Dance classes to help tackle loneliness are coming to Stevenage

Dance classes to help combat loneliness are coming to Stevenage. Picture courtesy of GloHouse Media.

Dance classes to help combat loneliness are coming to Stevenage. Picture courtesy of GloHouse Media. - Credit: Archant

A new government-funded dance initiative to help combat loneliness is coming to Stevenage.

Led by professional dancers and musicians, Improvising Generations at Hampson Park Community Centre is a free dance and music workshop with the aim of bringing people together.

The sessions will run from July 24 to 26 and the team behind Improvising Generations is looking for 10 participants aged 14 to 18 - up to 25 years for people with disabilities - 10 participants over the age of 65 and five people who can play a musical instrument at grade 5 or above.

No previous dance experience is needed and the three-day workshop will culminate in the creation of a short film which will be shared online by BEEE Creative - the dance agency behind Improvising Generations.

Many of us will experience some form of loneliness in our lifetime. A study by The Co-op and the British Red Cross reveals over 9 million people in the UK across all adult ages - more than the population of London - are either always or often lonely.

The government, the National Lottery Community Fund and the Co-op Foundation have forged a partnership to set up the Building Connections Fund and, with an investment of £11.5 million, it supports projects that prevent or reduce loneliness.

Improvising Generations has received funding from the Building Connections Fund and was developed by BEEE Creative in conjunction with Hertfordshire Music Service and the Silverbirch Dance Company.

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Carrie Washington, the director of BEEE Creative, said: "We all need to feel connected to others and have a sense of belonging, for our own wellbeing.

"The explosion of social media and increasing reliance on technology in modern lifestyles has impacted on the amount of face-to-face interactions, and our relationships can become more superficial and less rewarding as a result.

"The government is actively encouraging any form of interactive classes as a means of combatting loneliness, whether it's dancing or cookery!"

The Improvising Generations sessions will be led by dancer Laura Chiabolotti and musician Matthew Smith.

Refreshments will be provided.

Advance booking is essential. To book your place, email or call 07971 171061.