Zest has done three dance workshops with a lovely organisation called North London Cares.
They are a charity who encourage older and younger people to connect with each other. London can be a fast paced and lonely place, so they bring all walks of live together to form friendships and create a feeling of community and support.
They have several groups around North London and they run loads of socials, events and workshops, as well as organising outings for the members.
We love our sessions with them, dancing with the members, chatting and getting to know them all. We always leave feeling a great sense of warmth and support from everyone.
See the North London cares website if you are interested in joining or becoming a volunteer.
The three dance workshops we ran were in Bollywood, Charleston, and 1950’s dance.
To make it suitable for older as well as younger people, we have to pitch the dance so that everyone feels they can get to grips with the dance moves. We encourage everyone to join in, and welcome all abilities.
We have experience working with people who have Dementia, so everyone is made to feel included in our workshops.
The Bollywood session was really busy with about 30 people taking part. It was in Islington which is a really multi-cultural area, so we had a lovely mix of people of different ethnicities taking part.
We bought belly scarves and Bindis for everyone to dress up in, to get into the spirit of the dance.
We started the session by explaining some of the history of Indian dance and about the culture. Our dance teacher was in a full Bollywood costume with lots of jewellery – so everyone enjoyed seeing that.
We did a warm up to start the session, before teaching a simple Bollywood dance routine.
They performed the routine at the end and it looked fantastic!
This was a smaller group in Kilburn and we had a really focused session. They wanted to step back in time with some 1920’s dance.
We started with a talk from the Zest teachers about dance back in the 1920’s and how it was affected by the changing world at that time.
Next we did a full body warm up and learnt how to do the famous Charleston move with your feet. Then as an added challenge we tried some Tandem Charleston. This is where you face a partner and do the Charleston move connecting together – it is really tricky and involves lots of concentration and strong team work!
We then put all the moves together into a 1920’s themed dance routine, and their end performance was full of character!
To celebrate the end of the summer in 2019, North London Cares were having a Grease themed party. We were so happy to get an invite!
Our teacher went all out in a 50’s style dress and really looked the part. There were decorations up, themed food, great music and all the staff dressed up as characters from the Grease film too.
There are loads of great dance moves from the 1950’s, so we taught those to start off with.
Then we put all the moves together and taught a dance routine to “Great Balls of Fire”.
Loads of people joined in and the end dance looked great – it was so much fun! But don’t just take our word for it – take a look at the video at the top of the page of the last dance…
At the end one of the older members came to talk to us. He said he does Swing dance once a week and asked our teacher for a dance. Swing dance is not easy and there are lots of different moves you need to know, and you really have to follow the person leading. He was brilliant and she had a tough time keeping up with him!
Here are some pics of us in action:
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We would love to deliver a pre-recorded dance or a live online session for you. Take a look here for more details about what we can offer your Senior Movers.
So please get in touch and we can chat through some ideas.