PDSW is focussing on developing its creative and health work with older people. People aged over 65 make up 20% of the population and this will rise to 26% by 2030. There are more people aged over 85 and 100 than ever before and the number rises year on year. We believe that dance can make a unique contribution to the health and wellbeing of older people. It involves music, creativity, exercise, social interaction and touch - all of which contribute to making a person feel better or happier at the end of a session than they did at the beginning!
In addition, there are an increasing number of professional older dancers who have maintained their fitness levels and love of dance and have the potential to still perform. We were delighted to hear that one of the Company of Elders at Sadler's Wells has just got his first professional contract aged 63! We aim to raise the visibility of practitioners working in this field and to promote a positive image of older dancers (amateur and professional).
In 2013 we mapped activity and produced a leaflet titled Creative Ageing Through Dance to highlight some of the excellent dance programmes being delivered across the South West.