Sheffield primary school pupils and care home residents feature in prestigious Yorkshire Dance documentary

20 Jun 2016

Yorkshire Dance | We Danced | 2016 from Yorkshire Dance on Vimeo.

Yorkshire Dance is thrilled to announce that it is one of only seven organisations commissioned by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to create a documentary about its work in South Yorkshire.

Over 180 applications were made to the Esmée Fairbairn film fund and Yorkshire Dance’s proposal to document the We Danced project was selected. The film, created in April by Day for Night Films, is a documentary about its current project in Sheffield’s Parson Cross.

Bringing together older adults in care home settings with local primary schools, We Danced, funded by Provident Financial – Good Neighbour Fund, is an intergenerational project that celebrates the connections we make through dance.

The project invites older adults to share their stories of dancing with a team of five professional dance artists.

These stories provided inspiration for children from Mansel Primary School to recreate the dances We Danced whilst creating new memories of dancing together with older people.

Weekly sessions began in Blenheim Court Care Home in late January; with the dancers delivering work in group settings and in one-to-one sessions with older adults.

Conversation and reminiscence were key techniques in the development of the project and some of the stories that have been shared already are truly heart-warming.

Dave, a resident of Blenheim Court Care Home said: “It’s just so lovely seeing everyone smiling together, dancing and remembering good times. I feel like I could cry… but I won’t!”

The connections the project has created are contributing to reducing social isolation and loneliness amongst older adults. In time, it will also promote positive community cohesion through relationship-building with young people.

Charlotte Armitage, Project Co-ordinator of We Danced, says, “The project has been such a wonderful chance to get to know some local wonderful people and hear their fantastic (and often hilarious) dance stories.”

“As artists, we have already learned so much, built some strong relationships, listened to nostalgic memories and have received such a wealth of information to share with the children to inspire them in dance. We cannot wait for them all to meet each other!”

The impact of this project is compelling. In February, the creative team began working with young people at Mansel Primary School, enabling the young people to build stronger relationships with older adults, in turn creating a positive impact on their attitudes to ageing.