Damn It! Dance It! Shaping creative, movement workshops for and by older people
Shaping creative, movement workshops for and by older people to help sustain physical activity, encourage strong social connections and challenge age-related stereotypes in a new and innovative way.
About the project
DamnIt!DanceIt! will test the viability of shaping creative, movement workshops for and by older people into a replicable model of activity which would be an attractive offer for shopping centres across the country. The project addresses two of the Healthy Ageing Challenge themes – sustaining physical activity in older people and supporting their social connections – and challenges age-related stereotypes in a new and innovative way.
DamnIt!DanceIt!, managed by Moving Memory Dance Theatre, uses Moving Memory Dance Theatre’s bespoke creative movement practice, which is designed to support and facilitate older participants to use their own stories to devise choreography for a short piece of performance. The practice has been devised by older people for whom this approach has provided multiple physical health and other well-being benefits. The co-operative approach invariably results in strong, social connections between participants. The element of performance inspires people to stretch themselves (both physically and mentally) and unites them in the shared endeavour. When the performance element is placed in a public space, it offers a valuable demonstration of the positive achievements of older people, and audience reactions can include a reassessment of what it means to be older.
Recognising shopping centres as vital and accessible community hubs for people of all ages, the project will test the viability of creative movement workshops as a commercially attractive offer for shopping centres across the country. Working with 2 partner shopping centres, we will investigate the potential economic and social benefits by running test activity and monitoring whether this increases footfall, generates spend and creates a sense of place. We are keen to see how this proposition can support shopping centres to re-invent their offer in the face of changing post-Covid shopping habits and competition from the internet.
Our long-term ambition is to see DamnIt!DanceIt! in shopping centres across the country, providing accessible, rewarding, creative physical activities for older people in a pro-social context, and changing perceptions of ageing amongst the wider population.