"Combined all the best activities to keep ageing at bay – memory, exercise and socialising"

- Participant, Gwanwyn Dance Day 2019

Gwanwyn is the national month-long festival held across Wales which celebrates creativity in older age. Meaning Spring in Welsh, Gwanwyn recognises older age ‘as a time of opportunity for renewal, growth and creativity.’ Every May a number of Gwanwyn events are held throughout the country at lots of different venues. Ranging from drama, music, film and literature, to storytelling, dance and visual arts, there is something for everyone to get involved in… Take a look at what Rubicon got up to for Gwanwyn in 2019!

Rubicon have been involved with Gwanwyn for many years. We took part in the festival from 2012-2017 and in 2015 we won Age Cymru’s Gwanwyn Award for exceptional contribution to the festival.

Initial funding from Gwanwyn during 2012 allowed us to set up our over 50’s dance group, Riverfront Ravers. Based in Newport, the initial interest in Ravers led to us reapplying for Gwanwyn funding in 2013 to set up an over 50’s group which had a specific focus on performance. This group was named NuWave and offers a further option for our over 50’s participants who wish to refine their dancing further for performance.

2014 saw our partnership with Sherman Theatre and Age Cymru for ‘Stepping into Spring’, a showcase of dance at the Sherman displaying the diversity of work being created by older dancers from across Wales. The Rubicon Strictly Senioritas project was our contribution in 2015. This brought together two of our over 50s performance groups and culminated in a photography exhibition in John Lewis, Cardiff.


So what about 2019?

For the Gwanwyn Festival last year we held a full day of workshops, creativity and laughter at our studios in Adamsdown. 30 participants from our over 50’s groups took part and the day consisted of a warm up and conditioning session; Cha Cha workshop; buffet lunch; and a musical theatre workshop. The day finished with a sharing for all of the participants to showcase what they had learnt during the day.

We understand that social isolation is one of the main social challenges that older members of the community face and we wanted our Gwanwyn Dance Day to tackle this by bringing the older members of our community together and boosting social interaction.

It was a great opportunity for the participants to socialise and meet others from our existing sessions, such as NuWave, Whitchurch, Penarth and Llanrumney groups. These sessions normally take place in various venues across Cardiff and Newport, and the event was therefore a great chance for the participants to visit our Rubicon base whilst being in the company of like-minded people.

Participants also continued to develop their physical wellbeing during the day through practising good alignment, flexibility and co-ordination, as well as stamina and strength.

As a chance to thank our participants for their loyalty throughout the years, we wanted the Gwanwyn Dance Day to offer the groups completely new and different artistic opportunities that they may not have experienced before.


What did Participants have to Say?

Participant during Gwanwyn Dance Day 2019.

Participants thought our Rubicon dance leaders were ‘so supportive and enthusiastic’ and pointed out how useful the day was to help them concentrate on remembering new dance moves.

Reduced stress and anxiety were also noted, and participants said they were leaving our studios ‘feeling fabulous’ - ‘I’m going to go home feeling ten feet tall’.


Our Gwanwyn 2020 event is currently on hold due to COVID-19. In the meantime, please keep checking our website and social media channels for updates. Thank you for your understanding and stay safe! We look forward to dancing again soon.