News

Free afternoon of music & dancing for older adults in Leeds

17 May 2016

Yorkshire Dance

Yorkshire Dance

Older adults from across Leeds are invited to a free afternoon of music and dancing at Meanwood Community Centre on the afternoon of Friday 27 May, as part of Meanwood Festival.

Leeds-based Citizens’ Orchestra will provide live music in a lively mix of styles from swing to rock ’n’ roll.

The Citizens’ Orchestra was originally formed for I Love West Leeds Festival in 2009, and offers older musicians, of all abilities, an opportunity to be creative and enjoy playing music together.

This afternoon, also including light refreshments and games, is part of a larger project called Young at Arts.

Young at Arts is a 2-year project commissioned by Leeds Older People’s Forum and delivered by Leeds Education Arts Forum (LEAF), a partnership of Leeds Grand Theatre & City Varieties, Northern Ballet, Opera North, Phoenix Dance Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse & Yorkshire Dance.

Young at Arts is just one strand of Time to Shine, a 6-year programme recently launched by Leeds Older People’s Forum and funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better.

Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better is a new programme that aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst older people (50+). Leeds is one of the 15 Ageing Better areas, selected from an original 100. The project has received funding of approximately £6m and will reach at least 15,000 older people in the city.

Antony Dunn, Marketing Manager of Yorkshire Dance, says, “It’s a great privilege for us and the other cultural organisations to work with Leeds Older People’s Forum on this delightful project. We’ve always known that participating in the arts can bring real benefits to older adults and people who find themselves lonely in later life, and Young at Arts enables to us to engage with people over a long period of time and – we hope – make a really important difference in people’s lives.”

“Over the two years of this project, we will work with several thousand older adults from every corner of Leeds. So far, everything we’ve done has been characterised by a lot of laughter and a lot of new friendships as people try out new artistic activities.”

A range of other Young at Arts programmes have been taking place in communities across Leeds since October 2015. Four are taking place now:

  • Yorkshire Dance is offering dance sessions for three months at Richmond Hill Community Centre (11 Apr – 18 Jul)
  • Opera North and Phoenix Dance Theatre bring a combination of singing and dancing to Morley Town Hall (11 Apr – 18 Jul)
  • West Yorkshire Playhouse has just begun ten weeks with director Alan Lyddiard at Rothwell Baptist Church Hall to bring participants’ own stories to life through drama (13 May – 15 Jul)
  • Northern Ballet is about to work with house-bound older adults in and around Gipton to explore their memories of dancing in Leeds (Jun – Jul)

Yorkshire Dance can assist with transport to and from the event.

To discuss access or support needs, please contact Shabina Aslam:

ShabinaAslam@yorkshiredance.com or 0113 243 9867