Performers, Volunteers & Audience Needed!

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There’s still time to JOIN US!

Everyone and everybody of all ages are welcome! The project is fully inclusive and accessible to disabled people and those with long-term health conditions, those with previous dance experience and those new to dance.

Don’t want to perform but still want to be part of it – Then VOLUNTEER!
There are lots of different jobs that we need help with.
Let us know that you are interested.

Neither of interest? Then please come and experience our performance from 11am outside the Spitfire Gallery at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery.
Bring a flag! 🏳‍🌈

PERFORMANCE – Saturday 25th June 2022!

Register here:👉

 If you want to find out more please get in touch. or call 07484 874335

“With Soundness of Heart” – an intergenerational and inclusive performance project by FRONTLINEdance!
To mark 70 years since Her Majesty The Queen 👑 ascended the throne.
Thanks to #NationalLottery players, we’ve been awarded funding to host a creative and cultural event to celebrate.

FRONTLINEdance contact and information details:

Tel: 07484 874335
Social media: @FRONTLINEdance1
Linked In:
You tube channel:

Should you be interested in helping us to raise funds for our work, please refer to


Thanks to funding from the Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning group via their Long-Term Condition Fund, and People Dancing’s Live Well and Dance with Parkinson’s Initiative, we are introducing –

Please click on link to view:

Please press play to listen to the audio version;

FRONTLINEdance’s ‘Moving Together’ programme is designed to provide an opportunity for those who have long-term health conditions to move together with others whilst reaping the benefits it has to offer in a relaxed and enjoyable way. These new groups have been created solely for those who have had a Parkinson’s, Stroke or Cancer diagnosis. It is unique to the local area, and FRONTLINEdance are seen as specialists. We’ll be combining physical, social, and mental health interventions whilst creating a rich new supportive community for each attendee to be part of.

Moving Together for Adults with Parkinson’s
Starting 10th May
Tuesday’s 1:15-3:15pm 
Swan Bank Centre 
Swan Square, Burslem
Registration form:

“I arrived feeling unhappy but by the end I was enjoying seeing all that I achieved – I felt a sense of accomplishment”. (Moving Together Participant)

Moving Together for Adults who have had a Personal Cancer diagnosis
Starting 27th May

Friday’s 10am-12midday 
St John’s Centre
Newcastle Rd, Trent Vale
ST4 6QD 
Registration form:

“The benefits in terms of improved confidence and wellbeing were remarkable and supported by clinical data.” (Dr Virginia Wolstenholme, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Barts Health NHS Trust)

Moving Together for Adults who have had a Stroke
Starting 27th May

Friday’s 1pm-3pm 
St John’s Centre 
Newcastle Rd, Trent Vale
 ST4 6QD
Registration form:

“We see a sense of character in our patients when taking part in your sessions. It adds variety to treatment offered, it allows patients to express themselves and find a sense of themselves. We can see how it increases mood, engagement, adherence, and tolerance to exercise. It improves social interaction”. (Haywood Hospital)

COST:Sessions are FREE
We welcome a Pay What You Can donation


FRONTLINEdance participants and our partners (including NHS staff feedback) echoes that of national and international researchers. This means that we are confident that our MOVING TOGETHER PROGRAMME’S methodology, style and approach supports the health, wellbeing, and independence of those who take part. We know that Moving Together offers an effective means of improving, and maintaining, each individual and the collective group’s wellbeing. It may help establish supportive relationships, and process thoughts and feelings that are often difficult to articulate or move beyond. It leads to more self-management, more peer support. 

We know that having Cancer, a Stroke, or Parkinson’s can have an impact on your confidence and self-esteem. Being in a group with others in the same situation can help. You may have had a big change in body image and functionality, opposing new challenges. Our programme supports this.

For some this project will be an important extension of the rehabilitation they received in hospital. We’ll be providing a familiar activity to look forward to at the daunting time of returning home. Everyday life stresses may have become greater, and relationships at home and at work may have been strained and damaged. Space and release in our session will help. It will allow people space and time to adapt and come to terms with having a stroke in a safe accessible environment.

