Dacorum Community Dance
Dacorum Community Dance offers creative and caring dance sessions to older people in the community and those in sheltered housing schemes in the area. We are a creative and caring community dance group for older adults, enhancing lives through dance. The sessions are sociable, active, imaginative & fun, & help older adults lead happy, healthy lives.
Dacorum Community Dance is a not for profit unincorporated constituted group. Our mission is to dance with people across Dacorum, improving life, health and mental wellbeing, combat loneliness and inspire learning. Our work helps people of all ages across the community, and in a wide range of settings, access affordable and inclusive dance sessions. We have a passion for creative activity that is proven to help build confidence and provide a sense of belonging, enabling people to fulfil their potential by encouraging positive change.
Let's Dance is one of our popular projects that engages older people in dance, maintaining and improving their health and well-being and reducing loneliness and isolation.
Let’s Dance runs at the Old Town Hall for people aged 55+ and welcome those who have additional needs.
Let’s Dance offers opportunities to participate in various community events across the borough including performing in Sheltered Housing for their residents, visiting the Heather Club and CAD’s Learners Event. There are also opportunities to perform and be involved in county festivals and dance networks. These events not only have a positive impact on the participants but also inspire the audiences.
Let's Dance also runs in sheltered housing schemes and at Centre in the Park working with groups of residents to run safe, accessible and fun seated dance sessions.
We love dancing with people, we see the benefits, we know it improves people’s lives. Dance is a creative solution to the health, social and economic challenges society faces as communities age both physically, mentally and socially. Dacorum Community Dance is committed to delivery across the borough of inspirational, creative, fun and safe dance practice.
Below are some of the current projects that Dacorum Community Dance are involved with.
NATIONAL LOTTERY FUNDING
Dance Dacorum is a National Lottery funded project delivered by Dacorum Community Dance in partnership with Active Dacorum. The project involves delivering fun and creative dance sessions for vulnerable and isolated groups in the borough, both in-person and online, to improve physical and mental health and wellbeing. We have been dancing with adults with learning disabilities, older adults living with dementia and those with lower mobility, to help them lead happier and healthier lives. If you want to find out more about the project or interested in joining the online seated sessions, please get in touch: email us.
We were delighted to work with our fantastic group at Dacorum Day Service and VideoFeet Productions to create this film about our inclusive dance sessions.
SEATED DANCE SESSIONS
Louise is currently running seated dance sessions at 11am each Tuesday during term time. The sessions are delivered on Zoom and are a fun way to improve flexibility and enjoy moving to music from your chair, as well as connecting with others. The sessions are particularly suitable for older adults or those with limited mobility.
To book a place email firstname.lastname@example.org
WAKE UP AND DANCE!
This will be a fun way to start every week day throughout March, as you'll join in with a 10 minute dance in your home.
Further information and a sign-up form can be found on BEEE Creative's website - Wake Up and Dance!
DARE TO DANCE
Do you Dare to Dance? During October, Dacorum Community Dance challenged everybody to do one dance a day, every day, to raise money for Dacorum Community Dance. You got to pick your music, your location and your moves. You can dance in your kitchen, your garden, the park or your bedroom. You can dance alone, with family or with friends (but remember the rule of six!).
Each day post a photo or a video of yourself dancing with #Daretodance. It shows others that you are completing the challenge and enables friends and family to sponsor you. They may even want to suggest what tune to dance to next.
You can still make donations through our fundraising page on GoFundMe: gf.me/u/yvrf87
LET’S DANCE AT THE OLD TOWN HALL
Let’s Dance is a dance class for over 55’s. Using a combination of classical and contemporary dance techniques along with a range of other dance styles the 90 minute class offers the chance to improve general well being, be creative, learn choreography and enjoy yourself through dance. The classes are led by professional dancers and are based at the Old Town Hall in Hemel Hempstead.
Sessions are suitable for all abilities and no prior dance experience is necessary. Although places are limited at present we are still keen to hear from people who are interested in joining. If you want more information please email us at the address below.
