An innovative dance project helping women affected by cancer to reconnect with their bodies and access group support.
Emily created Move Dance Feel in 2016 and is now working in partnership with three leading cancer support organisations across London; Bromley by Bow Centre with Macmillan Social Prescribing, Maggie’s Barts and Paul’s Cancer Support Centre.
The project offers free, weekly dance sessions centred around artistic practice, where women come together to dance instead of talk about their cancer experience.
“Move Dance Feel has provided a wonderful outlet for self expression and creativity, which I have found to be very healing.”
Research has revealed significant benefits of dance in this context, helping participants to feel more positive, confident, active and able.
Physical expression and creative exchange gives rise to strong social relationships, which helps participants manage challenges and reduces feelings of isolation and anxiety.
Evidence shows that Move Dance Feel achieves greater wellbeing, and project researchers are further exploring how dance may combat specific negative side effects of cancer and treatment, such as fatigue. New research findings will be published in April 2019.
“When you have cancer, you lose touch with your body. It becomes unfamiliar - even worse, it starts to feel as if it is an enemy. For me, dancing started to bring me back to my own body and its energy, strength and basic joyfulness.”
In January 2018 an article about Move Dance Feel was published by People Dancing: Animated Magazine which you can read HERE. People Dancing is the UK’s development organisation for Community Dance.
Photos by Camilla Greenwell