Please contact us for any further information; 
👉 If you need support registering
👉 Have any questions you’d like us to answer
👉 To receive a detailed information sheet, about each programme 
👉 To ask for the registration forms to be sent in different formats, such as via email or printed and posted. However, we do not provide an envelope or postage costs to return it

Contact: | 07484874335 |@FRONTLINEdance1

FRONTLINEdance can deliver taster sessions in your setting – hospital wards, outpatient’s groups, support groups for example. Please call to book a slot as soon as possible.


Create and Perform in “With Soundness of Heart” – an intergenerational and inclusive performance project by FRONTLINEdance!

Please press play to listen to the audio version;

Please click on link below to view:

2022 marks 70 years since Her Majesty The Queen ascended the throne 👑 Thanks to #NationalLottery players, we’ve been awarded funding to host a creative and cultural event to celebrate 🎉

TASTER & INTRODUCTION to the project this weekend!
SAT 30th April & SUN 1st May at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery.

👉 Register your place here:

Thank you to those who have already registered!

Everyone and Everybody of all ages WELCOME.

The performance will be co-created with the participants and is fully inclusive and accessible to disabled people and those with long-term health conditions. The project welcomes those with previous dance experience and those new to dance.  
👉 Not sure?
👉 Can’t make this weekend?
👉 Need any further information?

Please get in touch: | 07484 874335 

Arts Council England’s#LetsCreate Jubilee Fund is made possible thanks to National Lottery Good Causes Causes Administered by UK Community Foundations UK Community Foundations 🙌
#PlatinumJubilee and thanks #createfund from Stoke-on-Trent City Centre BID 
BID for also funding this project and connecting it with the ADHD Foundation umbrella arts instillation.

FRONTLINEdance Consultation Survey 2022

FRONTLINEdance Consultation Survey 2022

To access the Survey, please click on the link below:

FRONTLINEdance is 20 years old! On reaching this key milestone we’d like to review our work and learn more about the difference we are making.

Your responses will support our evaluation and feed into funding applications that we’re writing to sustain and develop our work.

The survey should take about 10-30 minutes to complete and we invite you to be honest and thorough in your responses. We value all opinions – they help us to learn and grow! If any question feels irrelevant, please feel free to skip it!

The deadline for responses is 31st March 2022.

For further information or to provide feedback in a different format, please use the contact details below.

Tel: 07484 874335
Social media: @FRONTLINEdance1
Linked In:
You tube channel:

Should you be interested in helping us to raise funds for our work, please refer to

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey.

If you need any support in filling out this survey, please get in touch.

Join FRONTLINEdance – The Explorer’s

Hello 🙂

Join FRONTLINEdance – The Explorer’s for a multi-sensory, interactive adventure! The performance and participatory experience has been created to be relevant, inclusive, accessible, and welcoming to disabled children and their families, including early years.

Places are limited, so please book your place direct with the library in advance:

👉 Date & Time: 19th March at 10.30am
Venue : Newcastle -under-Lyme Library
Cost: FREE (Approx. 1 hour)
Direct telephone: 01782 485312

👉 Date & Time: 19th March at 2pm 
Venue: Blythe Bridge Library
Telephone: 01782 485269

👉 Date & Time: 26th March at 10:30am 
Venue: Rugeley Library  
Telephone:  01889 869063  

👉 Date & Time: 26th March at 2pm 
Venue: Burntwood  
Telephone: 01543 682447   

👉 Date & Time: 2nd April at 2pm
Venue: Perton Library Wolverhampton  
Telephone:  01902 755794  

We all sign basic Makaton, describe visuals, and if anyone needs a BSL interpreter we can organise that too. A Social Story will be available from next week.

Want to find out more about FRONTLINEdance call 07484 874335 (9-5 weekdays) or email 

You can always PM us on Facebook too 🙂

“Where there is a will there’s a way”

Mike King; FRONTLINEdance co-founder and performer.

We asked Mike to share his FRONTLINEdance journey with us and what he did next.

Here it is!

I had a passion for movement that hadn’t been realised in my late teens or early 20’s, wherever I was on the planet I always found myself drifting towards the dance floor. A near death experience in my mid 20’s forced me to re-evaluate my life and realise that you only get one chance so don’t waste it…

I met Rachael on a Candoco Dance workshop and we discussed the idea of creating an inclusive dynamic dance company based further North in the country. Sharing a desire to dance, no money and a mutual sense of humour we decided to create a dance performance from scratch. Begging free rehearsal space – thanks to Bretton Hall College, Wakefield/ Greentop Community Circus, Sheffield/ Candoco, Stanmore. Along the way Rachael diligently completed the relevant paperwork whilst working as a live-in carer with a spinal cord agency, that meant a formal company could be established. Meanwhile I trained to be a primary teacher.

