Para Dance UK get Armed Forces dancing!
In January 2021, thanks to funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, Para Dance UK launched some exciting virtual opportunities to keep members of the Armed Forces and their families moving, uplifted and connected over the lockdown months.
The initiative involved hosting 20 live, inclusive dance sessions, which were held across Zoom and run by Para Dance’s highly trained instructor MJ. An additional 10 pre-recorded videos were also released for those who preferred to dance alone.
Inclusive sessions, fun for all
With over 30 years of dance experience, the popular MJ ensured the live sessions were always inclusive and most importantly, fun for everyone, regardless of ability, age or disability. Participants could choose between slower or faster paced dance sessions each week, or pre-recorded videos to follow at their own leisure. Whichever format suited best, Para Dance aimed to encourage members of the Armed Forces to stay active and experience first hand the wonderful benefits dance had for both mind and body.
Veteran Royal Navy Nurse Susan Warner was one participant who reaped the rewards of virtual dance sessions with MJ in the comfort of her living room. Sue had suffered multiple fractures while serving in Afghanistan 12 years ago and mobility issues had led to her spending several years relying on a wheelchair and then crutches. Not one to to be deterred from a challenge or the chance to learn something new, Sue signed up for the sessions and encouraged her husband to join too so they could discover the world of dance together.
“It honestly was so much fun and really uplifting!”
After just one session Sue said was hooked and couldn’t praise MJ highly enough.
“MJ was fantastic, he was so patient and kind – and really encouraging. He made the dancing inclusive and easy to follow from the start – there was no mention of my limitations which can make you feel different or awkward, he just developed the moves around what I found possible,“ she explained. “He taught us so much about dance like movement, rhythms, beats with a lovely mix of music each week. It honestly was so much fun and really uplifting!”
Not surprisingly, Sue now has the dancing bug and is continuing to take up opportunities offered by Para Dance U,. alongside 10 pre-recorded dance videos
Members of the Armed Forces can sign up for the 10 free pre-recorded videos at https://armedforcesdancevideos.eventbrite.co.uk
Find out more
To discover more about Para Dance UK, visit www.paradance.org.uk