Strictly Come Dancing TV star backs Doncaster dance project for the over 50s
Internationally renowned dancer and choreographer Arlene Phillips CBE has shown her support for DANCE ON, a programme of dance groups for adults over 50 in various locations across Doncaster, Leeds and Bradford, run through a collaboration of darts (Doncaster Community Arts), Yorkshire Dance and One Dance UK.
Supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England, DANCE ON will see newly appointed dance artists working with various community groups to set up new classes across the three cities in order to tackle inactivity among older adults.
Speaking about her support for the project, Phillips said: “DANCE ON is a wonderful dance programme. It’s fun and social and for people 55 upwards. Everyone is welcome, so come along, feel good, keep moving – and DANCE ON!”
A multiple Olivier Award-winner and Tony Award nominee, Phillips has danced since the age of 3 and studied ballet and tap at the Muriel Tweedy School in Manchester.
She has choreographed numerous West End and Broadway musicals, films and music videos. Notable examples include the 1982 film Annie, Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody (1987) and West End hits Grease (1973), Saturday Night Fever (1998) and We Will Rock You (2002).
In the mid-1970s Phillips became a household name as the director and choreographer of Hot Gossip, a British dance troupe. For television work she is perhaps best-known for her role as a judge on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing and So You Think You Can Dance.
Hayley Beecher, managing DANCE ON for darts, said of Phillips’ support: “We are thrilled to have dance legend Arlene as our Dance ON ambassador. She is fabulous and a great inspiration for all of our groups.”
Sport England’s Strategic Lead for Health, Sarah Ruane, said: “Our research shows that you are more likely to become inactive as you get older. But getting older doesn't have to mean slowing down. Instead it can be a time for change like learning a new skill such as dance. Being active can bring about significant benefits and moving more is key to maintaining physical function as you age, even in your 90s. Many people just need the right opportunity and support to feel capable to do more activity. That’s why Sport England is investing £10 million of National Lottery funding into over twenty projects – like Dance On – specifically designed to be fun, accessible and well supported.”
darts currently run sessions at their base, The Point on South Parade in Doncaster town centre, as well as out in the community in Edlington, Stainforth and Thorne. More locations are to be announced soon.
DANCE ON welcomes anybody over the age of 50 regardless of experience or ability. The groups explore different styles of dancing from various eras and cultures, with sessions adapted to suit the group’s needs. To find out more about DANCE ON, visit http://dance-on.org/.