DanceMakers is Independent Arts' gentle, creative dance programme. It can help to improve balance, coordination, muscle strength, memory and confidence.

Wear comfy, loose clothing and soft, flat shoes. Refreshments are provided.

Free 6 week trial for new participants. £5 for returning dancers.

Suitable for all levels of mobility.

"It's a friendship group really; I have lots of friends here. And Michelle is very innovative; really clever. The exercises are such fun and we have to use our imagination. It's just fun!"

Diane, age 88, DanceMakers participant

Where and when?

Face-to-face sessions have resumed in Summer 2021 as Covid-19 restrictions eased.
Numbers are limited and booking is essential, so please contact us for details or to book your space.

Please read our notice on Covid safety

DanceMakers Freshwater

Thursday 10.30am – 12.00 noon

Freshwater Parish Hall, 12 Victoria Rd, Freshwater PO40 9HZ


DanceMakers Newport

Friday 10.45am – 12.00 noon

St John's Church Hall, Drake Road, Newport PO30 1LN


DanceMakers Sandown

Thursday 1.30 – 2.30pm

Sandown Library, 119 High Street, Sandown PO36 8AF


We hope to restart sessions in Ryde once a suitable venue is secured.


You can continue to access our online sessions on





DanceMakers Practitioners

Michelle Hainsworth

Michelle Hainsworth

Michelle leads Independent Arts' DanceMakers sessions in Newport and Freshwater, and DanceSense in Newport.

Michelle is passionate about dance as a means of self expression and creativity. She has a BA(Hons) and PGCE in Dance, as well as training in Dance and Disabilty, Dance for Older Adults and Dance for Parkinson’s. She spent over 20 years teaching dance, drama and English in Secondary schools but now loves teaching dance and creative writing in the community, where no two days are ever the same. She also directs Samphire, a performance dance group specifically aimed at people aged 55+.

Michelle has met some lovely people in her work and hopes that in some small way, she is making a difference.
When not teaching sessions, she can be found sewing on her 100-year old hand crank machine (with tea and chocolate biscuits close to hand).


Zarah Groves

Zarah Groves

Zarah leads Independent Arts' DanceMakers sessions in Sandown and is also a music practitioner

She studied dance and performance at the Laine Theatre Arts School, Epsom, the Arts Educational School, Tring, and the School of Russian Ballet, Tunbridge Wells. She has a BA Hons. in Humanities with Music, and a diploma in music.

Zarah has delivered music therapy on a one-to-one basis, and has run her own ballet and dance school.


DanceMakers on film!

During September 2016 the DanceMakers groups in Freshwater and Newport led by Michelle Hainsworth put together choreography on the theme of 'Waiting'. These dances were then performed in the style of a FlashMob as part of the Isle of Wight Celebrating Age Festival. On 6th October the Freshwater group performed outside the Afton Road Co-Op store and the Newport group performed the following day in Newport town centre in St Thomas' Square. Both groups surprised the public and received rapturous applause for their performance – showing that age is no barrier to dancing.

A two-minute film featuring DanceMakers (May 2015).