Charity to run free online dance lessons to combat loneliness

Jen Blackwell dancing
Jen Blackwell by Gary Hughes

A Lancashire-based dance charity is set to deliver free online dance classes amid the COVID-19 outbreak, to combat loneliness and keep people active.

DanceSyndrome, an award winning charity, usually delivers dance lessons in a variety of styles – from ballet and jazz to more contemporary genres.

The dance classes are inclusive and focus on having fun for all abilities, whether you’re a complete beginner or have dance experience already.


Keeping fit and healthy is always important, but especially so during times like these. It can be difficult to access fitness opportunities, especially if you’re socially distancing or self-isolating.

However, DanceSyndrome’s online classes will provide a platform for all abilities to enjoy the benefits of exercise, free of charge.

The videos will launch from Monday (23 March), and will be released on the charity’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, and will stay up so you can carry out the classes at a time that suits you.

The sessions will be adapted so that everyone can dance safely from the comfort of their own home, or even from a chair. Dancers of all abilities will be able to participate, including children who are off school and anyone who is social distancing.


Dancing has numerous benefits, and is a particularly good activity to take part in if you’re socially distancing.

Not only is it a great way to get the energy flowing and heart pumping, it’s also good for your mental health, with many dancers reporting improved self-esteem and confidence, and decreased anxiety and depression: two things you might be feeling more of recently if you’re in isolation.


The charity was founded by Jen Blackwell, who found it difficult to find dance opportunities due to her disability. However, since launching DanceSyndrome, she has been named one of the UK’s most influential people with a disability by the Shaw Trust, and the charity has won numerous awards.

After being forced to close on Tuesday (17 March), 68 weekly classes were cancelled. However, the online classes will enable dancers to continue their lessons from the comfort of their own home.

How are you keeping busy at home? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram.

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