Ahead of the show’s glittering grand finale last Saturday, Strictly Come Dancing icon Vincent Simmone joined Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Dance Development Officer Nicola Booth to host an accessible dance class for Community Integrated Care’s ‘What To Do’ website.
The dance superstar shared advice, encouragement and even some of his signature Salsa moves to include in the routines, helping to make dreams come true for more than 30 dance lovers who access care and support through the charity.
Vincent, who starred in Strictly Come Dancing from 2006 to 2013 with the likes of Stephanie Beacham, Felicity Kendal and Natalie Cassidy, was a special guest on the website’s popular weekly Dance Club which the Foundation have helped to host since September in a bid to make dance an accessible and enjoyable experience for all.
And members have even gained extra inspiration from this season’s groundbreaking series of Strictly, as the show’s first deaf champion Rose Ayling-Ellis has lit the way for more disabled people to ‘live their dream’ and hit the dancefloor.
A Strictly finalist himself in 2008 with Rachel Stevens, Vincent’s surprise visit left participants in awe as they enjoyed the once-in-a-lifetime chance to show off their best moves and receive expert advice from once of their dancing heroes.
The Italian also delivered a post-workshop Q&A and an exclusive performance with his dance partner Katie Street, which was a fantastic Christmas surprise for everyone involved in the session.
Vincent said: “It was simply a joy to take part in the session and spend time with people supported by Community Integrated Care. Seeing the participants having so much fun, and exercising too, was an absolute pleasure.
“I know many people are still anxious about Covid-19, so sharing my passion and expertise whilst everyone is in the comfort of their own homes was fantastic.
“I could see how much today meant to everyone and hope there will be more opportunities to take part in further sessions in the future! After another challenging year, I hope everyone has a great Christmas.”
Oliver Thomason, Community Integrated Care’s Sports Inclusion Assistant, participated in the session. He said: “I love dancing and Strictly is one of my favourite shows, so I can’t believe that I had the chance to dance alongside Vincent! The class was so much fun. I learned some great moves that I’ll definitely be using in the future.”
Launched in September, www.What-To-Do.co.uk is a unique hub created by Community Integrated Care that offers people who access care and support free daily online activity sessions, including dance, cookery, PE and games, chair-based exercise, discos, and yoga.
Every session is expert-led and specially adapted to be accessible and inclusive for people who have disabilities.
Don’t miss out on our upcoming sessions! Visit www.What-To-Do.co.uk to find out details of how you can get involved with the various activities, including the much loved Accessible Dance Club with Leeds Rhinos Foundation!