You’re as old as you feel,” the afternoon dance bringing joy to Leyton residents

Published on 29/02/2024

Nestled in the heart of Leyton sits L&Q’s Seddon Centre, a community hub which has served the local residents since its existence.

From Tai Chi mornings and chair exercises to weekly food banks and warm hubs, the centre caters for the diverse needs of the locals. However, it is the monthly afternoon dance that truly transports residents back in time.

5 residents stood in a formation dancing

Last week, neighbours and friends gathered for their monthly rendezvous, warmly welcomed with a cup of tea and lunch.

The room was filled with nostalgic songs, fostering an atmosphere of laughter, shared memories and a whole lot of dancing. We were invited to come and see why the event means so much to the residents who attended.

A group of friends, regulars at the dance, invited us to their table, sharing stories of how they use the Seddon Centre regularly; one of the ladies had joined the regular Tai Chi classes that very morning. The monthly events serve as another opportunity to catch up and check-in; they worry if they haven’t seen each other.

Two elderly ladies sat next to one another smiling at the camera

3 residents sat around a table laughing

As one attendee emphasised, “We’re all friends; everyone is welcome here.” 

Meanwhile, across the room, we met Rose, an L&Q resident who is set to celebrate her 100th birthday later this year. Rose shared, “You're as old as you feel," before joining others on the dance floor.

We spoke with Margaret and Joyce, lifelong friends of 80 years; from playground to the present day, their friendship is just as strong.

Margaret fondly recalled her late husband, “we used to dance every week together.

The dancing continued right up until the end of the event. One resident told us, “It’s a good day today, so you've got to make the most of it.” A valuable lesson resonating with all.

Residents stood in line formations dancing with an guide

Liana Brown, Activity Project Manager at L&Q who started the monthly dance events last year said:

“When the residents told me about the dances they used to have I wanted to make sure I didn’t disappoint them. I asked them to submit their song requests, the songs that always make them want to get up and dance and I encourage them to wear something special so they can feel good about themselves.”

“I am inspired by how residents of all ages continue to live their lives to the full and take every opportunity to have fun with their friends and loved ones. These dances have brought the community together in a way I could have only ever have hoped for.”

The next afternoon dance at the Seddon Centre is on Wednesday, 27 March, 1-3pm where everyone is welcome. Find your nearest community centre.