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Dance West

Neuro Café 12th January 2022 by Linda S

Conor welcomed everyone including Rosie Witney-Fish from DanceWest.

Covid has been a problem; some participants caught it over the Christmas break and some are still poorly with it and isolating. All good wishes for those still afflicted! We noted there is 80% more chance of resisting Covid if you have had the booster.


LEGS participants introduced themselves to Rosie and described their background. LEGS are a diverse group of people. The overall attitude is positivity, determination and good humour. Some LEGS participants are even twerking!

Rosie showed us a DanceWest video and talked about the Ignition Dance Festival. DanceWest was founded in 2014 with the aim of giving something back to the community. It welcomes people from all abilities. Dance breaks down barriers - it brings social mobility, cohesion and fun. Participants are up to the age of 103 and classes take place in care homes, community centres, hospitals etc. The hope is to get everybody active and moving and participating in dance. There are about 36,000 people currently participating in programmes. Dance makes people feel healthy and happy! There are 72 classes a week, of which 26 are in the community. 70% of classes are free.

Where is Dance West?

This November DanceWest opened a professional dance studio with ballet bars and a special sprung heated floor, based in Sands End Arts and Community Centre, Fulham, Parsons Green. It also operates across 7 London boroughs.

What kind of dance is taught?

Not just Ballet and Hip hop, DanceWest offers diverse dance styles including Salsa, Flamenco, Krumping, Popping and Tango.

Dance West is interested in heritages and cultures of dance and welcome people regardless of ability, background and experience. They offer nonprofit and inclusive dance with activities for Parkinson’s, dementia, and so on. Levels are seated, seated to standing and active. It is a great place to meet people and have a bit of a laugh, there is an emphasis on people being able to express themselves.

Are you based in East London or do you provide online classes like LEGS?

Last year we did online sessions with 12.5k people.

For East London, please contact East London Dance who run several classes.

What precautions are in place for Covid?

The video shown was taken when there were no Covid restrictions. Teachers take 2 x weekly lateral flow tests. Participants wear masks coming into the building. There is ventilation and windows are open during the class.

Seated classes - chairs are cleaned, same for resistance bands etc. Each participant has own bag with equipment. People do not wear masks in class due to water droplets. Classes are socially distanced. There is regular cleaning and lateral flow tests.

Do you do folk dancing?

Not specifically. There are groups that do that such as the English Folk song and Dance Society, you could contact them.

Do venues have step-free access?

Most of the venues we use do have step-free access.

How do you join Dance west?

You can find all information on how to join DanceWest on the website. Please note a new website is on the way. Conor will put the details into the group chat. Rosie intends to offer an online tester Zoom class to LEGS people. Watch this space!

Instagram: @DanceWestlondon

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