Xpress-Yourself 2016 – From me to we

2016 has been a busy and exciting year for Xpress-Yourself and it has been the year that we moved from me to we, we started to deliver more Keep Dancing classes and increase the amount of dance workshops we deliver in care homes.

In January our South Yardley Keep Dancing class launched independently following the Community First funding through South Yardley Library coming to end. The class has had fantastic take up thanks to the continued support of Library and has sustained great numbers throughout the year.

Watch the class in action in November dancing to music from the well-known ballet The Nutcracker.

Throughout the year we have continued to deliver inclusive dance workshops in care homes for the elderly with great success and fantastic results. We have danced our away across the length and breadth of the West Midlands working in Hereford, Shrewsbury, Belbroughton, Solihull, Birmingham and Dudley just to name a few areas, giving everyone the chance to dance no matter their ability; the opportunity be creative and expressive and the time to escape their anxieties whilst having fun.

Watch of some of the work we have delivered this year, this was a video filmed through The Courtyard in Hereford at West Eaton Nursing Home.

Our dancing with older adult’s knowledge has also developed as Faye O’Connor successfully completed her Postural Stability Instructor training to ensure that our dance practice meets the required health and safety standards.

We have welcomed both Faye Hadley and Reanne Toone professional community dance artists to the Xpress-Yourself team, both of which have proven an incredible asset making our customers smile and helping them to improve their dancing ability and health and wellbeing. Their work has also ensured that we are now able to cover a greater area of the West Midlands delivering our Keep Dancing classes running in Darlaston, Aldridge, South Yardley, and Marston Green. In 2017 our Cheswick Green class will move to Shirley which will mean that the class will have greater accessibility for those living in the Shirley and Solihull areas.

Watch how our Keep Dancing classes have changed one of our dancers life!

We even made time to celebrate the Queens 90th Birthday working with BUDS and The Happy Project and Christ Church of England Primary School delivering a dance workshop for their bring your Granny to school day where great fun was had by all.

However this year the Queens 90th wasn’t our only celebration as we worked with Perton First School to celebrate 100 years of Roald Dahl through dance and movement workshops. Our favourite workshop has to be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where children learnt the Oompa Loompa dance and faces came a light with smiles as they were given the golden ticket!

Faye O’Connor is very proud to have started working with the Birmingham Royal Ballet Freefall Dance Company and worked with them on their Freefalling from Outer Space performance in November. Which was greatly received by the audiences and Faye looks forward to continuing working with Freefall in 2017.

The Alzhiemers Society Solihull Dementia Café enjoyed one of our dance workshops so much that they have booked us for workshops in 2017. The group leader of the group was brought to tears as she watched members of the group delight in dance and engage in activity which is something that they didn’t normally do.

We are very proud to have supported local businesses by referring them work through networking at BNI Villiers and have also been on the receiving end of fantastic business opportunities in which we are incredibly thankful for. Although getting lots of different business people dancing was a great accomplishment for us!

Watch BNI Villiers dance a seated Charleston.

We are looking forward to 2017, further growing our team and working in more care homes, schools and nurseries and launching more of our Keep Dancing classes. The first of which will be our Keep Dancing Stourbridge Class starting in February.

We would like to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to all our customers and supporters, and would like to wish you all a very