Mix & Move: Southbank Centre relaunches free monthly dance sessions

The Southbank Centre is relaunching its free monthly dance sessions in the form of a new series called ‘Mix & Move.’ The initiative is part of the multi-arts centre’s Arts & Wellbeing programme, which is committed to finding innovative ways of increasing access to free enriching social encounters that offer wellbeing benefits. These events will provide an open and inclusive environment for people to come and be active, have fun, learn a new dance style and create new connections. ‘Mix & Move’ is set to welcome participants to the dancefloor in person from Friday 25 February 2022, from 1-3pm.

‘Mix & Move’ follows the Southbank Centre’s long-standing tradition of hosting social dances in the Royal Festival Hall Clore Ballroom, and comes after a hugely successful virtual social dance during lockdown in December 2020, which was beamed into homes and care homes across the UK for thousands of socially-isolated people, and supported by BBC Strictly Come Dancing judges and professional dancers.

Alexandra Brierley, Director of Creative Learning at the Southbank Centre, said: “We’re really excited to be able to bring people together in person again. The pandemic has reminded us how important it is to feel part of a community and we felt it important to relaunch our social dances in such a way that both experienced dancers and beginners can come together, be active and meet new people. Mix & Move will introduce and showcase a wide range of dance styles, and with expert teachers on hand, they will beaccessible for people with different levels of dance experienceWe truly believe in the transformative power of the arts for health and wellbeing, and are delighted to launch Mix & Move.”

Participants do not require a partner or any dance experience. The monthly events will be hosted by dance teachers Natasha Khamjani and Damien Anyasi, and each month features a guest dancer to introduce new dance styles. As part of the Southbank Centre’s commitment to diversity and inclusion the dances will represent different styles, countries and cultures – from the Lindy Hop and Ceilidh Jam through to Ballroom, Jive, Brazilian Forró and Jamaican Dancehall. The sessions will feature a mix of live and recorded music.

The Southbank Centre believes in the transformative power of the arts for health and wellbeing. Its social dances are a staple of the extensive Creative Learning and Arts & Wellbeing programme, which includes Art by Post, the Covid-19 response project to reach people who were at risk from social isolation and often living with one or more long term or chronic health conditions; (B)old, a series of creative writing, dance and film-making workshops for people living with dementia; and Grounded EcoTherapy at the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden, for people who have experienced homelessness, addictions and mental health problems.

The Southbank Centre is home to the National Academy of Social Prescribing. The organisation champions the social prescribing model as a way for health and care professionals to ‘prescribe’ people a range of local, non-medical services for wellbeing. The partnership is committed to the social prescribing agenda, with a particular focus on arts, creativity and culture.

Listings information

Mix & Move takes place every month. For up-to-date information, please visit southbankcentre.co.uk

Mix & Move: Lindy Hop with Grounded Movement
The Clore Ballroom, Level 2, Royal Festival Hall
Friday 25 February, 1pm – 3pm
Free, un-ticketed and for all ages
Natasha Khamjani and Damien Anyasi are joined by Grounded Movement’s Temujin Gill and Sunanda Biswas for an afternoon of joyful Lindy Hop and jazz. Grounded Movement brings their inclusive approach to dance, creating a fun and vibrant space for people of all ages, abilities and cultures to come together and learn new moves. You don’t need a partner, or any dance experience – just put the date in your diary and come along to enjoy some wonderful moments moving together. Our monthly Mix & Move events let you find your flair on the dancefloor, meet new people and try out new styles.

Mix & Move: Ceilidh Jam
The Clore Ballroom, Level 2, Royal Festival Hall
Friday 18 March, 1pm – 3pm
Free, un-ticketed and for all ages
For March’s dance, Natasha and Damien are joined by Folk Dance Remixed for a spectacular Ceilidh Jam, a fantastic fusion of traditional folk dance from around the world and contemporary street dance, with an energetic live band.

Mix & Move: April
The Clore Ballroom, Level 2, Royal Festival Hall
Friday 15 April, 1pm – 3pm
Free, un-ticketed and for all ages

n April, Natasha and Damien will be exploring a new dance style. Everyone is welcome to come along and boogie into the weekend. Information on line-up will be available at southbankcentre.co.uk

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