Dance Leaders from DanceSyndrome are excited to be back in regular indoor dance sessions, after being online for the last 18 months during the Coronavirus pandemic.
DanceSyndrome supports many vulnerable adults across Lancashire, many of whom have been shielding during the pandemic. The DanceSyndrome team adapted quickly in the early stages of the pandemic, closing sessions in March 2020 to offer online dance sessions via Zoom and YouTube. We wanted to limit the impact of isolation on participants and continue to make them feel a part of what they refer to as “the dancing family”. We decided to take the pre-lockdown workshops online to bring the sessions to regular participants and anyone else who wanted to use them to stay active at home during isolation.
As lockdown started to ease, the DS Collective performance team started social distanced rehearsals and filming of their performance pieces in Miller Park in Preston. Following further relaxation of government guidelines on 19th July, DanceSyndrome have been able to start a phased return to indoor dance sessions at Plungington Community Centre and St Mary’s Centre, Clitheroe. The sessions include Everybody Dance, Street Dance, Musical Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary Dance and a new Rave session with glow sticks, which was such a success online that a new in-person class has been created!
DanceSyndrome Managing Director, Dawn Vickers said “Before the pandemic started we engaged with over 150 participants and volunteers each week in our Lancashire centres. When we were forced to close in March 2020, we knew how valuable dance was going to be for our members for their health and wellbeing and to prevent them from becoming isolated, so we adapted really quickly to offer online sessions in a range of formats, for people of all ages.
“I’m so proud of how our team responded to this challenge! The team were determined to adapt quickly and creatively so that everyone could carry on dancing whilst remaining safe in their own homes. Our dancers with and without disabilities came together, as they always do, to offer an extensive program of dance, that didn’t just cater to those original 150 participants, but actually reached over 600 people, not just from across the UK but from around the world, including Europe, the USA and South Africa!
“The plan was that our online sessions would help people to stay physically and mentally well until we could all be back together in our regular dance sessions. Those sessions all returned on 19th July when the government regulations ended. We are absolutely delighted to be back in a room with our participants again. It feels incredible!
“We do understand, though, that not everyone is ready to get back to their pre-pandemic activities, especially if they are vulnerable. For this reason, and to stay in touch with those new participants who aren’t based in Lancashire, we are continuing with our full programme of Zoom activities too. This means that the number of weekly sessions that DanceSyndrome is offering has doubled from 10 pre-pandemic to 20 post-lockdown! This is an amazing achievement for our team, who have worked so hard all through the pandemic. ”
If you would like to join DanceSyndrome, either online or in person, you can find all the details about the sessions at www.dancesyndrome.co.uk/events
Here are some of the comments from our Dance Leaders about returning to indoor dance, we hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did!
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