Young at Arts: Yorkshire Evening Post 01 December 2015

Headline: Elderly take dance lessons as part of anti-loneliness campaign

Article Text: Six Leeds theatre organisations have helped bring a spring to the steps of dozens of elderly people - by teaching them how to dance. 

Since October, the organisations - including Northern Ballet and Yorkshire Dance - have been delivering weekly taster sessions at Morley, Gipton and Rothwell inviting older adults to take part in various artistic activities, many for the first time in their lives. 

The classes are aimed at combatting loneliness and isolation in older people. 

They are part of the £6m Time to Shine Project, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund's Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better programme. 

The programme brings together the Leeds Education Arts Forum (LEAF), including Leeds Grand Theatre and City Varieties, Northern Ballet, Opera North, Phoenix Dance Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Yorkshire Dance. 

And Time to Shine have said that the programme, still in its trial stages, will hopefully be rolled out to other Leeds locations in the New Year. Phoenix Dance Theatre's director of access and education, Charis Charles, said "Phoenix Dance Theatre is committed to developing dance audiences and proud to be creating opportunities for people to engage in dance who might not ordinarily have the opportunity. We have big aspirations for this scheme." 

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