About Us

Dancemind was founded by Tina Heeley in 2011, who works with a pool of *artists alongside a committee of people that support and guide the work provided.

Tina is an experienced Dance Practitioner and Arts Producer who has worked in the arts sector as a dancer, teacher and arts manager for over 17 years. Tina currently specialising in dance and health work promoting emotional, physical and mental well being through dance, movement and collaborative arts.

Dancemind was created after Tina started working in mental health settings, care homes and day centres using dance and movement to support people to explore movement in a fun, explorative and creative way to increase people’s physical and mental wellbeing. Amazing things started in unravel in a time when this concept was still quite new and innovative especially bridging the healthcare and arts sectors together. Dance started to be used as a tool to encourage self expression, individuality and social interaction supporting people to live full and active lives in society. People started to move their bodies and connect with each other in ways they probably never felt possible and using dance as an therapeutic intervention. It was here that Tina decided to create an community lead organisation that went on to be Dancemind to further develop this incredible work that is delivered today.

*Artists and supporters that deliver the work for Dancemind hold a DBS check, public liability insurance, abide by Dancemind equal opportunities and protection of vulnerable adults policies, and regularly undertake relevant CPD to support the work.

Contributors

Meet our current contributors that support, advise and deliver the work for Dancemind. We value making our work as inclusive, accessible and valuable as possible, and we are always on the look out to work with people who can support and foster positive change within our communities through the arts.

Do get in touch if you would like to connect with us.

Lucy Knight

Lucy sits on our committee as well as being a dance artist for Dancemind. Lucy is currently Co-Founder and Co-Director of Wriggle Dance Theatre,  who specialise in producing interactive dance performances for young children, their families and the older generations. As a dance artist Lucy teaches weekly in a primary school for reception and year 1 children, but also has a focus on working with older people. She delivers seated movement sessions in a care home for those living with dementia and also co-delivers the Elders Dance Company with Tina Heeley. Lucy also has undertaken her PSI (Postural Stability Instructor) training, a physiotherapy qualification and falls prevention programme which enables her to integrate physiotherapy techniques into dance sessions for frail older people, part of a national Dance to Health programme.

Jo Dacombe

Jo Dacombe sits on our committee, and is an artist, writer and Arts and Heritage consultant. She has worked in the cultural sector for over 25 years, having worked with galleries such as Nottingham Contemporary and Attenborough Arts Centre, with cultural development agency ArtReach, with Leicestershire Museums and with the University of Leicester and of York. Her projects have won awards including from Arts & Business and a National Clore Award. Jo is based in Leicester and works nationally and occasionally internationally.

Dr Melinda Spencer

Dr Melinda Spencer supports Dancemind in researching and evaluating our project work, most recently the Elders Dance Company (see blog), and is Senior Lecturer and Programme Lead for Joint Honours Health Studies at the University of Northampton. Since 2013, Melinda has taught on psychology undergraduate modules and presently leads and teaches on several undergraduate and postgraduate modules in Health Studies, Health Sciences, Sport and Psychology. Melinda has keen interest in ballet and contemporary dance, and was a member of the Northants Youth Contemporary Dance Group performing in various venues across the country.