Penny Brohn UK has teamed up with creative dance project, Move Dance Feel to offer fun dance courses for women affected by cancer.
The partnership will offer courses at Penny Brohn UK’s National Centre in Pill and a number of taster sessions at venues in the community across Bristol. Move Dance Feel is designed for women with any type of cancer at any stage in their cancer experience – having been diagnosed, undergoing treatment or post treatment. Women caring for someone with cancer are also welcome to attend.
Courses will combine dynamic and creative movement activities with playful opportunities for interaction and quiet reflection; helping women to find freedom in their bodies and confidence in their abilities. No previous dance experience is necessary as participants will be guided through different tasks and techniques, accessing the holistic benefits of dance.
Research shows that dancing has a number of physical and mental health benefits; including improving fitness levels, boosting confidence and reducing anxiety.
The project is being run by dance artist and Move Dance Feel founder, Emily Jenkins, who has worked within participatory dance for ten years and specialises in the area of Dance and Health.
Emily Jenkins, founder of Move Dance Feel said: “I set up Move Dance Feel to help women affected by cancer to reconnect with their bodies and access group support. The project is centred around artistic practice, where women come together to dance instead of talk about their cancer experience. I’m very excited to be partnering with Penny Brohn UK to offer dance courses to women living in and around Bristol. This national development enables Move Dance feel to expand outside of London, helping more women in need. ”
Marian Naidoo, Services Director at Penny Brohn UK, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Move Dance Feel to offer creative dance workshops for women affected by cancer. At Penny Brohn UK we recognise that people affected by cancer need more than medicine to live well and empower them to have more control over their health and wellbeing. Dancing has been shown to enhance wellbeing through positive emotion and self-expression as well as reducing feelings of isolation through peer support.”
Dr Virgina Wolstenholme, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “I was truly amazed by the effect of Move Dance Feel on my patients. The benefits in terms of improved confidence and wellbeing were remarkable and supported by clinical data. The programme is a huge success.”
A previous participant commented: “When you have cancer, you lose touch with your body. It becomes unfamiliar – even worse, it starts to feel as if it is an enemy. For me, dancing started to bring me back to my own body and its energy, strength and basic joyfulness.”
Photo credit Camilla Greenwell