NOT many things cheer you up more than a bit of your favourite music and a good dance.
In the case of the No Limits Bridport dance group that idea is no different.
An added bonus however is that there is also the chance to meet new people and make new friends.
No Limits is a dance and music project for adults with learning disabilities offering regular access to dance sessions in a range of community settings in Bridport.
The dancers and musicians for the group have been working together for more than two years.
No Limits is supported by The West Dorset Leisure Development Fund, Bridport Rotary Club and West Dorset Mencap.
The group’s most recent class – in the Bridport Youth Centre on July 7 – was its last before the summer break. It will begin again in September.
The group gives people the chance to develop the confidence to communicate and express non-verbally with the body.
Lead dance artist for the group is Anna Golding who moved to Dorset in 2005 since training professionally in contemporary dance 20 years ago.
She has been part of projects in the community, with a particular specialism in working with adults and young people with learning disabilities.
Most recently, projects include No Limits Bridport, Activate Performing Arts projects, A Dance a Day based in Charmouth, youth performance company Remix based in Weymouth, Bridport Boys Dance and Life Circles at Harbour House in West Bay.
Anna is also a member of the Foundation for Community Dance.
She said: “Dance is well placed to address many of the issues facing people with learning disabilities in today’s society: emotional and physical well-being, social inclusion, building lasting relationships, freedom of expression as a basic human right.
“No Limits gives the group the chance to perform in public spaces and to collaborate with other community dance and music groups in Bridport.
“We have been holding classes in the Bridport Youth Centre for the last 18 months, and before that we were based at the arts centre.
“What’s great about being based at the youth centre is that we have people come from all over Bridport.
“No Limits has approximately 15 members who come regularly but anyone else is welcome to pop along on a drop-in basis.
“I also work with another group called Remix in Weymouth, which is a group for teenagers up to the age of 21.
“No Limits allows those people who enjoy going to Remix but have reached the age of 21 another opportunity to enjoy dance.
“In this sense, it offers a real sense of continuity for many people in the community across Dorset, not just Bridport.”
No Limits will meet on Mondays at the youth centre from 12.30pm until 2.30pm – when they return in September.
Lunch and social time lets members of the group to catch up with one another and meet anyone new, and takes place from noon until 1pm.
The dance class follows and runs from 1pm until 2.30pm.
Payment for the No Limits classes is at a cost of £5 for each dance session.
New members to the group or volunteers are always welcome.
For more information call Anna Golding on 0795 8045672 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bridport Charter Fair marked a very special occasion for No Limits Bridport.
The event, which took place on July 5, was the first time ever the group performed in public.
Anna said: “The group performing at the Charter Fair was just fantastic and was a really big deal for us. It was the group’s first performance in public and the group liked the fact that this took place in Bridport itself.
“The group overcame a lot of potential challenges in performing and I am so proud of everybody.
“Lots of the group were so excited beforehand but were also quite nervous so it was brilliant for them to get out and show Bridport what they enjoy doing. The organisers of the Charter Fair were so impressed that they have also asked us to come back next year in the autumn – and we really can’t wait.
“My dream is to turn No Limits into a performance company, not just a dance group, and this was a helpful step towards that – but if nothing else the group really did enjoy themselves and that’s all that matters.”
I HAVE never been to a dance class so interactive.
That was one of my thoughts while taking part in the final dance session for No Limits until September.
But my immediate thought was that members of the group really did know one another and had formed their own dancing community - something that no doubt will stand them in good stead when carrying on with their public performances.
With the age bracket ranging from 20 to 62, there truly seemed to be no limits in who could come along.
The class took place in the heart of Bridport at Bridport Youth Centre, and as I walked through the centre doors I'm not sure I could have got a happier welcome - which immediately made me feel at ease.
Members of the group were just as keen to involve me as if I was one of the original members who had started with them more than two years ago.
Incorporating dance moves with breathing exercises helped us to start off the session, which lasted a total one hour and a half.
This was followed by interactive moves with a dance partner, such as mirroring the other person's moves, incorporating them into your dance routine and working together.
The best thing about the session was the real community feel it had, and seeing how much it brought members of No Limits out of their shell.