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Belonging through dance
Angharad Harrop headshot.
Date posted: 16 August 2022
Dance artist Angharad Harrop blogs about the new, exciting Curriculum for Wales, how it’s engendering a sense of belonging and what we can learn from it.
Blog: Dr Sue Smith
Sue Smith
Date posted: 14 July 2022
Dr Sue Smith joins People Dancing as Chair and blogs for us about dance as a 21st Century lifesaver.
Investing in your work
People Dancing Summer School. Photo: Rachel Cherry
Date posted: 27 January 2022
As an artist based in England, Liz Clark, our Associate Artist for Early Years, is deeply passionate about Arts Council England’s #LetsCreate strategy that creates fertile ground for the early years artist to get funding and encourages those based in England to seize the moment. Read more on her thoughts here.
Collective IDentity
Collective IDentity, a Danielle Teale Dance Programme. Photo credit: Sara Hibbert.
Date posted: 09 December 2021
At the end of 2021 dance artist Danielle Teale reflects upon a multidisciplinary programme for people with Parkinson’s that was experienced during pandemic times and shares her passion for co-creation, a sense of self and love!
Finding my place
Marcia Edwards introducing site-specific performance at Spaghetti Junction photo by Peter Medlicott
Date posted: 19 November 2021
After a wide-ranging career, Marcia Edwards found herself rooted in Stourbridge, West Midlands and embraced this by forming ME Dance Company in 2017. Here, she shares her passion for honouring your roots, appreciating your journey, giving back and striving for more in the communities you come from, live in and want to build for the future.
Coming of age?
Heidi Wilson. Photo: Bill Hart.
Date posted: 18 June 2021
A personal perspective from dance practitioner Heidi Wilson on the development of dance with people living with Parkinson’s in Wales through the Wales Wide Training Programme.
Creative practice reflection
Image credit: Cai Tomos.
Date posted: 18 June 2021
Independent dance artist and arts psychotherapist Cai Tomos addresses the physical, emotional and psychological demands brought by a pandemic and reflects upon finding spaces of connection and gaining perspective by being together with support from the Wales Wide Training Programme.
Parkinson's reflections
Date posted: 14 April 2021
Susie Tate, discovered a Cumbrian connection between former local Kate Swindlehurst, and current local Dave Little, about the value of dance for people living with Parkinson’s.
Live Well & Dance with Parkinson's reflections: Paul Mayhew Archer
Photo: James Deacon.
Date posted: 13 April 2021
Paul Mayhew-Archer reflects on joining our Stretford, Greater Manchester online dance session in March 2021
LIve Well & Dance with Parkinson's reflections: Nia Williams
Photo: Nia Williams - courtesy of Opera Anywhere.
Date posted: 13 April 2021
Nia Williams of MuMo Creative reflects on co-leading the March edition of Perspectives on Practice: online adventures in dancing with Parkinson’s. The session was focused on sharing with artists and practitioners the use of narrative themes, character and music to enhance movement practice for people living with Parkinson’s
Shifting stones
Photo: Jo Cone
Date posted: 07 December 2020
In the face of personal challenges and a world wide pandemic, and whilst staying true to her values, author Jo Cone now feels safe, secure and supported via five navigational points that she shares with us here.
Open Space
Photo: Jeremy Wong, Operations and Finance Officer, Improbable
Date posted: 16 October 2020
On Friday 25 Sep 2020 an online Open Space conversation with around 170 people in response to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic took place: Is this actually a great time to make some changes in Dance?
Disability arts
Jo Verrent
Date posted: 02 October 2020
Unlimited's Senior Producer Jo Verrent chats about Unlimited's commissioning round that is open to disabled dance artists.
Tango in lockdown
Photography: John Connatty
Date posted: 26 August 2020
The Tango Effect: Parkinson’s and the Healing Power of Dance was published during the COVID-19 pandemic, shortly after the country went into lockdown. Here, we are pleased to share recordings with you that were made by the author, Kate Swindlehurst, from March - July 2020.