Specialist dance clothing is not necessary, wear light layered, exercise or sports type clothing and you can dance barefoot or with appropriate footwear. We dance on the stage which has a specialist dance floor. There is water available throughout the sessions and tea and coffee is on offer in the cafe after classes for a small contribution.
All classes that were due to run at the Old Town Hall have been rearranged as online Zoom classes. Please contact us to find out more information.
LET’S DANCE IN SHELTERED HOUSING/TENANT ACADEMY
In partnership with Dacorum Borough Council and the Tenant Academy, we are pleased to be hosting new sessions at the Supported Housing schemes starting from May 2019.
DANCE RE:IGNITE PROJECT
Follow our involvement in this exciting project
by clicking on Beee Creative
Bee Creative New Project for 2020
Beee Creative are looking for 12 dancers to work on a new dance and technology project that will involve performing and leading workshops at community events around Hertfordshire.
This will take place between January to March 2020. If you require further information, please contact email@example.com
LET’S DANCE AT CENTRE IN THE PARK
Thursdays 10.30am till 11.30am open to members only.
Click on this link to find out more about the Centre in the Park.
Take a look at some of the projects we have been involved with over the past three years.
HERTFORDSHIRE SPORTS AWARDS PERFORMANCE
The Service to Sport Awards is a flagship event in the Herts Sports Partnership calendar. It represents an opportunity to bring together the dedicated, enthusiastic and life-changing individuals, projects and clubs that make up the sport and physical activity landscape of our county.
We were invited to perform as part of the Herts Sports Awards Evening, appearing in front of a full house at the Western Auditorium!
GENERATIONS DANCING PERFORMANCE
In July 2018 we were invited to be part of a project called Generations Dancing run by Bedford University. Residents from a sheltered housing scheme worked with a dancer and a photographer to create an exhibition and performance. We joined them for their performance, sharing a Let’s Dance piece too at the Bedford University Theatre alongside other dance groups from across the county.
You can read more on the BBC website.
SUPPORTED HOUSING SPORTS DAY
Supporting the Hertfordshire Year of Physical Activity, we had a fantastic day enjoying sports, dance, tea, cake and Ben dressed as a giant Stag at William Crook House with residents from across Dacorum schemes.
HOLIDAY AT HOME
The Holiday at Home project was a community project on behalf of St John’s Church, providing a much needed and exciting holiday break for older residents at home!
We were delighted to be part of this fantastic project.
THE KEITH AND PADDY PICTURE SHOW ON ITV - SERIES 1 AND 2
January 2017 and February 2018
In January 2017 we were contacted by ITV to see if Let’s Dance would like to be involved in the new Keith and Paddy Picture Show. They were recreating Dirty Dancing and needed a dance group of older dancers to be the ‘dirty dancers’ of course they jumped at the chance and one cold, wet grey day we headed off to Phasels Wood which was to be the filming location.
Meet the Team
I started dancing when I was 6 years old with Jo Harper at the Boxmoor Dancing Academy. After training as a dancer and teacher at Stella Mann School of Dance in London I spent 10 years dancing professionally in the UK and across Europe. I have worked as a community dance practitioner over the last 20 years firstly based at The Point in Doncaster, for ‘darts’ a community arts organisation who’s work helps individuals and communities to create positive change. After relocating back to Hemel Hempstead I set up ‘Let’s Dance’ with Sara Railson from the Old Town Hall in 2015. This project is aimed at encouraging people over 55 to dance, make friends and have fun and has now expanded to 3 classes and is also delivered across Sheltered Housing in Dacorum. I have always had a passion for working with older people and have spent the last four years creating lots opportunities for older people across Dacorum to participate and perform in. Last year I joined forces with our fantastic team to create Dacorum Community Dance. We will continue to work in partnership with our local Council and other dance organisations to build on these opportunities and celebrate dance, health and well-being!
Please view a case study on the Community Dance website about me - Case Study.
Originally from St. Albans, my husband and I lived in Australia for eleven years, where our two children were born. We moved to Hemel Hempstead at the beginning of 2015 when we came back from overseas. On my return to the UK I worked for the MS Society as a fundraising events manager, delivering the first MS Society Christmas concert and dinner at St. Paul's Cathedral. The event raised £567,000 and was attended by HRH Princess Anne. Previous to this I worked for a cancer charity in Australia for eight years, organising large outdoor fundraising events.
