It definitely wasn’t a mundane Monday at Swinton Grand Palais as over 80 people joined in to celebrate Dancing with Dementia’s second anniversary.

With Lareena Mitchell as the live act, families and care homes came together to enjoy an afternoon of dancing, tea, and cake.

Live act Lareena Mitchell
Live act Lareena Mitchell

Celebrating its second anniversary along with Valentine’s Day, guests were treated to a specially made birthday cake and the ladies were gifted a red rose.

Lesley Fisher founded Dancing with Dementia and spoke to Quays News about the inspiration behind creating the event: “I wanted to create something that was local. We had this fabulous venue, I love dancing, and music and dancing are brilliant for people with dementia so it was an ideal scenario.”

Founder Lesley Fisher cutting the special birthday cake
Founder Lesley Fisher cutting the special birthday cake

She chose to host the event at the iconic Grand Palais in Swinton, Salford as many of the guests regularly used the venue in their younger years.

Lesley said: “People come here and can remember coming here, perhaps meeting their first love. It’s an iconic building recreating good times and good memories.

A HC One care home worker also praised the venue: “A lot of the people I bring have been here before in the past. It brings back all of those memories from their youth, courting and having a good time. It just brings them to life.”

She also spoke about how the mood of the guests changes while at the event: “They all get up dancing. People who couldn’t hold their own cup of tea are helping themselves to food and drinks when sat with company.”

Lesley Fisher also noticed a change of mood of guests at the event: “They come in and are saying ‘It’s cold out, I didn’t want to come’ then sweet Caroline comes on and their arms are waving while singing along.”

“The transition in the space of half an hour is wonderful, it’s the smile that makes this all worthwhile.”

Guests enjoying dancing with dementia
Guests enjoying Dancing with Dementia

Dementia affects around 850,000 people across the UK and it’s estimated that the current cost of the disease for the UK is around £26bn.

People with the disease and those directly affected by it suffer from loneliness and depression, which is why projects such as Dancing with Dementia are so vital for local communities.

Jordan Moore from Salford City Council attended his first Dancing with Dementia event on the two year anniversary, he said: “There’s so many people here today and it’s just fantastic to bring them all together.”

“We’re always looking for new initiatives and what’s going on in the area to try and replicate that across the community.”

Dancing with Dementia is still growing with the help of the local community as various local businesses provide raffle prizes for each event.

Lesley Fisher is also planning further events for the guests such as; fish and chip supper, and possibly another trip after the success of their trip to Blackpool Tower last year which 85 people attended.

Dancing with dementia schedule
Dancing with dementia schedule

Listen to the full interview with Lesley Fisher here:

If you’d like to get involved in dancing with dementia then contact Lesley Fisher.

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