Support for teachers
Making a Move book cover
Date posted: 10 August 2020
In this hour-long webinar, that was held on Thursday 6 August, primary dance specialists Louise Jaggard, Claire Pring and Jo Cone share insights and examples from their new book 'Making a Move' as well as support artists preparing to re-start teaching in the Autumn.
On a mission
Dance Photographer UK – Dani Bower
Date posted: 05 August 2020
Listen to dance artist Tamar Dixon talking about her Podcast series, ‘INSiGHTZ: An insight into your dance journey’: a series of interviews, personal stories, experiences and hot topics about dance.
Creative survival
Artwork by
Date posted: 29 July 2020
A film made with Cecilia Macfarlane and Kirstie Richardson. Made in the first few months of lockdown, this film was created as part of People Dancing’s Summer School 2020 Reimagined programme, an offering of online live and recorded webinars, practice sharings and short films.
Parkinson's discussion
Zoom discussion image
Date posted: 27 July 2020
Cheryl McChesney and Kiki Gale in conversation with artists, producers and dancers bringing together a range of perspectives on dance with people with lived experience of Parkinson's during lockdown.
Common Dance
Common Dance by Rosemary Lee.  Photo: Simon Weir
Date posted: 17 July 2020
Since the 1970s, director, choreographer and performer Rosemary Lee has created projects that revolve around the idea of building relationships and bringing communities together. Here she reflects upon what led her to share Common Dance again in 2020.
Marcia's story
Marcia Edwards.
Date posted: 09 July 2020
People Dancing Associate Artist Louise Katerega in conversation with dancer and choreographer Marcia Edwards about her transition from dancer to setting up her own community dance company.
New skills, new normal?
Peter Laycock
Date posted: 27 June 2020
Arts participation specialist Peter Laycock offers some thoughts around our new ability to deliver digitally and asks us to imagine what we could achieve in the future without the restrictions of lockdown
Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter logo
Date posted: 26 June 2020
The Board and Staff of People Dancing stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement (including Black Lives Matter UK) in calling for an end to racist practices, systems and behaviours, inside and outside of the Arts.
Additional tips
Date posted: 05 June 2020
Creative Director and artist Kwesi Johnson on mindset, methodology and our ability to transition to teaching dance and movement online.
Dance delivery online
Tom Hobden
Date posted: 05 June 2020
In this vlog for People Dancing Tom Hobden reflects on his experiences of developing participatory dance delivery online, using digital tools and the art of making a human connection.
Artistic courage
Maria da Luz Ghoumrassi. Photo: Foteini Christofilopolous.
Date posted: 05 June 2020
Associate Artist Louise Katerega in conversation with artists and People Dancing Members Jorja Follina and Maria da Luz Ghoumrassi talking about the benefits of a one to one with People Dancing and their very different experiences of dealing with lockdown at such short notice.
Being together
Dancers Yi Kwek, Stella Mcauly, Maria Evans and Kiera Sanderson. Photo: Sophie Jane Hughes
Date posted: 29 May 2020
Dr Ruth Pethybridge, Senior Lecturer, Dance, University of Falmouth and People Dancing Board member invites us, in a bid to articulate the value of our shared practice of dancing, to write a love letter to a lost dance
Online dance delivery
Iona Waite, Education Programme Manager at ACE Dance and Music and Board member of People Dancing
Date posted: 29 April 2020
Iona Waite, Education Programme Manager at ACE Dance and Music and Board member of People Dancing talks with independent dance artist and practitioner, Lucy Haighton about how to enable creative engagement during online dance class delivery.
Disabled dance artists
Kate Stanforth in conversation
Date posted: 29 April 2020
Professional disabled dance artists and practitioners: Kimberley Harvey, Joseph Issac Powell, Kate Stanforth, Kitty Fedorec and Laura Dajao talk about some of the issues being faced amid COVID-19
In conversation
Kimberly Harvey
Date posted: 29 April 2020
A short film of dance artist Kimberly Harvey and People Dancing’s Director of Engagement Louise Wildish in conversation.
Facing the challenges
Anna, Dylan and Catherine Zoom meet
Date posted: 16 April 2020
Join our Director of Learning, Anna Leatherdale in discussion with Dylan Quinn and Catherine Young about the challenges they have faced over the last few weeks of converting their regular classes as independent practitioners into online provision.