I am currently writing a book, a biography about a young girl with mental health issues who started a mental health support group. I am also Chair of the Governors at my daughter’s school, Chaulden Junior School.
In my free time I like to keep fit, participating in triathlons. You may well see me swimming, running and cycling around Hemel!
I wanted to be involved as a trustee for DCD as I believe everyone should have the opportunity to stay active, whatever their age, whatever their ability and whatever their financial circumstance. DCD offers a range of fantastic programs to do just this, with the added benefit of connecting older people who may be experiencing isolation.
Hailing from Kings Langley, I lived in various parts of the UK & Ireland before returning to the area and settling in Hemel Hempstead. I graduated from Buckinghamshire University College in Applied Performing Arts (Drama) and spent 8 years working in further & higher education as a performing arts lecturer, a tutor for students with special educational needs and a student support adviser. I then worked for Trestle Mask & Physical Theatre Company for 5 years before joining The Old Town Hall Theatre in 2013. I am also a qualified Indian Head Massage therapist and children’s yoga teacher; I like to swim in both pools & lakes and I sing with my husband as part of a professional music duo. I was introduced to Let’s Dance whilst working at The Old Town Hall and became further involved by way of Dance ReIgnite. I am an ardent advocate of inclusive and accessible community arts with the belief that creative activity improves lives, communities and brings great joy. I am delighted and proud to be involved in, and support the valuable work of Dacorum Community Dance.
I started dancing at 3 years old with my Mum who ran her own dance school in Cheshire called The Sue Bailey School of Dancing. I went on to study at Laban gaining a Degree in Dance Theatre. I performed with some fringe contemporary dance groups and then did a Post Graduate course in Teaching post 16.
After some time away from dance, during which I was inspired by the work of Gareth Malone, I found myself keen to get back to what I had always loved, and with a passion to use dance in a creative way in my community with older people. I worked with children as part of Hemel based Expressions Academy for a while before joining Dacorum Community Dance and working alongside Louise. Our work is fulfilling and provides an opportunity for older people to participate. Joining together with Mark, Fiona and Annie has strengthened our provision and we look forward to more exciting opportunities in the future!
Born and bred in Hemel Hempstead, I have one daughter who is a keen dancer.
My career was predominantly based within IT, until I felt that I had to make a change to something more rewarding, which would also offer me a better work/life balance to spend time with my daughter as she grew up.
I worked as a volunteer locally in schools, as well as a youth counselling charity. These experiences gave me a different outlook on life and I moved in to a career as a Supported Housing Officer, working with elderly and vulnerable residents.
After meeting Louise and running the Let’s Dance sessions at the scheme I manage, I saw the positive impact this had on my residents.
I’m proud to become involved with helping to spread the word that Dacorum Community Dance offer and look forward to an exciting future ahead.
Help Us Grow
Many older adults feel lonely, ignored and under valued in the community, leading to depression, anxiety and physical health problems. Dance is a wonderful way to help older adults feel alive, happy, healthy and less isolated.
Dacorum Community Dance offers creative and caring dance sessions to older people in the community and those in sheltered housing schemes in the area. The sessions are sociable, active, imaginative and fun and have changed people's lives. The music, dance and social aspect have a hugely beneficial impact and life enhancing effect.
Your support will help older adults, many of whom live on their own and thought they would never dance again, live a happy, healthier and more fulfilling life.
We have setup a page on Just Giving with an objective to raise £500 to help older adults in the community feel happy, healthy and less lonely by taking part in creative and caring dance sessions.
We would like to thank all of the following supporters of Dacorum Community Dance:
Thank you to all of our partners, Active Dacorum (Dacorum Borough Council), Dacorum Day Service (Hertfordshire County Council) and The Heather Club for their support; to our wonderful participants, volunteers and artists, and to VideoFeet for their film expertise and creative input. Thank you to The National Lottery for funding the project.