The Dragon Cafe

During an epically busy November and December, I was asked to design and deliver a 5-week dance programme at the incredible Dragon Cafe in Borough. The Dragon Cafe is a weekly space that is open to all, offering a range of creative and wellbeing activities with a focus on mental health and recovery.

My sessions were attended by a variety of participants ranging from 17 – 85 years old, from all walks of life, some who couldn’t wait to show me their skills and others who said they hadn’t danced in over 20 years. One regular participant who blew me away with her resilience and determination was Jacqueline. Just like her smile, with each week Jacqueline’s confidence, awareness and mobility grew and she became a sweet reminder of the broader significance of community dance and a personal reminder as to why I work in this field.

Jacqueline wished to give me this testimonial, but not before capturing her photo!

“First I want to say that I have Parkinsons and have had multiple strokes. It gets me down and fed-up. Sometimes when you’re ill and you have a family, they just see you as someone to look after, but Natalia made me feel that I am part of society again. Since I started dancing in her sessions I feel so much more relaxed and it’s dramatically helping my balance. I just started taking only one tablet a week, it used to be four and I think that’s because of dance. In the first class I was nervous that no-one would want to dance with me, but Natalia made me and everyone else here feel so welcome and she created a community on this little dance floor.”