RESIDENTS across mid Cheshire have been able to keep active and connected in lockdown through the form of dance.

Winsford-based Cheshire Dance usually runs events in communities across the county, but with the pandemic putting get-togethers on hold, it has been able to run hundreds of virtual events instead.

In all, Cheshire Dance has supported more than 5,800 online attendances, and its video content has been streamed a further 2,000 times.

And people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities have been able to virtually come together thanks to the project.

Director Adam Holloway said: “Enabling access to dance and the dance profession underpins all of our work and as usual, large numbers of people have been engaging even in lockdown.

“At a time when we all had to focus on those things most vital to us, we have seen many people choose dance to help keep them active and creative.”

Cheshire Dance usually runs 12 weekly classes, but these moved online and were joined by further live and interactive sessions, virtual training and industry-connecting discussions.

The sessions have brought together groups of young people, older adults, people living with dementia and people with disabilities, alongside independent artists.

Jane McLean, creative director, said: “Dance has been so important for so many of our participants.

“Parents have considered our sessions ‘a lifeline’ both for themselves and their children, and our older adults are in firm agreement that the live and interactive classes with their regular groups have helped them to feel less lonely and more motivated whilst remaining alone at home.”

Cheshire Dance’s YouTube channel has also enjoyed more than 2,000 views, while new ‘Dancing at Home’ resource packs have been provided for people with learning disabilities and autism, and primary school children can now access an educational resource park.

“It has been clear that the community has felt connected and together through dance during this very difficult time,” added Jane.

“Cheshire Dance is delighted to have played a role in keeping the community active, healthy, social and, of course, dancing.”

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