Dance Dosti: Free Contemporary, Bollywood, Latin & Street Classes
Fun and fitness together with free digital dance sessions.
Dance is a fun and creative way to be active and to support our physical and mental health. Dancing can help lift our spirits along with our heart rate. Dance Dosti is created by the award-winning dance company Step Change Studios. In partnership with Metro Blind Sport, and supported by Vision Foundation, we want to support more people to enjoy the benefits of dance. This is why we have created Dance Dosti digital.
Dance Dosti is here to support you to take part in regular dance, and to improve your wellbeing while enjoying the experience. Our free sessions are created as short-bursts of activity to help you fit it in around your daily life, when and where you want.
All video and audio sessions are free to the Dance Dosti community once you register for free. You only need to register once to start dancing.
Dance Dosti is based on an 8-week programme. We encourage participants to do two classes a week but you can repeat classes you enjoy, vary the order, and do as many classes as you like. Each session is around 15-minutes.
The Dance Dosti sessions are arranged by language, and choice of standing and seated dance. Our dance content is available in four different languages: English, Gujarati, Hindi, and Bengali. You can choose between video and audio format.
Our Dance Dosti sessions are led by experienced dancers from a South Asian background. The dance sessions are inspired by a fusion of different styles including Bollywood, Latin, Street and Contemporary Dance. Our sessions provide different options for different abilities.
Step Change Studios Founder Rashmi Becker said:
“The idea for Dance Dosti came from seeing the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on people from certain demographics. People from a South Asian background and disabled people have reported greater isolation and inactivity.
As an inclusive dance provider, we know the positive difference dance makes to our quality of life, irrespective of age or ability. It benefits both body and mind.
Our free digital programme is designed as short sessions that can be fitted in to daily life. We want to support people to enjoy learning to dance, to be active at home, and to transition to creative and physical activity outside the home.”
The Dance Dosti project will promote physical activity and use the benefits of dance to bring people together and improve health and wellbeing. The project combines different elements including home and community-based dance, engaging local partners and volunteers to support participation, and providing advice for dance and fitness providers on inclusive practice.
Martin Symcox, CEO of Metro Blind Sport said:
“Blind and partially sighted people face barriers in taking part in physical activity and engaging in social activities. I am pleased that this exciting project with Rashmi and her team at Step Change Studios is designed to overcome these barriers and open opportunities up to dance.
Within the visually impaired community there are certain groups who can face a “double disadvantage”.
This programme aims to empower and target at risk communities through a tailored approach, that will enable people to be active by engaging them in spaces and ways they prefer”.
Olivia Curno, Chief Executive of the Vision Foundation, said:
“We couldn’t be more excited about funding this project. While it’s about music, movement and fun, it’s also so much more.
Dance Dosti provides opportunities for an underserved community to engage in an activity to boost both physical and mental health.
Learning from the programme will inform the development of more diverse, inclusive opportunities to be creative and active.”
A series of free community-based programmes will be piloted in five London boroughs from Autumn 2021: Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Newham, and Tower Hamlets. These accessible sessions will be tailored to local communities, supporting blind and partially sighted people to learn to dance and to develop their potential.
Dance Dosti will monitor the impact of dance on a range of measures including mental and physical health, confidence, friendships, increasing independence and learning new skills. Learning from the programme will inform the development of more diverse, inclusive opportunities to be creative and active.
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