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Dancing in the street! Ipswich boogie raises spirits during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 10:31 04 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:31 04 May 2020

Isobel and Hugo making up a dance routine   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Isobel and Hugo making up a dance routine Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

There are people swinging, swaying and records playing - as neighbours take to dancing in this Ipswich street during the coronavirus lockdown.

Residents of Tuddenham Avenue in Ipswich came out for their 11am dance on their doorstep Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNResidents of Tuddenham Avenue in Ipswich came out for their 11am dance on their doorstep Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

And it doesn’t matter what you wear for the Tuddenham Avenue danceathon, just as long as you are there.

Neighbours in the street joined forces with people in nearby Cemetery and Finchley Roads to help look out for those who might be isolated during the UK-wide shutdown.

Flyers were delivered offering support to those who needed it - but it was then decided that the time was right for a little morning jig to raise people’s spirits.

“It started from when we saw someone dancing on the street to Tom Jones,” said Charlie Green, one of the dance’s organisers.

Charlie Green dancing in the sunshine  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCharlie Green dancing in the sunshine Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

From there Mrs Green and her neighbours decided they too would have a go and invited the street out to dance once a week.

Mrs Green works for Suffolk Mind and believes that dance can have a real benefit for your mental health.

“Movement is a massive part of my mental wellbeing,” said Mrs Green.

“I love the connection.

Nancy Green getting her groove on to the Black Eyed Peas  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNNancy Green getting her groove on to the Black Eyed Peas Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“There’s something very special about coming together in dance.

“It’s not for everybody but people love it and they come out.”

To minimise disruption to those who might not want to get involved, the dancing happens every Saturday, just after 11am.

“The kids call it dancing day,” said Mrs Green.

A message of hope in a window  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNA message of hope in a window Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The group has been fortunate to have BBC Radio Suffolk offer to play them two songs to keep them dancing.

Each week the group’s members select the songs they would like to dance to whilst outside. The most recent songs they selected were I Got A Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas and Firework by Katy Perry.

Mrs Green said that members of the community were really feeling the benefit of dancing on their mental health, as well as making new connections.

“It’s such a weird time, anything we can do to connect and just see each other,” said Mrs Green.

Tom, Isobel and Hugo having fun dancing on their doorstep  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTom, Isobel and Hugo having fun dancing on their doorstep Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“I have people in the street I have never known before.”

Despite the current difficulties, Mrs Green said there had been positives for community cohesion.

“It’s harked us back to a slower time,” said Mrs Green.

“It’s been pretty special.”

Tom, Isobel and Hugo having fun dancing on their doorstep  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTom, Isobel and Hugo having fun dancing on their doorstep Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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