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"Keep moving, keep dancing, and stay at home"

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) Dance graduates have been spreading positivity during lockdown with online dance classes for the over 55s.

Moving Together article image 2

Founded by DMU alumna Emily Jackson in 2011, social enterprise dance company Moving Together typically runs 35 projects a week, including sessions in schools, colleges and special educational needs (SEN) schools, as well as classes for the over 55s.

However, when the coronavirus put an end to business as usual, the team used the opportunity to move its focus online.

Emily said: “It’s really exciting that we’ve managed to move loads of our classes online. Even though we’re in lockdown, there are still so many great things going on.

“We’ve been able to deliver virtual classes for older dancers who are part of the senior company at Curve theatre. We’ve also launched our remote over 55s dance class, which has been accessed by more than 250 participants across the city and county.”

Over 55s - photo credit TS Photographics

(The over 55s class pre-lockdown. Photo credit: TS Photographics)

Fellow DMU alumna and Moving Together manager Shannon Coote has been leading some of the virtual classes. She said: “We’ve been working hard despite being at home. In the classes we’re working on our contemporary technique and routines at the moment.

“It’s been really good to be able to get all of our ladies back together and to still be working on our technique and creative skills at this very strange time.”

Darcy Kitchener graduated from DMU in 2016 and secured a role with Moving Together after completing placements with the company during her degree.

She said: “The over 55s dance classes focus on fitness and getting those endorphins up, which is especially important at such a difficult time.

“It’s great to see so many people are tuning in and dancing with us every day.”

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Emily chose to base the business in Leicester and maintain her strong connections with DMU after graduating in 2011.

She said: “I absolutely loved my course and it inspired me to start my own creative dance company.

“I initially chose DMU because of the fabulous studios in the PACE building and all the wonderful teachers who have huge expertise in different areas, so it’s brilliant to keep the connection up with DMU and run our Arts Award project there each week.”

Emily offered some parting advice for getting through the lockdown: “Keep moving, keep dancing, and stay at home. There’s loads of stuff online you can access, so enjoy the time you’ve got to work on your future prospects, and keep positive,” she said.

Senior Company - photo credit Pamela Raith

(The Senior Company pre-lockdown. Photo credit: Pamela Raith)

To get involved, email Follow Moving Together on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Posted on Tuesday 21st April 2020

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