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Our Founder

jessica conneely

Engaging communities with Creative ageing movement programs that enrich and connect people in later life

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Experience and Professionalism

Established in 2017, Dance4Wellbeing is one of Australia’s most innovative providers
for over 55s, delivering programs across the Arts Health sector.

Our Director and founder, Jessica Conneely BA Dance (Dist.) is Internationally renowned with over 30 years of performing, teaching, and educating others on the benefits of dance, by providing safety-conscious dance and movement programs for seniors across Australia.

Dance4Wellbeing programs support considerable scientific research showing that dance offers excellent results as we get older, by providing a mind and body workout in a socially stimulating and joyful way. We provide dance sessions in community locations, in aged care, and we supplement these if reasons prevent seniors from attending in-person with an online program. Dancing with friends via ZOOM  has allowed seniors to engage with like-minded people to improve their social life and reduce social isolation.

In addition, Jessica has created an accredited training program for Health and Care professionals, Incorporating Movement in a Health or Care Setting. The training is provided in partnership with Hunter New England and Mid North Coast Local Health Districts, State Training Services, and TAFE NSW. 

Jessica is also co -director of Dance for Parkinson’s Australia, producing creative programs in dance for people living with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Currently involved with an ongoing research project for people affected by Stroke with the Hunter Medical Research Institute ( HMRI)

Recognised nationally by her peers as an innovator in this field, Jessica received the Arts Leader Award at the Lake Mac Awards, 2021 & Excellence in Business Diversity and Inclusion, 2022.

Simply put, dance brings people together and “feels” good.

See the organisations and groups we have been working with.

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Qualifications and Awards

Presentations

  • 2022 Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion- Lake Mac Business Awards

  • 2022 Sydney Mardi Gra " best choreography" award

  • 2021 Arts Leader – Lake Mac Council Awards

  • 2021 Arts Mid North Coast Shine Festival Grant recipient

  • 2021 Create NSW Digital Project recipient.

  • 2020 Lake Macquarie Council Creative Grant recipient 

  • 2019 Grant recipient – The Awesome Foundation

  • 2019 Create NSW project Grant – Dance and Dementia (U.S)

  • 2018 Awards Australia Nominee – Connecting Communities

  • 2017 Innovating Dance Practice Grant (U.K)

  • 2016 Arts Health Institute Trail Blazer 

  • Associate - Royal Academy of Dance

  • Cert. IV Dance Teaching and Management 

  • Cert. IV Training and Assessment

  • Bachelor of Arts Dance (Dist.) – Western Sydney University

  • Knowledgeable Ageing Online Webinar - U.S 2022

  • Creative Ageing Forum – Seniors Week 2021

  • Gold Moves Australia Industry panel discussion 2021

  • Dance for Parkinson’s Australia Professional Development Series 2020

  • Arts Mid North Coast Creative Ageing Forum – Intro Training info 2018

  • Newcastle University Creativity and the Brain Symposium 2018

  • Ausdance NSW Creative Ageing Forum Sydney 2018

  • Australasian Rehabilitation Nurses Association NSW/ACT 2017

  • Transitional Aged Care Program Forum Hunter New England Health 2017

 Memberships & Associations

  • Creative Engagement Specialist – Former Outside In Collective member

  • Co- Director Dance for Parkinson's Australia (2022- current)

  • Foundation Creative Arts Officer for ESTEEM Stroke Community program

  • People Dancing UK member

  • Associate – Gold Moves Australia

  • Associate – Royal Academy of Dance

  • Dance for PD member

  • Ausdance member

  • AHNNA member – Arts Health Network NSW/ACT

  • ACFIPS Arts and Health Sector Advisory Committee 

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