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We help women dance up a sweat with Millennium Powerhouse

There’s nothing better than working off the stresses and strains of the day with a good dance workout.

And so Afrocats invited local sanctuary seekers to get their sweat on with our women-only dance session together with partner Millennium Powerhouse in Moss Side.

Dance practitioner and project assistant Maisha got participants moving in the dance studio using semi-aerobic dance fitness, starting off slow with gentle and easy stretches, then gearing up for an energising mix of dance and exercise to get everyone’s endorphins running high.

‘I use soca and Afrobeats music so they don’t realise they're exercising,’ revealed Maisha. ‘It’s more about keeping moving than remembering routines.’

Definitely the best way to do it – see everyone in action below.

Nobody really needs a reason to dance, but just in case, here’s a list:

  • It's an instant mood-lifter (hello those endorphins!)

  • It burns calories

  • Can build confidence

  • Helps bones and joints

  • Improves co-ordination

  • And - it’s a great way to meet new people

For those enduring a difficult period in their lives as refugees and asylum seekers, dance can help with boosting both physical and mental health as participants experience living more in the moment, and feeling able to make connections over a feelgood and easy-to-follow activity which is also culturally inclusive.

Finally, we finished on a high note by learning some light-footed jazz steps, then enjoyed some soothing stretches as the session wound down for the week.

And our lovely participants from Ukraine ended the session feeling fantastic – although it was a small class this time, it was nonetheless perfectly formed, and they looked forward to picking up more of Maisha’s moves at the Powerhouse over the upcoming weeks.

Thanks to everyone who made the session happen – and remember to keep on dancing (and sweating)!

We rely on your help to dismantle the health and wellbeing inequalities that many of Manchester’s sanctuary seekers face – you can make a donation here.


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