Evaluation shows that our work cultivates a strong sense of purpose, identity and community – which contributes to improved health and well being. It helps people feel better about themselves; helps them become more active; helps them have more, and better quality, contacts with others and helps them feel less negative about ageing.
Still Stomping Report
In spring 2018, the company began Still Stomping, a project in partnership with Gulbenkian, Canterbury and Kent County Council, and funded by Arts Council England, The Baring Foundation (Celebrating Age scheme) & Kent County Council. The project was completed in spring 2020, having engaged with an estimated 4000 people as audiences, 200 workshop participants, 20 volunteers (as trainees and/or performers) and, of course, our core company of 6 older women.
Read the full Still Stomping Final Report on the work undertaken and its impact.
Special evaluation within the Still Stomping project was conducted by Ian Farr, University of Kent into the impact of the embedded intergenerational working.
Ian’s report on the first stage of the project – the making and public presentation of Start Stomping, a pop-up performance, by a company of 25 younger and older people – demonstrates how important it is for people of all ages to view the ageing process positively. If we feel badly about ageing, we feel bad when we do (inevitably) age and feeling bad can turn into measurably poorer health and well-being outcomes. We were delighted that the report concludes:
“… the intergeneration dance theatre project was a successful intervention to counter negative age stereotypes and negative self-stereotypes which may serve protective functions in terms of health and health behaviours.”
Digital Doris Reports
Investment by Nominet Trust and The Baring Foundation in 2017/18 enabled substantial development and testing of our digital kit, Doris, and exploration of further digital potential. As a result we are developing a training programme for people who want to run their own Moving Well workshops. As part of the project, the impact of our Moving Well workshops were evaluated by Ian Farr (University of Kent). His report concludes:
“The Moving Memory dance workshops, using Digital Doris, offer an alternative to other forms of physical activity, which is non-prescriptive, creative, and auto-biographical. Ultimately the development of positive social identity, self-concept, and quality of life is evident.”
A reflection on the development of the training programme by company member, Jayne Thompson (University of Kent), is also available:
Moving Well Report
Our work was evaluated by the Sidney de Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health (Canterbury Christ Church University) as part of the Prosper: Out of the Storm project for Canterbury Festival between April 2013 and January 2014. The report concluded:
The social impact outcomes of the project are far-reaching. They relate to the development and refining of a model of participatory performing arts that can contribute to: i) national targets for supporting older people’s health and wellbeing and consequential prolonged independence into older age in light of an increasingly ageing population; ii) breaking down stereotyping of older people as declining in health and productivity; and iii) supporting a sense of wellness for people living with dementia in the community and in residential care homes.
The company is committed to further research into the impact of our work and to contributing more to the field more widely. We completely endorse the Trinity Laban view that:
When considering the many issues older people may face, from physical impairment and loss of functional fitness, to loneliness and depression, it seems dance has a significant capacity to impact positively.
‘Dancing towards well-being in the Third Age’ (2010)