There's nothing quite like dance to bring people together.
The MacIntyre Dancers
The MacIntyre Dancers are a group of people with a learning disability who have trained as Dance Leaders. Supported by Dance Artists, they perform all over the country at events and conferences.
In Milton Keynes, they do something very special: they put on dance classes to bring local people together at "Cha Cha Chat" sessions.
These are informal sessions for people of any dance ability or none. It doesn't matter how many left feet you might have, you'll be welcome at Cha Cha Chat!
Reaching our neighbours
The idea was to use the skills and infectious enthusiasm of the MacIntyre Dancers to bring some joy and togetherness to our neighbours.
When we first launched the sessions in mid-2023, people immediately 'got' the idea. The team went round and asked local businesses to put up posters advertising the events. Everyone was so generous and enthusiastic - the GP surgery, shops, the local pub and so many more.
What happens at a Cha Cha Chat?
People drop in and stay for the whole session or just part of it. People learn new dances, have fun and a chat. The energy in the room is always wonderful.
The first time one of our neighbours dropped in, she was so impressed she invited all her friends.
Some participants are other people supported by MacIntyre. One said:
When I dance it makes me feel free, and just like everyone else.
One of our neighbours said:
I sometimes feels quite isolated, and today I've felt really included and so happy having this to join in with.
When is Cha Cha Chat?
We're relaunching in 2024. Starting on 10 January, the MacIntyre Dancers will be running Cha Cha Chat sessions every Wednesday between 1.30 and 4 pm at MacIntyre, 54 Haddon, Great Holm, Milton Keynes, MK8 9PH. (If you're a Milton Keynes local, you may know the MacIntyre Cafe in Great Holm - we're next door.)
The sessions are free. Wear comfortable clothes, bring a drink to keep hydrated, and be prepared to enjoy yourself.