Sheffield Dance Society first started giving dance classes for survivors at the Snowdrop Project back in 2014. 3 years later, we have seen the provision of dance classes continue to grow; more and more survivors are seeing the benefit of having some time to unwind with friends during the week.
Dance is a wonderfully creative form of exercise, it encourages freedom of expression, self-confidence and at Snowdrop the ladies know that they are in a safe environment to relax and try a new hobby – free from judgement and from criticism.
At Sheffield Dance Society dance classes, the music is often inaudible from the laughter of survivors and volunteers enjoying their time together and Snowdrop has seen that dance, alongside the practical and professional support of case workers and counsellors, has had hugely a positive impact on the well-being of some of our clients.
Rosie, a Dance Society teacher recounts her first experience of teaching dance to survivors in 2015:
‘I remember so clearly, we danced to Hairspray ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’. It’s a real feel-good song and I made sure to have some fun with the movement in the dance. I was a bit nervous to give the class, having not met any clients beforehand, but the energy that they brought was incredible and I soon lost my nerves and was filled with excitement instead. The next week, I came back to teach my second lesson and while I was setting up the space with other volunteers, one of the ladies who had come to the class the week before came in dancing and humming and she asked me: ‘What was that song called that we danced to last time? I’ve been practicing the dance in my kitchen all week!’
Every week, a mixture of new clients and regular dance clients come to class. One week the room was full of new faces as one lady, a regular dance class participant, had brought all of her friends; wanting to share with them the good feelings she has at class herself. Livvy, the Volunteer Leader for Dance Society 2016-2017, has done a brilliant job of making sure that the classes take place in a friendly and warm environment this year and she always makes sure that these new faces feel comfortable in class.
She reflects on her time leading the project:
‘We have hoped as a society to pass on our passion for dance and we feel we have really built strong connections with both the volunteers at Snowdrop and the women they support. Snowdrop have always been incredibly supportive of our society throughout our volunteering by offering us guidance and training. They have also gone out of their way to make us feel appreciated and we were also very grateful when they attended our end of year charity showcase. As a society we feel extremely privileged to volunteer for such an amazing charity. We have nothing but admiration for all of the hard work the Snowdrop Project does to support survivors of human trafficking.’
At Snowdrop, we can’t wait to see what Sheffield Dance Society have in store for survivors at this year!
You can find out more about community activities provided at the Snowdrop Project here.
All activity volunteers are trained by the Snowdrop Project to make sure that they understand the needs of survivors and feel supported to cater for these needs to the best of their ability. Snowdrop’s training provision relies on kind donations, if you would like to support the Snowdrop Project you can donate here.