Image shown: Dance Talks April

Get your monthly fix of inspiration and creative conversation at Dance Talks. This month the theme is Dance and Health, with speakers Ailish Claffey and Carolann Courtney, and takes place in DanceHouse, Foley Street, Dublin 1 on Thursday 21 Apr 2016 at 6pm. Admission is free, RSVP to Aoife and Dave at This talk is aimed at all dance artists, integrated dance practitioners and teachers working in the context of dance and health in Ireland, particularly working with older people or those with a chronic, degenerative condition, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. This talk is also for awareness, and to make contacts, for those who may be interested in starting to work in this area. This talk would also be interesting to individuals living with such conditions, or to artists from other disciplines who work in this context.

Carolann and Ailish both have extensive experience working in the area of Dance and Health as facilitators, but in very different ways. The talk will also highlight dance in this context within the broader community of arts and health practitioners.

Key topics to be addressed include:
• Why dance and health?
Socialisation – reduction of stigma – movement and health
• Key practical considerations when working in this context
Health & Safety (for artist and participants), Budget Constraints, awareness and experience of the group, exit strategies
• Coping as an independent artist working within this realm
Collaboration, access to supports, the non-financial role of the co-ordinator within the dance and health context
• Obtaining access to relative supports

How long should you schedule? Talks normally last about 45 minutes with a question and answer session of about half an hour. Then you’re welcome to stay and chat and meet others for as long as you like afterwards!

About the speakers
Carolann Courtney is the Arts and Health Specialist for County Kildare supported by Kildare County Council Arts and Library Service. Her role considers not just the health element of the individual in terms of sickness and/or absence thereof, but that of the individual’s complete well-being. She has interpreted this as a means to examine the impact that art, culture, community, societal structures and the environment has on the mental and physical well-being of the individual. She uses her position as Arts and Wellbeing coordinator to explore the accessibility of the arts in the county and to investigate how service providers (both statutory and non, community and volunteer) develop a programme of inclusiveness. The Arts and Health programme in Co. Kildare includes Visual Arts, Choral Work, Dance and Movement, Theatre, Film and Radio to ensure everyone can access and participate in the artwork of their choosing. Courtney is a strategic partner with the HSE, KCC and Riverbank Arts Centre on delivering the arts and well-being programme for the county.

Ailish Claffey
Since graduating from Trinity LABAN, UK with a BA(Hons) in Dance Theatre, Ailish has studied Theatre Directing at NUIM and continues her studies at Trinity LABAN for a Post-graduate Specialist Diploma in Choreological Studies. Ailish is committed to developing contemporary dance within communities, and works in collaboration with community groups and has designed and delivered many large scale projects for various groups of mixed abilities. Most recent engagements include dance for: Adults in Rehabilitation, Older Persons and People with Parkinson’s Disease.

Ailish has worked on and led projects for The H.S.E. Dublin, Kerry Local Sports Partnership, V.E.C. Kilkenny, South Dublin County Council, Bealtaine Festival, Dublin Dance Festival & NOISE Dublin, Enable Ireland, St. John of God’s, Stewarts Care, Macushla Dance Club, Dance Ireland, Youths at Risk, Dance United, Kerry County Council while Community Dancer in Residence (alongside Laura Murphy). Ailish is certified by Mark Morris Dance Company, Brooklyn to teach Dance for Parkinsons Disease. Ailish was invited to study with functional Anatomist Irene Dowd, NYC where she completed Teachers Course in Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) Patterns (2012) & Spirals (2013).

For further information phone: 01 855 8800 or Email


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