Seated Swing

Seated Swing

Seated Swing is a bespoke programme of seated dance workshops in care homes and day centres in South Central Edinburgh. Each week, professional dance teachers Chris Stuart-Wilson and Fiona Blair visit centres to teach fun, accessible classes that target motor and sequencing pathways in the brain, stimulating coordination and enhancing and developing cognitive function in older adults who have limited access to physical and social activity. Across each term, Dance Base delivers 12 weeks of dance workshops to up to 80 older people.

The aim of Seated Swing is to help older people to increase their confidence and open them up to the joy of dance, as well as improving their health and wellbeing. Movements are tailored to the needs of individual participants, ensuring they get maximum benefit from the class. Some movements are simple, while others involve more complex dance routines involving finger and arm movements, clapping routines, toe tapping and heel raising from seats. The classes are designed to be fun and energising for all, regardless of level, age or ability.

“Without exception all service users take part in the sessions and demonstrate a level of interest and participation the regular staff find impressive and hard to achieve in our own work.” Manager,  Eric Liddell Centre

The project takes place at Viewpoint Housing Association at Gillespie Crescent North Merchiston Care Home, Eric Liddell Centre, Portlee Resource Centre in Leith, and with MECOPP at Dance Base.

Seated Swing was recently featured on Timeline, on BBC Two, and the full episode can be seen on the BBC iPlayer until Friday 7 April 2017.

Seated Swing is supported by Awards for All, Christina Mary Hendrie Trust, The Nancie Massey Charitable Trust and is evaluated through the University of Edinburgh MSC Dance Science and Education Programme.

To find out more about Seated Swing, contact Allan Irvine,

If you would like to support Seated Swing and the many other projects like it that Dance Base makes possible, please visit

elderly ladies seated and dancing  elderly ladies seated in a row, dancing

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