Best Foot Forward is a dance for falls prevention programme. We offer evidence-based dance classes to improve confidence, strength and balance of older people at risk of falling. Sessions are fun, sociable and creative, offering opportunities for personal expressions of identity. Through dance, participants are able to physically connect, move with and relate to new people, partners and family members in non care-based interactions.
Falls are one of the most common health problems among older people. In Devon the number of people aged 65 and over suffering at least one fall in the last 12 months is predicted to increase from 46,700 in 2011 to 74,500 in 2030 (Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Devon). These falls can lead to: injury, reduced mobility, loss of independence and reduced quality of life. Falls destroy confidence, increase isolation and reduce independence, with 9% of older people who fall becoming afraid to leave their homes in case they fall again. One of the problems identified by health care providers is that people often lack the motivation to continue exercising after a fall.
Dance is FUN and we can do it to stay strong, safe and full of beans.
We would like to acknowledge the support of the following people who donated to our Crowdfunder campaign in July 2018 to support joyful dance classes for older people in Torbay, and who opted in for the reward of being publicly thanked here on our website!
So huge thanks to:
Richard Chappell Dance
As the funding for the Best Foot Forward sessions in Torbay unfortunately came to an end we launched a crowdfunder in July 2018 and raised £737 to support and build these sessions further alongside the dance leader Clare Parker.
To register your interest in these sessions please contact Clare Parker firstname.lastname@example.org
June 2017 – June 2018
Led by Clare Parker and Tamsin Bone, with Sue Smith
12 participants (6 referred by GPs) undertook a 6 month falls prevention programme by attending 50 hours of free dance classes. The programme incorporated the FAME1 (Fitness and Mobility Exercise) protocol.
In partnership with Torbay Culture Board, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group. This project is part of a suite of four arts, health and wellbeing collaborations currently being developed and is part-funded by the Arts Council and supported by Big Lottery.
Led by Helen Venn
Great Torrington 2015-16
Led by Jenny Dodd
Supported by Arts Wave Devon Project, working with Devon County Council.
Images 1-9 Best Foot Forward Paignton Group 2017. Images by Lizzy Humber & Sue Smith, Dance in Devon.
Images 10-15 Paignton participants at Dance in Time 2017. Images by Gemma Smith.
Images 16-17 Rehearsal for Come Dance With Me. Images by Sue Smith, Dance in Devon.
Images 18-20 Performance by Paignton participants, Come Dance With Me 2017. Images by My Little Eye Photography.
Image 21 Jenny Dodd leads a session in Great Torrington 2016
Images 22-23 Image Helen Venn in Rosebank, Barnstaple 2016.
Header Image: Dance in Time 2015. Image Kevin Clifford
BBC Spotlight visited Dance in Devon’s dance for falls prevention group in September 2017.
There is no doubt that I have regained confidence and the sense of self-worth. The friendship and immense kindness of everyone have restored my interest in living and hope for more ‘happenings’ in a rosier future.
I love being here! My life was quiet after my children married and I lost my confidence. Now I’m Happy.
I just want to thank you again for the opportunity, it has been wonderful, such a lovely bunch of people and great experience and I have felt very lucky to have been a part of it all.
Lovely, absolutely lovely. The classes are very good, without pressure, even relaxing! … I feel more confident now and I’ve also started gardening again.
Read more stories here.
Contact Lizzy Humber (Project Manager)