We worked for a number of years in the Midlands, however I still had itchy feet (metaphorically – as I can’t actually feel anything below my knees) and I was given the chance to train with Graeae Theatre. That led to some acting work, which then lead onto teaching Drama in Secondary Schools. Which then morphed into some directing, then back to some dancing with Scottish Dance Theatre and eventually back to teaching. I’m now in my 20th Year of Teaching and am Head of Department at a Secondary School in Kent.

The attitude that Rachael and I started with remains strong where there is a will you can find a way.

In terms of perspective, it’s important to remember that we are all still on a journey.

Inclusion still isn’t a given – 25 Years after the Disability Discrimination Act – we are sitting on the shoulders of giants, but the campaign is not yet over – I recently had to fight for a ramp and a door handle despite being an employee for 10 years. Frontline is a positive advocate for all people at any stage in their life, embracing new and exciting ways of approaching creative movement whilst remaining true to its core values. By consistently opening people’s hearts and minds, wider society is able to appreciate the true wonders that everyone on the planet has to offer, and plus those involved get to bust some moves.

Long may Frontline continue to do so!


Over the weekend we have been informed of the sad news that John Borthwick has passed away. For those who didn’t know, John was a voluntary director for FRONTLINEdance for 19 years.

Born in Yorkshire, and at the age of 17, John had an accident that left him with a high-level spinal cord injury. John worked as a Computer programmer, Data analyst, Project manager, Business analyst, Business and Management consultant, Company Director and Non-Exec Director on NHS Trust. A job opportunity around 23 years ago, meant that he became resident in Stoke-on-Trent.

Rachael, our Artistic Director and Co-founder, met John through his National Spinal Cord Injury Care company – she went to work for him as a live-in carer in 2000. Luckily for Rachael, John had lots of experience setting up charities and businesses, so John helped Rachael and Mike set up FRONTLINEdance in 2001. He became FRONTLINEdance’s first voluntary director, a position he held until he became very unwell. He volunteered his time on many occasions for FRONTLINEdance and served terms as Treasurer and Chair. John was a constant support to Rachael for the 22 years that she knew him.

John did all of this alongside other voluntary work. This included being a non-executive director of NHS Primary Care Trusts, he’d been the chair of local disability charity, Disability Solutions, and a Patient Representative on two National Institute of Care Excellence (NICE) Guideline Development Groups.

From 1981-2014 he was the Trustee/Director of a national charity, Spinal Injuries Association where he served two three-year terms as national Chair and four three-year terms as Vice-Chair. The Spinal Injuries Association was very important to John. His first AGM with them was in 1974. He also gave his time and support to fellow spinal cord injured individuals; helping them fight for what they needed.

John has been such a great support to FRONTLINEdance since our story began. He will be greatly missed. FRONTLINEdance would like to send lots of love to John’s family and his other friends.

FRONTLINEdance’s Associate Dance Artist Dr Melanie Brierley: Journey into working with those with Parkinson’s disease.

“In Dance and Parkinson’s practice and research, there is space for the disciplines of the arts, medicine, psychology, and neuroscience to converge. Interdependently, these different knowledge bases promote greater understanding of the meaning of health, health perception, and care in the lived experience of people with long-term neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s”

Dr Mel Brierley: My journey as a dance and health artist, researcher, and writer.

Everyday practice

For the last 11 years, I have worked as an independent community dance and health artist, researcher, and writer at Conscious Bodies. Previously, I had over 20 years of experience working in community and education settings, including primary and secondary schools, colleges of further education, and universities.

In groups, and one to one practice in the home, my aim is to explore and develop somatically informed dance practice with people living with a range of neurological conditions including, Parkinson’s, Dementias, Stroke, Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, and Multiple System Atrophy. Somatically informed dance practice supports people to enjoy moving, to appreciate and love their bodies, to move with more awareness and ease, to find rest and peace, to support and understand others, and to use this knowledge in their activities of daily living.

