If life is what happens to our plans, then dance is what happens to our steps.
ideas sometimes when you wait they come to you.

Preparation for starting with BAPP

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Older People Dancing

This week I am at the People Dancing: Foundation for community dance conference https://www.communitydance.org.uk

I am going to try to write a little about the sessions I go to. Today was only half a day. I went to a workshop by Natasha Gilmore which was practical and shared some movement exercises/games to use dance to brake down barriers. Natasha works with refugee and migrant communities in Scotland so often her workshops are about involving people getting them to be joyful moving together.

I was able to go to the whole of a session on Older People Dancing: Perspectives on creative practice.

What struck me in terms of BAPP is just how much Community Dance history there is to discover if you are just beginning to work in the field and by just beginning I mean only been doing community dance work for the last five or so years. The some of the artists  people talking on this panel have been doing work with older people and multi-generational work for 29 /30 years! There is such a rich history to find out about. Fergus Early spoke about the range of training, performance, and facilitation of dance for older people (and multigenerational groups)his company engages in - I used to work with him in his company Green Candle Dance Company.

There was also Libby Costello who talked about a programme at the RAD. Vina Oberlander talked about the work she has been doing making work for people with dementia. The project she talked about was Curious Shoes.

Lorna Murray talked about the work Scottish Ballet are doing with older peoples classes and performance. Rachel Bar spoke about work Canada National Ballet is doing in Canada. Because Canada is so big they are running classes with dance teacher leading from class over internet. Exploring what this means and can offer.

Carrie Washington talked about her recent project Ignite


  1. Thanks for posting this Adesola, it sounds really interesting both the workshop and the Community Dance field.


  2. Thanks Adesola. It was interesting for me to read about Green Candle Dance Company as I had not heard of them before. Looking at their website has been really helpful to me in relation to my recent performances in care homes as we did have some dementia residents and I enjoyed discovering how dance benefits these people by engaging muscle memory and for some perhaps bringing back memories from the past.

  3. Hi Adesola, thank you for posting about this. It seems like you got to see a lot of different sessions involving community dance. The links are great, I will definitely be looking more in depth at these alongside looking at FCD website too. As I work a lot with older dancers it is really helpful to read up and look at companies such as green candle to help develop my career. And I am definitely just starting out as you say, I've only been doing community dance for about 4 years. There is still so much to learn!