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New friendships, companionship and laughter

New friendships, companionship and laughter

Moving more, being more active and social is good for both our body and our mind, whatever our age. 

Dancing for Well-Being bring older people together to dance, chat, laugh and have fun, and could be just what who you’re looking for, if you thought your dancing days were over! 

Hannah Wood, Dancing for Well-Being Manager, said: “We dance to all different types of music from varying genres and eras, and our dances can be done seated or standing: all bodies of all abilities are welcome. It is brilliant gentle exercise, especially for those with health and mobility problems or who find mainstream exercise classes challenging.”

The dances are very accessible, you can move at your own level, you don’t need to take along a partner, and you don’t need a good memory. 

Hannah added: “We dance for an hour, then enjoy tea, coffee, biscuits and a good chat together. It helps you improve your sense of well-being - not just physically, but emotionally too.”

There are weekly groups in community venues across the Harrogate district, and the team are delighted to have just started a new group at the Harrogate Road Methodist Church in Ripon. The Ripon group meets on Tuesday mornings, from 11am – 12.30pm, and new members are very welcome. 

The groups suit older people with various health and mobility problems, for example, arthritis, heart disease, lung conditions like COPD, Parkinson’s, dementia, MS, cancer, stroke, to name just a few. They are also beneficial for people who are caring for their partner or coping with bereavement. 

As Pat from the Bilton group said: “It’s a tonic – even on a miserable day there is laughter. Music – excellent, exercise – brilliant. Just what the doctor ordered!”

Research has shown that dancing is good exercise, for the brain as well as the body, and it’s great for company and friendship. It also helps relieve tension and stress and can really lift your spirits. 

Hannah said: “Our members might be going through a difficult time, but they’re determined to keep as physically and socially active as possible and enjoy life. 
New friendships, companionship and laughter are the main reasons members keep coming back – there is so much joy in every session!”

For more information about joining the Ripon group or any group across the district, or if you’re interested in volunteering, the Dancing for Well-Being team would love to hear from you. They would also like to hear from anyone who runs or belongs to a community group or organization, which would be interested in a taster session. 
Please call 07453 564 983, or email You can also visit the website for details of all the weekly groups. 

If you’re looking for local community activities, services and events which support the good health and wellbeing of people of all ages, the HADCA Where To Turn Directory can help connect you  


July 2023 

Photo: Dancing For Well-Being members having fun at the Knaresborough group. Credit: Steven Eric Parker.