Tea Dances with a Twist! (TDT) is an intergenerational and inclusive regular event that takes place in central Plymouth.
A team of dance practitioners and volunteers have been trained to deliver a dance event that is accessible to people over 50 and for people who are in a wheelchair and/or living with Autism, Dementia, Alzheimers or Parkinsons.
Then for 3 hours the participants can listen or dance to a live band with a singer in the iconic venue that is Plymouth Guildhall. The tables are decorated with table cloths and fresh flowers, sometimes in line with a theme, depending on the date (St Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day, Easter, Christmas, Armed Forces Day, etc).
No one sits on their own for more than 5 minutes before one of the TDT team members (easily recognisable in their yellow T-shirts) joins them for a chat or invites them to join them on the dance floor.
When the band takes a break, the dancers lead a circle or line dance, enabling all to join in, with or without a partner. Some people are experienced dancers (ballroom, latin or sequence dancers), whilst others are absolute beginners. The music and dancing varies from traditional ballroom and latin, to pop music, jive, swing and rock and roll.
The event attracts individuals, couples, friends, families (2 or 3 generations), ex-service leavers/veterans and/or their carers and dependents, carers with the person that they are caring for who may be in a wheelchair and/or be living with Autism, Dementia, Alzheimers or Parkinsons, carers and residents from care homes who contact us to reserve a table!
A number of new friendships have also been established, particularly between the men attending on their own and the age range has been from 3 and a half weeks to 104 years old.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions all events have been postponed until April 2021, in the meantime we are keeping in touch with our particpants with letter, cards and small gifts. Many of the people on our contact list are socially isolated and haven't been out of their homes in months. Our correspondence with them aims to bring back happy memories from previous events attended, helps them to still feel connected and encourages positive wellbeing.