Dance to Health classes improve health and wellbeing of older people

Dance to Health classes improve health and wellbeing of older people

By Karen Hamilton, AESOP
Sara Lock


Discover top tips for recruiting participants for older people projects and responding to health and social issues. Plus gain valuable insight into Grants for the Arts funded projects.


AESOP is an arts charity and social enterprise, originally founded in 2009 and set up as a stand alone charity in 2014.

AESOP believes the UK is blessed with world-class arts that sit on the periphery of other sectors working to achieve positive social change. It addresses challenges and unmet needs in society with suitable, evidence-based, cost-effective and sustainable high quality artistic activities.

Our audiences

AESOP's audiences are identified through social need rather than organisational priorities. It identifies pressing issues around health, wellbeing and isolation and develops projects and audiences accordingly.

Dance to Health

We planned to address the issue of older people's falls through high quality dance.

We wanted to develop the two evidence-based fall prevention exercise programmes, Otago and FaME, into something that people would enjoy. The current programmes used by physiotherapists are plagued by low take-up and infrequent attendance. By using dance, we intended to develop something fun and creative that people would look forward to attending regularly.

We planned to pilot Otago and FaME dance sessions in London, Cheshire and Oxfordshire. The target audiences for these would mirror those of the original programmes.

The Otago sessions would be aimed at frailer older people aged 75 or over who had experienced multiple falls. The FaME sessions would be aimed at people aged 60 and over who had either experienced a fall or were at risk. Both age groups would be flexible depending on health and need.

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Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2016