In 2015 Faye O’Connor was fortunate enough to start work on The Courtyard’s Creative Ageing Project, Dance Magic Dance which was funded through the Big Lottery. The projects aim was to encourage creative participation and sharing of experiences, through working with older people using dance based activities as a starting point in nursing, residential and day centre settings.
For the last two years Faye has worked in several carehomes and even on a hospital ward whilst being mentored by Diane Amans delivering creative inclusive dance sessions. Diane is a renowned dance artist with over thirty five years’ experience of leading dance activities with diverse community groups both in the UK and Europe.
For Faye this has been the project that has had the most positive impact upon her dance practice when working with older adults. Before starting the project Faye was initially trained as a Circle Dance practitioner but the through the training provided through The Courtyard and delivered by Diane Amans Faye’s dance practice has improved vastly.
Faye’s knowledge and understanding of dancing with older people has developed and her confidence has grown in taking more creative risks when facilitating dance activities and her passion of for intensive interaction has been integrated into her dance practice. Inspired by Diane’s knowledge of working with older adults, Faye took it upon herself to train as a Postural Stability Instructor through Later Life Training which means that she has the knowledge to deliver falls prevention sessions and the understating of the anatomy of frail and elderly people.
Faye continues to work with care homes that she has been introduced to through Dance Magic Dance has taken on care homes independently through her company Xpress-Yourself and is now at the point where she has trained her staff team to deliver dance in care homes and for the Alzheimer’s Society across the West Midlands.
Faye will always be grateful for the opportunity to have worked on Dance Magic Dance and to the Creative Ageing Team at The Courtyard and to Diane Amans for their support who have all been amazing.