Other areas of my practice include working with adults living with learning difficulties and physical disabilities, co-creating self-care workshops for support workers of young adults with Autism, exploring dance as self-care with adults, and working in connection with different art forms. For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic, with visual artist Philippa Troutman, I looked at the connections between our ageing bodies and our local, natural environments.

Artists, companies, and organisations that I currently work with are FRONTLINEdance in Stoke-On-Trent, Parkinson’s groups in Lancaster, Preston, and Chorley, LPM Dance Theatre in Lancaster, University of Central Lancashire in Preston, the Neurodropin in Lancaster, Pioneer Projects in Craven, and Moving Soma in Cheltenham.

Co-creative practice and production is at the heart of these partnerships, with all artists and organisations aiming to promote dance as support to people’s health and wellness.

A brief history of my dance experience with people with Parkinson’s.

In 2009, I assisted Daphne Cushnie, a senior neurological physiotherapist and dance artist working with people with Parkinson’s at the Lantern House in Ulverston, Cumbria. From the very first session, and like other dance artists, I was deeply moved by the commitment, joy, and love of dance expressed by participants with Parkinson’s.

Once the music started, and Daphne led some improvisational movement, including the throwing of large, pink, fluffy flamingos across the circle, class members began to laugh. They look relaxed, with their bodies more open. On the way out, people’s movement was less restricted. They talked and joked with each other, with this happier mood continuing in the café downstairs.

The effect of attending this initial class was so great, that I became committed to exploring dance with people with Parkinson’s. I continued to develop work as partner to Daphne in our Kendal-based class until February 2013, when I set up my session in Lancaster, with the Parkinson’s UK support group class continuing today.

In June 2012, and through Lisa Ullman Travelling Scholarships for dancers, Daphne and I journeyed together to attend a professional training weekend at Dance for PD®, Brooklyn, New York. We also co-delivered several presentations in the Northwest, and with the musician/movement practitioner Anna Gillespie, created workshops at People Dancing Summer schools.

With Daphne, I met other pioneering Dance and Parkinson’s practitioners in the UK. We shared practice in open and supportive ways, with the Dance and Parkinson’s Network eventually forming through our enthusiasm, commitments, and efforts.

The People Dancing website indicates that the ‘Network’ Dance and Parkinson’s UK was originally inspired and supported by Dance for PD® at the Mark Morris Dance Group in Brooklyn, New York. Specifically, it was through the encouragement and drive of two dancers David Leventhal (now director of Dance for PD®) and John Heginbotham who galvanised us into developing good practice for all Parkinson’s individuals and communities across the UK. They visited the UK when the company was touring, and Toby Beazley (then Director of Dance Umbrella) organised several events in London where we could work collectively with these trailblazers.

The UK ‘Network’ was driven forward in voluntary meetings and CPD events by a committed group of independent dance artists and advocates. There was also a large international gathering at Roehampton University, with annual summer school programmes and training at People Dancing.

Dance artists who met frequently were Joanne Duff, Amanda Fogg, Melanie Brierley, Daphne Cushnie, Sophia Hulbert, and Anna Leatherdale. Also joining this group were Fleur Derbyshire Fox (Director of Engagement at ENB) and members of Pavilion Dance Southwest.

Significant contributions were made earlier by Anna Gillespie, Marina Benini and Marion North in London, Mo Morgan in Edinburgh, Gemma Coldicott in London, Rachel Canavan in Norwich and later, Danielle Teale in London.

Advocates at meetings included Toby Beazley (Director of Dance Umbrella), Ken Bartlett (Director of People Dancing), Sara Houston as chair from 2014 (University of Roehampton).

The ‘Network’ was later formalised as ‘Dance and Parkinson’s Partnerships UK’ under the director Kiki Gale, who until 2021, continued to develop the scope of practice of dance with people with Parkinson’s under the management and influence of People Dancing. In the UK, the partnership has flourished, with many dance artists and organisations reaching and working with Parkinson’s communities.

My Dance and Parkinson’s research

In my PhD research at the University of Roehampton (2020), I looked at one to one, co-creative, somatically informed, and home-based dance with people with Parkinson’s. For me, it was important to value and make clear the ideas of people with Parkinson’s in the work that we developed together. I continue to honour the wealth of knowledge and friendship exchanged in home-based dance sessions, with intimate, meaningful, and often humorous moments shared between us.

