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Updated: Apr 16, 2023

A story of saying yes to every step as it appeared, then being happily surprised.

Judith Atkins and I (Stefan Freedman) first teamed up to teach Cuban Salsa classes. We share an interest in offering far more than technique and moves. One priority is including and encouraging everybody, and building body confidence. We both experience dance as a way to grow capacities that enhance life. This means feeling at home in our skin and bones, connecting playfully and spontaneously with others. It can also include safely exploring the slinky, sultry and sensual movements that Latin dance offers an entry to. All this heightens pleasurable feelings and vitality. From teaching Salsa we recognised a need for a broader format to nurture confidence, positive feelings and social skills. We designed a new course, which can be adapted to different groups, and have had very affirming feedback from groups in Bury St Edmund, Eye, Ipswich and Stowmarket.

We called the course “Move 2 The Rhythm”. Incorporating improvised movement and circle dancing to a wide range of music. There is still a zesty Latin flavour. Judith,

a qualified Salsa teacher, works regularly in the supportive mental health community called Leading Lives in Stowmarket and with ‘Elderberries’ in Bury St Edmunds (both in Suffolk, UK).

We have had great feedback for Move 2 The Rhythm sessions with both of these groups. One that is currently running weekly (January 2023) caters for adults who have severe learning difficulties, behavioural challenges and several of whom are physically disabled. Many find it hard to socialise when words are involved, but discover they can connect with others through movement, rhythm and dance. It is astonishing and so rewarding to see people who find it hard to express joy ‘light up’, grinning, chuckling, and moving with animation. To book a session, or to speak with Judith or Stefan about it, email us and we’ll be happy to discuss it.


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