New to teaching?
People Dancing's International Conference, Glasgow. Photo: Rachel Cherry
Date posted: 24 September 2021
Join People Dancing’s Associate Producer for Change, Louise Katerega, for her top 10 signposts to People Dancing's resources to get you started on a happy, healthy teaching journey.
POP look back and survey
Date posted: 09 August 2021
Assistant Producer, Perspectives on Practice, Ciara Lynch looks back at the first season of People Dancing's programme of events, learning opportunities, discussion, networks and spaces for dancers, teaching artists, community practitioners and organisations to gather, (re)connect and share.
Forging communities
Krystal S Lowe. Photo: Sleepy Robot Photography
Date posted: 19 July 2021
In the midst of difference, dance artist, choreographer and writer Krystal S Lowe finds ways to forge different communities with countless cups of coffee and focused debate. Here, Krystal writes about finding the best ways to support each other no matter how unconventional that support may look.
Wales Wide Training Programme
Wales Wide Training Programme event. Photo: Paul Whittaker.
Date posted: 18 June 2021
The WWTP creates and connects a network of 19 organisations and 300 individuals working across Wales. Tracey Brown, Mentoring, Training, Development Leader at Rubicon Dance explains how the programme has responded to the pandemic and that there have been achievements that wouldn't have been possible pre-COVID.
Diverse opportunities
Melissa Pasut, Returning By Katherine Betteridge and Sioned Roberts. Photographer: Matt Dean.
Date posted: 18 June 2021
Whilst looking for alternative ways to navigate a lockdown, freelance artist, Melissa Pasut, discovered the Wales Wide Training Programme. Here she reflects upon her expectations, connections found and virtual interaction that removed geographical boundaries.
Action and trees
Date posted: 07 December 2020
Freelance Dance Artist Adam Benjamin reflects upon his practice being hoovered up by a pandemic, saving the planet sliding off his agenda and the vitality of touch. He also offers a view into a wilderness, funded by dancers, that reflects a commitment to diversity - a dancers forest.
The same language?
Photo: International Olympic Committee
Date posted: 06 July 2020
In 2019 the World DanceSport Federation successfully got Breaking listed as an Olympic sport. Here, Scottish B-Boy Chaz Bonnar reflects on the Breaking communities divide on the topic and the future within the Olympics
Early Years work
Photographer: Zoe Manders
Date posted: 13 May 2020
George Fellows, dance artist and Co-Artistic Director of Four Hands talks to Liz Clark, Associate Artist for Early Years, about maleness, nurturing and mental and physical health.
Invest in yourself
Jasmine Hall. Photo: Sara Hibbert, Danielle Teale Dance, Dancing with Parkinson's Programme
Date posted: 12 March 2020
People Dancing's Summer School 2020 is just around the corner and we spoke to Community Dance Artist and Young Practitioners Advisory Group member Jasmine Hall about the impact of getting a Young People's bursary and taking part last year
New Chair of the Board
Scilla Dyke MBE. Photographer: Gary John Norman
Date posted: 06 February 2020
As Scilla Dyke MBE takes up the position as People Dancing’s new Chair, Scilla shares some reflections on a continuing life-long journey in and through dance
Guidance and support
People Dancing Summer School 2019. Photo: Rachel Cherry
Date posted: 13 December 2019
Membership Development Manager and safeguarding lead at People Dancing, Shelley Trevelyan offers some guidance and support in relation to safeguarding
Lives, needs and challenges
Dr Sara Houston
Date posted: 27 November 2019
Dr. Sara Houston has led prize winning research, speaks internationally on the subject and has just published a book, 'Dancing with Parkinson's' where she illustrates the freedom that dancing can offer to people
A forgotten area?
A version of The Full Monty reimagined. Photo: Sean Goldthorpe
Date posted: 11 November 2019
Two years on from the 11MRTD strategic tour, Louise Wildish asks Emma Bouch at artsNK, Lincolnshire, if the project really made an impact.
GOSH what an experience!