In 2014, I was awarded a Churchill Travelling Fellowship to research Dance and Parkinson’s practice in the US. In the first part of my Churchill journey, I spent nearly three weeks exploring the wonderful dance practice that takes place in classes at Dance for PD®.

I worked with the Parkinson’s movement coach Pamela Quinn, attending her classes, and interviewing her at home. We shared ideas about our approaches to one to one practice and spoke about Pam’s personal experience of living with Parkinson’s.

I also interviewed the somatic practitioners Dr Martha Eddy and Mary Abrams to discuss my use of somatically informed dance practice with people with Parkinson’s. Founder and director of Moving Body Resources in Manhattan, New York, Abrams is a leading figure in the study and practice of Continuum. Acknowledged for her pioneering work in Dynamic Embodiment, Martha Eddy has worked with US based Janet Hamburg (1951-2010). She also has knowledge of the Welsh movement practitioner Betty Meredith Jones (1908-1996), with both practitioners having focused their dance work with people with Parkinson’s.

In 2015, I continued my Churchill journey by visiting projects near Oakland, California. For the most part, I was very fortunate to work for three weeks with John Argue, an influential and highly experienced movement practitioner with people with Parkinson’s. I studied his ‘Art of Movement’ practice alongside his team of skilled dance and movement artists including Debbie Sternbach and Lynda Sheridan. I attended a range of other initiatives for people with Parkinson’s, including Yoga for Parkinson’s with Carol Fisher, Feldenkrais practice for Parkinson’s with Vivianna Diaz, and Dance for PD® registered programmes with the independent artist Claudine Naganuma and artists at the Berkeley Ballet Theatre.

So, what makes Dance and Parkinson’s practice important and meaningful?

Central to the new wave of dance and health in community settings, the developing field of Dance and Parkinson’s has a strong presence in the United Kingdom, with its practice and research making connections between the very often separate fields of the arts and medicine.

In Dance and Parkinson’s practice and research, there is space for the disciplines of the arts, medicine, psychology, and neuroscience to converge. Interdependently, these different knowledge bases promote greater understanding of the meaning of health, health perception, and care in the lived experience of people with long-term neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s.

Through face to face and online group sessions, or in one to one practice in the home, dance supports health and wellness when it flows through the person, shifting or transforming their physical, cognitive, emotional, spiritual, and social experience.

In Dance and Parkinson’s research, the multi-dimensional benefits of dance in supporting bio-psycho-social change are well documented. The term bio-psycho-social refers to the experience of the whole person as body and mind in a cultural, social, environmental, and ecological context.

Research has often focused on the way dance supports physical improvements to health in people with Parkinson’s, such as balancing, turning, and walking with even steps. In the dance class, physical change can happen on a macro or micro level. Large and observable change might come when people move from unsteadiness into balance. In dance classes, people might be able to maintain stability in standing, with their heels raised off the ground and arms outstretched or overhead. Similarly, they may be seen moving in space with greater fluidity when movement is accompanied by visualisations, descriptive words, or high groove, rhythmic music.

Smaller, movement changes are often sensed and felt internally by the person. Perhaps a sense of ease is found in the experience of bodily expansion and contraction created from the inhalation and exhalation of breath, or the gentle and gradual expansion of an arm, with these acts improving body awareness, motor control, and a body-felt, pleasurable movement experience.

Psychological health improvements including mood, confidence, identity, a sense of being able to do things and make contributions to your family and community, may also be driven by how people see themselves when they move or perform daily tasks. So, people’s physicality, or reduced physicality, can shape their thoughts. People’s thinking can also affect the way they move or think about moving. So, if they’re feeling confident, they’re more likely to have a go at dancing, walking outside, or going out to meet friends. The two viewpoints go hand in hand.

Dance supports people to forget about the things they can’t do and enjoy moving in their own way in the present moment. When people dance together, it’s even better, because dancing with other people supports physical, cognitive, and social confidence.

So, my advice is to keep on dancing! Especially with friends and family as often as possible.

Please feel free to join our range of classes at FRONTLINEdance, including my online session Moving Together.

Photo credit:  Victoria Sedgwick Photography. The session is delivered by Dr Melanie Brierley with participants at the
University of Lancashire, Preston through an LPM production and funded project.