“I wake up with the aches and pains of the day, I get in the studio, have a gossip and a dance, and I’m young again!”

Over the last few months, arts and community organisations across the city have been delivering small but perfectly formed projects using funding from the HOP Pot, with the aim of engaging older people as audiences and participants in the arts, heritage and creative activities.

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MDI used their HOP Pot grant of £250 to fund a series of five taster dance workshops aimed at over 50s. These sessions were led by Taciturn Dance Company and involved the development of a piece to perform at MDI’s community dance showcase event at the Florrie. The sessions attracted a number of new participants, some from Chinese Wellbeing, another HOP member organisation. The project has led to a couple of new recruits joining the regular Wednesday morning class at MDI, and will hopefully lead to some further spin-offs. The group of both existing members and new faces are now interested in working with choreographers again in the future, and creating more work for performance. For MDI, the project has demonstrated that there is an untapped demand for dance amongst older women, and they plan to take the learning from this project and extend out into community venues, exploring the potential to engage older men as participants, as the current group is entirely made up of women.

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