Members across communities in Leeds were given the opportunity to take part in a diverse cultural experience of poetry and Indian classical dance throughout the past three months. Some of these communities include the elderly LGBTQ community along with Care home residents across different care settings in Leeds.

The workshops that are part of a Leeds Inspired funded project have seen members of diverse communities participate in these sessions over the past few months. These workshops include elements of Indian classical dance, mindfulness, movement and poetry. The sessions were mainly aimed to reduce isolation through culturally unique experiences like classical Indian dance with the ultimate aim to encourage the use of arts to improve relationships and mental health of the participants.

This project has been set up by Minoti Parikh, a Creative Consultant and practitioner, Trainer and Team Building expert who facilitates wellbeing programmes based in West Yorkshire.

Minoti shares “It has been more than 18 months of being in this uncertain world and many vulnerable members of our community have expressed the urgent need of delivering activities such as these to encourage better overall health and wellbeing. Introducing a culturally uplifting experience where the participants have an opportunity to learn a new dance form has been well received.It has been a privilege to help support these individuals and introduce creativity and arts as a medium to improve our overall health.”

The feedback for these workshops has been exceptionally positive with some participants commenting on how diverse and inclusive the experience has been for them. Some members have asked that we continue to deliver such workshops because it has been extremely valuable to them.

Minoti concludes “My passion is to introduce the benefits of arts and creativity to our mental health.