Vivo Care Choices, with the support of Cheshire Dance and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), has run a successful Wanna Dance? project so people accessing its services can continue to enjoy dance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These have been challenging times for everyone and people with learning disabilities and autism haven’t always been able to go out and about in the community, but Wanna Dance? has provided an opportunity for people supported by Vivo to keep active and take part in dance.

As part of this project, Vivo staff have received training so they can deliver 20-minute, one-to-one dancing sessions with the people they support. The sessions, which are based on people using services joining, amplifying and connecting their partner’s movement, are recorded so they can be reviewed and individual movement profiles can be created for each person.

A total of 42 one-to-one sessions took place earlier this year and they’ve helped engage people who would’ve otherwise struggled to access dancing during the pandemic. 10 staff have also taken advantage of training and learned new skills that will help them in their roles in the future.

Alistair Jeffs, Managing Director of Vivo, said: “This is a fantastic project and I’d like to thank both Cheshire Dance and UCLan for their support as it’s made such a big difference.

“At Vivo, it’s important to us that we’re a key part of the local community and the pandemic has been challenging because we haven’t always been able to deliver our services outside our buildings.

“Wanna Dance? has not only allowed the people we support to keep busy in our services, but it has also provided plenty of health benefits and development opportunities.

“Our staff have been amazing throughout the project and it’s wonderful to see how much the people we support have enjoyed getting involved.

“We’re looking forward to working with Cheshire Dance and UCLan to see how this project could develop in the future.”

Jane McLean, Creative Director at Cheshire Dance, added: “We’re delighted to have developed Wanna Dance? with Vivo Care Choices.

“We believe everybody should have access to dance experiences that are personal to them, meet their unique needs and create an opportunity for their creative voices to be heard, amplified and shared.

“We’re excited to work with Vivo and those who use its services to develop the work.”