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Passion for keeping people active through dance

Passion for keeping people active through dance

HADCA’s history dates back to 1973 when the visionary Ann Morris MBE set up a Volunteer Centre in Harrogate following her own disappointing experience of trying to become a volunteer.

Matching willing people with suitable roles was the simple aim and over the years it became apparent that voluntary and community groups also needed advice and support to provide rewarding opportunities and more generally to thrive and prosper. Thus in 1988 Harrogate and Area Council for Voluntary Service (HACVS) was formed as a charity to “build the capacity of charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises and provide them with the necessary support, information and services to enable them to pursue or contribute to any charitable purpose”.

Over the years the name has been tweaked and funding has come and gone, but HADCA has continued to focus on supporting people to make good things happen locally. It has always been hugely rewarding to help the small seed of a great idea to support our community grow into a much loved and vital charitable organisation.

Led by the indomitable founder Jackie Terry-Schumann, Dancing for Wellbeing is just such a charity. Jackie’s passion for keeping people active through dance knows no bounds and she and her team have been delivering sessions for older people with health and mobility problems across Harrogate since 2015. Following a successful Lottery application, 2023 saw four new groups added to the timetable, with 11 groups now meeting weekly. Sessions run across Harrogate and in Nidderdale, Knaresborough, Boroughbridge and Ripon, and an impressive 200 members now make up this lively dancing community.  

As Manager Hannah explains “Groups meet weekly in accessible community venues, and sessions are designed to be done seated or standing: group leaders offer options that suit your body and your ability, meaning that anyone can dance with us. Dancing is a form of communication and connection in many cultures and communities, and this is no different. Sessions take place in a circle, where not only movement is shared, but smiles, eye contact, and laughter too. We make the time to connect with, and to see, each other: to come together and enjoy one another’s company. Each group finishes with a warm drink and biscuits, so there’s time to talk, to make friends or to catch up with old friends, too”.

It’s much more than just fun and gentle exercise though. As one member said recently: "Although I have confidence, living on my own can be lonely. Going out to Dancing for Well-being sessions brings me enjoyment and connects me to other people".

The newest groups meet on Tuesday afternoons in Boroughbridge, and Wednesday mornings in Harrogate – and there is plenty of space!

For further information about Dancing for Well-Being and how to get involved as a member or volunteer, visit their website: or their Facebook page.

Or you can contact them by emailing or calling the administrator, Jax, on 07453 564 983.   


(photo credit: Dancing For Wellbeing)