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Dance On participant shares his story

Fri 15 November 2019
Part of: Dance On
Dance On © Sara Teresa

Dance On is an exciting project for over 55s bringing citywide dance programmes to Bradford, Leeds and Doncaster. Read more about this case study with Mr Man, a participant of Dance On who attends dance session at BAME in Chapeltown, Leeds. This case study was written by Ella Mesma, a former Dance Development Artist at Yorkshire Dance who delivered the Dance On sessions in community settings.

Mr Man’s story

Mr Man (Hewllet Mucheriwa) attends the weekly Dance On sessions at BAME in Chapeltown in Leeds, he is brought by his care worker.

Mr Man was quite unresponsive in the first session. He looked distracted and seemed low in spirits. Mr Man is living with dementia and careworkers said he was inactive. At the end of the session in a very quiet voice, Mr Man made a music request.

As I got to know Mr Man’s music taste, I began buying tracks he liked and adding them to the playlist. By the third week, he got up and danced which really surprised the care workers at first as they had never seen him stand up to dance before!

During the sessions now, although he may arrive confused, the music triggers his memory both about the class and about his past and he often shares stories and memories.

“I love the music. The music makes me feel alive and I remember my life in Africa. It is good doing exercise: I feel better when I have the music and the dance.” Mr Man

Image credit: Dance On participant Janetta Maxwell. © Sara Teresa

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