Kimberley Harvey. Photo: Roswitha-Chesher
Date posted: 06 November 2019
Kimberley Harvey has performed in a variety of settings and is an artist for Candoco Dance Company. Kimberley was a Dancer in Residence at GOSH 2017-19, which involved dancing in both outpatient clinics and inpatient wards for and with children, their families and hospital staff.
Doing things differently @MendoncaPen
Date posted: 01 May 2019
Dance artist and writer Kate Swindlehurst reflects upon her experience of the opening night of Mark Morris Dance Group’s UK Pepperland tour and the next day Dance for people living with Parkinson's - Looking ahead: a one-day interactive symposium at Sadler’s Wells, London in March 2019
Friends and a tool belt
Photograph: Theresa Haworth.
Date posted: 06 March 2019
People Dancing's Summer School 2019 is just around the corner and so we spoke to Community Dance Practitioner and Creative Director of Bodyrox Dance Company, Leah Waterfield about the impact of getting a bursary and taking part last year
11MRTD in Doncaster
Photographer: James Mulkeen
Date posted: 09 January 2019
In the third of a blog series featuring People Dancing partners from its 11 Million Reasons to Dance Strategic Touring Programme, Helen Jones, Assistant Director at darts (Doncaster Community Arts), explains how the project enabled her to change her view and how this has influenced their next steps.
"Sounds like a mouthful. . ."
Ruth Bates vlog
Date posted: 18 December 2018
Co-author and Director of Development, Ruth Bates talks about how our new online learning programme demystifies the fundraising process
Translating touch
Kath Kimber-McTiffen, Wriggle Dance Theatre
Date posted: 01 November 2018
On meeting a prominent neuroscientist, Kath Kimber-McTiffen, of Wriggle Dance Theatre, could see that the theme of ‘touch’ not only links the arts and science… it might also create a beautiful, interactive dance piece
Agent for Change
Hannah Barker
Date posted: 01 November 2018
Hannah Barker, Creative Producer at Belgrade Theatre, Coventry explains how and why 11 Million Reasons to Dance supported the process of welcoming an Agent for Change into the theatre and its local community
Dance was a tonic
Elizabeth Janis. Photo Gemma Smith
Date posted: 23 October 2018
As People Dancing launches an online learning programme for dancing with older people, Elizabeth Janis has just celebrated her 90th birthday. She credits the discovery of a local dance group for her continued love for life
Four years on...
Date posted: 05 October 2018
It’s exactly four years since People Dancing commissioned photographer Sean Goldthorpe to work on its 11 Million Reasons to Dance exhibition and campaign. Our Director of Engagement Louise Wildish reflects... and looks ahead
Beyond the 'usual suspects'
Martin Wilson - Executive Director, TIN Arts
Date posted: 02 October 2018
In the first of a blog series featuring People Dancing partners from its 11 Million Reasons to Dance Strategic Touring Programme, Martin Wilson of TIN Arts explains how the project went beyond those ‘usual suspects’
Dancing for equality
Anne-Marie Smalldon, Combination Dance Company
Date posted: 18 September 2018
Anne-Marie Smalldon, Artistic Director of Combination Dance Company, blogs on 100nehundred, a dance/history collaboration with The National Archives inspired by this year’s centenary of British women’s suffrage and modern gender equality issues
Dance for Parkinson's
Rachael James
Date posted: 18 July 2018
Community dance artist Rachael James loves the feeling of freedom that dancing brings and the belief that with the right environment, permission and influences, we can all dance. This is what led her to complete her dance for Parkinson’s training…
It's the dance of life
Paul Atherton
Date posted: 18 July 2018
Paul Atherton is a keen dancer. He also lives with Parkinson’s. Paul wanted to blog for us to express just how important dance is in his life… he started well but it wasn’t long before he felt there was something else he should be doing!
One bursary awarded...
Katie Reynolds
Date posted: 29 June 2018
A Kettering-based dance practitioner wanting to make her practice even more inclusive has secured one of two bursaries from the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) to help its members attend this year’s 10th People Dancing Summer School.
It don't mean a thing...
