co.uk