The UK development organisation and membership
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Older people dancing

An older person, older people

The term older person usually means anyone who is coming up to or has arrived at pensionable age (whether or not they have spent their lives earning). Nowadays many people include people from the age of fifty onwards. There are many definitions in use, often with good reason, and we do not feel it is useful to be exclusive or to state a chronological age. It is better that the term is self-defining. In a way an older person is just a person older than the speaker.

Taken from The Arts and Older People, a practical introduction by Fi Frances

Guide for Community Dance with Older People with Diane Amans, Korea 2019. 


In October 2019, the Community Dance Project was held in Sangwol-ri, Yecheon, as part of the Korean-English cultural and artistic exchange program between the Gyeongsangbuk-do Office and the British Council in Korea. This dance project aims to make dance more accessible to everyone by embracing those who are not considered part of the arts and culture program, such as the elderly.

Introduction to Leading Dance with Older People online learning programme

Devised in partnership with Diane Amans, one of the leading dance practitioners in this field, the online learning programme stimulates thinking about what it means to grow old, what health issues may (or may not) have an impact on people as they age, and what issues dance practitioners should consider when planning dance sessions with older people.

Find out more

Older People's Dance Activities - the first uk survey

A new research report into current practice in older people's dance, published by People Dancing and co-commissioned by Aesop, was launched at the House of Lords on 7 November 2016. The report provides a snapshot of current practice in older people’s dance

It sought expert views from those working in the field to identify the characteristics of the practice and the conditions required for success. The report describes a picture of practice based on the research gathered and an analysis of that data.

The report is intended to be of practical use. It provides reassurance and reference points for artists and organisations working on the ground that what they do all contributes to a greater body of practice. For those supporting activities, it provides reassurance that when the conditions for success are met then dance really can deliver.

It also offers some more compelling evidence about the ‘value-added’ contribution that participation in dance and dancing - in whatever way is right for you - can make to the ‘health and wellbeing’ of people and their communities, not just in older age but throughout life.

You can download the report below.

Critics' corner

Older people's dance activities - the first UK survey

Older people dancing can be an effective alternative to NHS programmes, but artists leading such activities need support to relay these benefits to non-dance sectors, according to a study by Aesop and People Dancing.
Arts Professional

The first ever survey of its kind, it (this report) claims "champions" of dance are needed to highlight the creative, social and well-being benefits of dance.
The Stage
Useful contacts and links
Within this area you will find a fairly comprehensive list of contacts across community and participatory dance, as well as other organisations that we consider relevant.