Nancy Hitzig
Date posted: 29 June 2018
People Dancing members Nancy Hitzig and Cat Foley are rehearsing a dance, music, comedy showcase for the Grimeborn Festival, London. Here dancer and choreographer Nancy shares her lindy hop journey, looks at the politics of partner dance and ‘Swing, Sister, Swing’.
Financing the dream
People Dancing Director of Development Ruth Bates Lee with her son, Jamie
Date posted: 26 June 2018
It’s from this time of year People Dancing gets phone calls and emails from anxious parents wanting to support their children through dance training. Here our Director of Development Ruth Bates blogs on how these dreams, though expensive, can be made real.
Inclusive ballroom
Rashmi Becker, Step Change Studios
Date posted: 08 June 2018
Presented by Step Change Studios, ‘Fusion’, an inclusive ballroom dance showcase with disabled and non-disabled artists, premiered at Sadler’s Wells, in May. Here Rashmi Becker, Step Change Studios producer and founder, blogs for us about dance, diversity, and her drive to push the boundaries of ballroom
Doing access digitally
Louise Wildish - Producer, People Dancing
Date posted: 31 May 2018
Thanks to funding from digital commissioning body The Space, the 11 Million Reasons to Dance photography exhibition has hit a much bigger online audience. Yet, as producer Louise Wildish explains, it had to be made accessible…
Still dancing after 21 years
Eileen Burrows with the Growing Older Dis(Gracefully) Dance company
Date posted: 23 May 2018
88-year-old Eileen Burrows is one of the more senior members of the Growing Older (Dis) Gracefully Dance company, in Liverpool. The retired school nurse is about to perform in its celebration of 21 years of dancing.
Learning from Parkinson's
Danielle Teale. Photo by Sara Hibbert
Date posted: 23 May 2018
Independent dance artist Danielle Teale, will co-lead an ‘Introduction to dance for Parkinson’s’ course at People Dancing Summer School (2018). Here Danielle blogs on how dancing with Parkinson's has made a significant contribution to her dance practice... and her life.
Viva Eastbourne!
Claire Chritou (left) and Claire Tabraham celebrate their Arts Award of the Year
Date posted: 21 May 2018
If you tuned into BBC Radio 4’s Listening Project, which profiled a number of conversations about ‘The Power of Dance’, you may remember the first podcast that featured two women who have devoted themselves to Eastbourne Dance Space
Dance and community
Debbie Purtill, balletLORENT. Photo by Iolo Penri
Date posted: 24 April 2018
Debbi Purtill, Artistic Associate at balletLORENT, will lead a workshop at this year’s People Dancing Summer School (23-28 July). With a passion for dancing and for people, Debbi is most inspired when they come together… forming a creative community.
Dancing a way of life
Ruth Kent
Date posted: 17 April 2018
We dance to express our lives. For some, this can be a life with Parkinson’s. Dance artist Ruth Kent explains how, in growing a dance class in Aberdeen, she wanted to shape content around real life experiences
Completely tangoed: body and soul
Kate Swindlehurst
Date posted: 10 April 2018
She began with ballet, took up tango and, despite her Parkinson’s diagnosis, dance artist and writer Kate Swindlehurst has continued to be what she’s been since she was four-years-old… a dancer
From a land down under...
Jess Conneely
Date posted: 02 March 2018
Some practitioners will go to the ends of the earth to pursue their passion for dance. Jess Conneely and Gail Hewton are set to travel to Leicester, England for People Dancing's 10th Summer School...
Push came to shove
David Leventhal
Date posted: 26 February 2018
The People Dancing Summer School will welcome one of the world's leading lights in the growing field of dance for Parkinson's. David Leventhal joins us from his Brooklyn studio - here's his blog on pushing the seemingly immovable 'flywheel'.
No barriers
Photo shows Natasha Britton, Magpie Dance
Date posted: 23 February 2018
Inspired by artistic director Avril Hitman and all the Magpie Dance team, Natasha Britton explains her passion to achieve "a world where a learning disability is no barrier to personal and artistic success in dance"
Summer School blog
Jo Rhodes at People Dancing Summer School 2016
Date posted: 08 February 2018
The People Dancing Summer School will cover a range of dance styles. Jo Rhodes, who will lead a session on Youth Dance, draws on her dance experience to show the power of dance to move young people…
What's in a name?
