Wednesday 17th June 2020

LOCAL DANCE CHARITY SMASHES LOCKDOWN WITH FREE ONLINE CLASSES

  • Move Momentum delivers 8 accessible dance classes a week online including Facebook lives, YouTube tutorials and TikTok challenges

  • Wheelchair classes see a participation increase of over 100% since lockdown

  • The charity aims to keep those at higher risk of isolation active and part of a community

 

Wednesday 17th June, 2020 - Move Momentum, local Winchester dance charity has successfully adapted since the UK entered into lockdown, delivering dance classes online and free of charge. The charity offers dance classes targeted at young people, over 65s and people with physical disabilities and has reached new participants across the UK and worldwide due to new online classes. 

 

The charity aims to keep those at higher risk of isolation active and part of a community during this lockdown period. 

 

Instead of sitting on their laurels when the UK entered into lockdown, best friends and drivers behind Momentum, Vickie and Amanda decided to take their classes online to reach their regular participants as well as anyone else who would like to tune in to stay active during isolation.

 

Since 20th April, Move Momentum has delivered eight virtual dance classes per week free of charge through the use of Zoom, Facebook Live, Youtube tutorials and TikTok challenges.  

 

All of the GEMS (over 65s) exercises have also been made publicly available on YouTube for any older adults that want to keep fit during the lockdown.

 

Liberate classes, the only wheelchair exclusive dance classes in the UK, have experienced huge success during the lockdown; 7 out of the 12 existing students are attending Zoom class and 12 new regular members have joined. 

 

Co-founder Vickie has attracted a record number of students to the Liberate wheelchair classes through the use of social media. Classes already attracted people from across the South, now they’re reaching dance enthusiasts across the UK and the world, with viewers tuning in from Norway and the USA.

 

Since 2019, the charity has provided accessible dance classes to three main groups:

  1. Wheelchair users – Liberate classes are the only exclusively wheelchair-based dance classes in the UK

  2. Young people – Academies have been created in three of Winchester’s four council estates, providing classes to 25 young people in the local area.

  3. Over 65s – GEMS classes are held to support the older adult community. 

 

Amanda Watkinson, Project Manager, Move Momentum says “Lockdown has emphasised the importance of looking after our mental and physical health - and the connection between the two.  Lockdown has been a difficult time for everyone, but these struggles can often be amplified for the target groups we support.  It was paramount for us to continue delivering our classes during this time in order for our regular and new participants to reap the social, mental and physical rewards from our programme, particularly at a time when they are needed most.”

 

Vickie Simmonds, Co-founder of Liberate Dance, says: “The demand for our online Liberate wheelchair classes during lockdown has been overwhelming, I get emotional when I think about how many people we’ve been able to help. As Vivian Greene famously said ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain’. We’re so pleased to have managed to expand our community during this time - having people tune in from around the world is one of the unexpected but fantastic outcomes of our online classes and it makes us really excited for the future of Liberate”

 

ENDS  - 

 

Contact

Amanda Watkinson – Project Manager, Move Momentum

Phone: 01962 809234

Email: amanda@movemomentum.co.uk

Supported by:

Move Momentum - Registered charity number: 1189061

Winchester, Hampshire

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