Bolder not Older Classes

Bolder not Older is a programme of accessible dance classes delivered in sheltered accommodation, care homes and community centres. Bolder not Older classes are inclusive we support everyone from the most active to the most vulnerable and isolated. Our youngest dancer is 65 and our eldest is 104. Adults are often referred to the programme with long term health conditions, disabilities and limited mobility. We offer classes that are purely seated, seated to standing and active - improving mobility, posture, balance and coordination.

Bolder not Older Autumn 2019

Below is our public programme, no booking is required but further information is available at

1. Monday at Elders Voice

Address: Elders Voice, 181 Mortimer Road, NW10 5TN

Time: 11am-12pm

Cost: free

Monday 23 September until 2 December

2. Tuesday/Monday at Homelink Daycare

Address: Homelink Day Respite Care Centre, Hospital Bridge Road, TW2 6DE

Time: 10.45-11.45am

Cost: free (please email if you want to attend this class)

Monday 28 October until 2 December

3. Tuesday at Bridgewater House

Address: Richmond Road, Isleworth, TW7 7FA

Time: 2-3pm

Cost: free

Tuesday 29 October until 3 December

4. Wednesday at Age UK Hounslow

Address: Age UK Hounslow, Southville Community Centre, Southville Road, Feltham TW14 8AP

Time: 10.30-11.30am

Cost: £2

Wednesday 30 October until 4 December

5. Wednesday at Kensington Day Centre

Address: The Reed, 28 Convent Gardens, London W11 1NJ

Time: 11am-12pm

Cost: free (please email if you want to attend this class)

Wednesday 30 October until 4 December

5. Wednesday at Open Age Westminster

Address: New Avenues, 3-7 Third Avenue, London W10 4RS

Time: 12-1pm

Cost: £1

Wednesday 30 October until 4 December

6. Wednesday at Open Age Kensington & Chelsea

Address: 2nd Half Centre, St. Charles Health Centre, W10 6DZ

Time: 2-3pm

Cost: £1

Wednesday 30 October until 4 December

7. Thursday at Peabody Estate Hammersmith

Address: Peabody Estate Tenants Hall, W6 9QA

Time: 11am-12pm

Cost: £3

Thursday 31 October until 5 December

8. Thursday at Elleray Hall

Address: Elleray Road, Teddington TW11 0HG

Time: 11am-12pm

Cost: Free to Elleray Hall members (day membership costs £1)

Thursday 31 October until 5 December

9. Thursday at Churchill Gardens Community Hall, Pimlico

Address: Glasgow Terrace, off Lupus Street, SW1V 3AL

Time: 1.30-2.30pm

Cost: Free

Thursday 14, 21, 28 November

Feedback from Bolder not Older Participants & Partners

  • We always have a laugh, you need it when you are on your own. Joyce

  • Makes us feel more alive! Frank

  • It is very helpful for my knees and helped improve my arm movements a lot. Sybil

  • I have lost over a stone since Christmas and I kept it off. - Sandra

  • I am talking to people I wasn't talking to before. - Jill

  • The staff are good, we have a laugh. I’ve met a lot of people here who I get on with - my dancing buddy. If I didn’t like it, you wouldn’t see me here. - Mary

  • DanceWest provide an energetic and valuable way to exercise and remain supple and strong they are knowledgeable and caring as well as fun! A great addition to our activities at Age UK.

How the programme began

Bolder not Older responds to the need to tackle loneliness, social and economic isolation and improve health and wellbeing of older people 65+ in West London. Bolder not Older was launched in 2015 in response to a survey we produced in partnership with arts, health and wellbeing teams in Hammersmith & Fulham. 

Bolder not Older teaching team

Sonia Illescas is an experienced Dance teacher and Choreographer specialising in Movement adaptation. She enjoys providing dance training to any-body and every-body, regardless of age and or abilities. For the past ten years Sonia has been teaching the principles of Ballet and Contemporary dance technique to older adults with and without disabilities. Sonia also has experience of delivering projects for vulnerable adults with particular needs with different conditions including: Dance for Dementia (English National Ballet, Age UK & Alzheimer's Society) Dance for Parkinson's (Rambert), Stroke recovery (London Hospitals) and Amputee outpatients (Queen Mary's Hospital).


Charlene Low is a choreographer and dance teacher. She specialises in delivering inclusive dance for those with learning disabilities, PMLD, the elderly (Active and those with dementia). She also teaches, children (from toddlers to teenagers). Charlene She trained at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance alongside her training in coupled with 10 years of Shoalin Kungfu. As a choreographer she delivered work for Unicorn Theatre, CandoCo, East London Dance, Entelechy Arts, Protein Dance, South Bank Centre and was also awarded Arts Council England funding for her own work.


Kate Finegan completed her training with a BA (Hons in Dance Theatre) from Laban then worked as a freelance dancer in regional contemporary dance companies. After many years teaching contemporary technique and choreography in higher education, Kate now works in a freelance capacity specialising in contemporary dance and creative movement for all ages, as well as regular project coordinating for community dance events, including dance platforms, flashmobs and boys dance. Specialising in Dance for Health, particularly for the frail elderly, those with Dementia and Parkinson’s means Kate regularly teaches dancers from 3 years old to 96 years old.


Caroline Rutzler is a dance education specialist, with over 20 years experience at primary, secondary and degree level. She has 15 years experience as an examiner of A’ Level and GCSE dance. Caroline is a qualified pilates teacher and specialised in rehabilitation of professional dancers.


Maria Yacoob is an experienced teacher in contemporary, jazz, ballet and acrobatics, and a lead artist for DanceWest on Bolder Not Older, and Dancing Books. She has taught open classes at London's Pineapple Studios for 16 years, led post-show classes for Sadlers Wells, and taught in mainstream education, from nursery up to secondary level. She has worked as a choreographer on large-scale community dance and opera productions. "Dance has brought me joy throughout my life. It is great that my work allows me to spread that joy to dancers of all ages."

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