Kiki Gale - Director, Dance for Parkinson's Partnership UK. Photo by Rachel Cherry
Date posted: 27 November 2017
With a change of name to The Dance for Parkinson’s Partnership UK, the former Dance for Parkinson’s Network is now well positioned blogs Kiki Gale...
Dance for Parkinson's
Steff Streat
Date posted: 20 November 2017
From a cuppa and a chat to doing a Haka – Steff Streat, who has lived with Parkinson’s for 10 years, blogs on the difference going to a dance for Parkinson’s class makes to her quality of life

Capturing creativity
Ruth Pethybridge
Date posted: 24 October 2017
Ruth Pethybridge, co-author of Any Age, Any Body, Any Dance draws breath to explain why she wanted to make a short film as well as the book...
Our natural instinct
Vincent E. Thomas. Photo by Rachel Cherry
Date posted: 18 October 2017
US dance artist Vincent E. Thomas took time out from his visit to People Dancing’s international conference, to explain his quest to recover something that’s in danger of being lost… our natural instinct to move.
In praise of... "bird-scarers"
Alison Williams and Julia Melton at the Edinburgh dance for Parkinson's class
Date posted: 12 September 2017
A conference panel speaker, Dr Alison Williams, who is currently working with the University of Edinburgh, teamed up with a fellow member of her dance for Parkinson’s class, Julia Melton, to blog for us in praise of volunteers...
Jonnie Peacock on Strictly
Louise Wildish - Producer & Director, 11 Million Reasons to Dance
Date posted: 05 September 2017
Paralympian Jonnie Peacock featuring on this year's Strictly will reflect a more truthful representation of our society, blogs People Dancing's Louise Wildish, Producer & Director of our strategic touring programme 11 Million Reasons to Dance...
Inclusive beauty of Parkour
Alister O'Loughlin, The Urban Playground. Photo by Rachel Cherry
Date posted: 08 August 2017
People Dancing caught up with Performance-Parkour (2PK) specialist Alister O’Loughlin at this year’s Summer School, following his session as part of the Exploring different dance techniques for your practice course.
Made in Sheffield
Nathan Geering - Artistic Director
Date posted: 03 August 2017
It was a special time for Artistic Director Nathan Geering as he prepared to stage one massive Olympic show in his adopted home city of Sheffield…
Learning & Parkinson's
Miriam Early, Scottish Ballet. Photo by Christina Riley
Date posted: 26 July 2017
Dance practitioner Miriam Early has always loved what she does yet admits to going a bit sulky whenever it came to any serious self-analysis of her craft. But that’s now changed… and she’s discovered a beauty she never thought she’d find.
Dancing through pain
Raquel Meseguer
Date posted: 21 April 2017
Raquel Meseguer, Co-Founder of Lost Dog, reflects on her journey from professional dancer, through injury, to developing projects that explore chronic pain in performance.
'Laughter, feeling lovely, joy'
Alison Williams
Date posted: 11 April 2017
Alison Williams, of Edinburgh University, describes herself as ‘a late-onset academic’ having got her Doctorate at 66, just after her Parkinson’s diagnosis, in 2012. To help mark Parkinson’s Awareness Week (10-16 April) we asked Alison to blog for us on the importance dance plays in her life with Parkinson’s…
A democracy of dance
Paula Turner
Date posted: 24 March 2017
People Dancing's Chris Stenton shared a post show discussion panel with Paula Turner, artistic director of Grand Gestures Dance Collective at Leap 2017. Paula likes to push the boundaries of dance, especially dance made by older dancers...
A spark starts a prairie fire
Date posted: 15 March 2017
Anthony Peppiatt reflects on initiating the community dance project at Ludus Dance in the early 1980s, and how his radical politics had been central to this. Christopher Thomson introduces.
Dance without touch?
Cecilia Macfarlane
Date posted: 28 October 2016
The author of our very first People Dancing blog is the renowned community dance pioneer, Cecilia Macfarlane. We’re grateful to Cecilia for getting our blog off the ground, especially as she penned it on a plane en route from Japan to San Francisco!