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20 Feb 2024

Dance has such a variety of incredible benefits for both your physical and mental health. It’s not only a powerful artistic tool for self-expression, discovery, and fulfilment, but also a tool to unite people and communities, contributing to the wellbeing of the population and providing  many ways to enhance physical and mental health.

At DanceEast, we offer weekly dance classes for children, young people, and adults to come along and try out different styles of dance in an inclusive and nurturing environment. We offer classes for all abilities, so if you’ve never done a dance class before, don’t worry! Or perhaps you danced in the past and would like to start up again. Either way, our classes give you the space and support to do so, with one of our class members sharing they felt doing a class at DanceEast is “such a wonderful opportunity to dance again – I thought I had forgotten how.” When you come to a class here, you become part of the community, and meet participant of all ages, as one participant shared “I am now 66 and have been coming for 20 years weekly.

It’s not about getting it right, or working towards grades, instead our classes focus more on exploring the joy of dance and movement in a social class where you’ll meet new friends, boost your serotonin levels and explore new movement. One participant shares their highlights “I enjoy the social aspect and element of fun” and another shared “I enjoy the weekly exercise and the challenge of stretching myself, the chance to push my mind and body.” We also provide opportunities for weekly Springboard classes for young people and adults, offering high quality, specialist provision for disabled participants to move their bodies and exercise safely. Weekly classes in Ipswich include creative dance tasks, improvisation, exploration of dance props and contemporary dance exercises. Fancy seeing what a DanceEast class is like? You can try out a taster class, just give our friendly box office team a call on 01473 295230.

Currently, DanceEast works with people with Parkinson’s and Dementia, as well as focusing on preventing falls and injury in older people through dance. DanceEast’s Dance for Parkinson’s programme, in partnership with English National Ballet, provides a unique opportunity for people with Parkinson’s in Ipswich and the surrounding areas to engage with high quality dance classes in our studio. The benefits of the classes on the participants positively impact both their physical and mental health, with one participant sharing “attending them regularly has helped me manage my symptoms better. I have developed friendships with others living with Parkinson’s and maintain a better quality of life.”

Our Care to Dance? programme delivers creative dance activity to those living with Dementia and their carers/families, improving patients’ mobility and mental wellbeing, and alleviating their carers by offering dependable, expert provision and support. Attending a Care to Dance? session has provided relief to patients and their families, helping to ease what is otherwise a devastating disease, as one participant shares “we laugh, joke, dance, explore, giggle, and everything. I love it.”

Outside of Ipswich, we offer weekly Movers classes for people over 55, which are run by independent dance artists around Suffolk. Movers classes combine movement and a cup of tea to provide a positive and creative outlet for people living often in rural communities, so the weekly class is a fantastic opportunity to bring together older people, provide a safe space for exercise and enable them to maintain independent lives. One Movers participant shared “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting new friends, some of whom have lived near me for years and I’ve never spoken to and now we have this wonderful group in common.”

More information about our classes and community programmes can be found on our website