CASTLE Community Centre in Northwich is playing host to pilot sessions for a novel dance programme.

Dance to Health is a new nationwide falls prevention dance programme for the over 60s.

Falls are traumatic for older people, and cost the NHS £2.3 billion a year.

Dance to Health combines two evidence and physiotherapy-based falls prevention programmes with the creativity, expression and energy of dance.

Six six-month Dance to Health pilots are being undertaken in Cheshire, London and Oxfordshire delivered by some of the UK’s leading dance organisations.

There are two in Cheshire run by Cheshire Dance, including sessions at Castle Community Centre on Tuesdays and Fridays.

“The twice-weekly dance programmes are friendly, sociable and creative environments, where participants have the chance to meet new people, learn a new skill, improve their confidence, creativity, strength and flexibility,” said Dance to Health chief executive Tim Joss.

“Through participation the risk of falls is reduced. The sessions last for one or one and a half hours, and refreshments are provided for the final 30 minutes.

“So far, participants have seen life-enhancing results.”

Spaces are available on the programmes at Castle and Chester, and new people are always welcome.

Castle Community Centre is in Barbers Lane, Castle, and the sessions are on Tuesday from 10am to midday and Friday from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.

“Currently there is patchy provision of falls prevention programmes for older people in the UK.

“The ones in existence have low take-up, there is a lack of maintenance classes, which means that gains are lost and investment is wasted, and a minority of current services are evidence-based – that is what Dance to Health is set up to address.

“Taken together the six pilot groups will generate data, which will be used as the foundation of an attractive, effective, financially sustainable model which could grow and benefit thousands of older people across the UK and save the NHS money.”

Castle Community Centre is run by Age UK, and offers a range of computer skills, learning and leisure classes for the over 55s.

Cheshire Dance is the development agency for dance in Cheshire.