Move Dance Feel
1857. Emily Jenkins
Emily Jenkins, from Nottingham, is a dance professional who founded ‘Move Dance Feel’, a project that has delivered more than 150 hours of dance sessions for over 800 women who are undergoing cancer treatment, as well as for 300 of their friends and family.
Emily has worked within participatory dance for over ten years and specialises in the relationship between dance and health. She set up the project in 2016 not only to provide women diagnosed with cancer therapeutic support through sessions designed to improve wellbeing and lower fatigue, but also to create a space where they could connect with one another and overcome the isolation many people feel whilst undergoing treatment. During the pandemic, Emily moved all classes online, and her sessions are also open to women who are caring for someone with cancer.
In a personal letter to Emily, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I was inspired to learn of ‘Move Dance Feel’ and how you are bringing the joy of dance to women living with cancer.
“Your brilliant classes are helping hundreds of women undergoing treatment to improve their physical wellbeing and lower fatigue. You have also created a unique community where women can connect and support each other through difficult and isolating times. By including families and carers too, you are ensuring that those who care for others are also cared for.”
Ruth Edwards, Emily’s local MP for Rushcliffe, said:
“I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Emily for her outstanding work with cancer patients and their families. Being able to connect with other people and participate in dance is important to their physical and mental health when the strain on both must be unimaginable. She thoroughly deserves this award and recognition as a Point of Light for the support she has provided to people during their time of need.”
“What a lovely surprise! Points of Light appears to be an important initiative, and I’m honoured to be considered an ‘outstanding individual’ by those working in Parliament.”
Photo credit: Camilla Greenwell Photography