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Dancing out of Alzheimers


Dancing Back to Life for World Alzheimer's Day

Gary Edwards - presenter of US TV's Dancing with the Stars and the Arthur Murray Dance Troop support people living with Alzheimer's in advance of World Alzheimer's Day on Friday


  • The Arthur Murray Dance Troop will showcase Latin & Ballroom dances for the residents of Sunrise Senior Living at Elstree


  • Residents to join in dance class held by Gary Edwards



Sunrise - Elstree, Edgwarebury Lane, (off Barnet Lane), Elstree, Hertfordshire WD6 3RG (Sat Nav: WD6 3RE)

Britain is in the grip of an Alzheimer's pandemic which shows no signs of abating. As healthcare becomes ever more sophisticated we are all living longer, but at a terrible price. Currently up to 50 million people worldwide and over 850,000 people within the UK are living with dementia, with nearly half that number being under 65 years old! It is the leading cause of disability and dependency among the elderly and affects memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion.  There is no cure.

 World Alzheimer's Day, September 21st of each year, is the key day in World Alzheimer's Month, an annual international initiative to raise awareness of Alzheimer's and dementia.


Passion for this cause goes right to the very top of the famous Arthur Murray Dance empire, as Vice-President Wayne A. Smith confirms: "Arthur Murray has a long history of supporting Alzheimer's organisations and our studios across the world including three in London actively support the cause. 


"Dancing is a proven rehabilitation approach to help reduce the symptoms of dementia and to this end, we have invited Gary Edwards to raise awareness of the cause."


Gary, winner of over 30 international dancing titles was the hot favourite to replace Len Goodman on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017. A presenter on Dancing with the Stars in the US, since retiring from competition, the 6' 4" Ballroom Giant has gone on become a world class judge and has launched #GetBritainDancing to promote the social and lifestyle, physical and mental health benefits of dance. 


Gary has brought together Sunrise Senior Living UK & Gracewell Healthcare to raise awareness of the cause and will be joined by the Arthur Murray dance troop when they dance with the residents of Sunrise Senior Living UK & Gracewell Healthcare homes around the country commencing on Thursday 20th September - the day before World Alzheimer's Day.


Gary explains: "I have lost friends to Alzheimer's and it has been heart-breaking to see them fade away. I want to make people aware of the importance of staying active and vital whilst also demonstrating how much pleasure dance can bring sufferers of this cruel condition. 


"Dancing is the number one activity to enhance brain health - some may say it's even better than sudoku and crossword puzzles. It's physical, creative, social, and gives your brain an all-round workout."


Alongside Gary and will be Shaun Mcenery, who has a long-established reputation in the world of professional dance.  Shaun was one of the Pro Dancers on Dancing with the Stars in the Middle East in 2014 and specialises in the Argentine Tango.


Jackie Pool, Director of Memory Care, Sunrise Senior Living UK & Gracewell Healthcare, is an award-winning dementia innovator, drawing upon her 30 years' specialist experience. She is currently developing a sector-leading memory care strategy for Sunrise and Gracewell through the innovative concept of ‘Rementia', focused on reversing the symptoms of early-onset dementia. Jackie comments: "There will be over 1 million people in the UK with dementia by 2025. Social engagement is excellent for combating loneliness, reducing low mood and stimulating cognitive skills. 

"To enhance this simple but effective approach with a physical activity such as dancing, multiplies the benefits. To this end, Sunrise Senior Living UK & Gracewell Healthcare include a rich and varied programme of activities for residents including dance, promoting social stimulation and confidence building."

 Wayne A. Smith from Arthur Murray Dance Studios adds: "I understand that every three seconds someone in the world develops dementia. However, thanks to Alzheimer associations around the world, awareness of dementia is improving. These organisations provide support to millions of people and continue to advocate for improving the quality of life for those living with dementia and their care partners."

Alzheimer Disease International (ADI) relies on donations in order to strengthen Alzheimer associations worldwide and raise awareness about the global impact of dementia. To donate go to Twitter, #WorldAlzMonth and #WAM2017."


The Arthur Murray Dance experience, headed up by Gary Edwards, will be performing at Sunrise of Elstree at 3pm on 20th September as a prelude to World Alzheimer's Day on Friday 21st September.


 For further information contact Melanie Faldo at




Notes to Editors - see following pages






Alzheimer's Society, 43-44 Crutched Friars, London, EC3N 2AE

As a result of donations in 2017, the Alzheimer's Society UK saw an income increased from £90.7 million to £97.9 million. This enabled an additional 12% spend, meeting the needs of people affected by dementia, inspiring change and advancing research. Through local services, this support directly helped over 100,000 people.

At least 89p in every £1 spent is goes directly improving the lives of people with dementia. The other 11p goes towards generating future income.

As the only UK charity investing in research into dementia care, cause, cure and prevention, the Alzheimer's Organisation UK has committed to spending £150 million on cutting-edge research over the next decade.



Arthur Murray International Inc. -

Arthur Murray Dance Studios in the

The company, headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida was founded by the late Arthur Murray. Teacher to the stars, Murray and the company he formed have enjoyed enormous success since he set up his first dance class in 1912 and garnered a glittering student roster that included Marilyn Monroe, Eleanor Roosevelt, John D. Rockefeller and the Duke of Windsor.

Today Arthur Murray International Inc. has 272 dance studios in 23 countries world-wide. The combined businesses offer its students lessons, courses, parties, club memberships, competitions, trips and a social and lifestyle community.



Gary Edwards has been dancing since the age of seven.  His mother encouraged him to take his first steps, since then he has won over 30 international dancing titles, including the British Open Ballroom and the British Open Latin. Since retiring, the 6' 4" Ballroom Giant has gone on become a world class judge and has judged 47 World Championships.

He has taught royalty and luminaries to dance - legends like Barry White, Whitney Houston and MC Hammer as well as Michael Jackson whom he taught the Cha Cha Cha.

Gary, who was the hot favourite to replace his mate Len Goodman on Strictly Come Dancing last year, presents on the All Access edition of Dancing with the Stars in the US and lives between his homes in Miami Beach and the UK. 



Professional dancer, Shaun Mcenery, will be heading up the dance troop. Shaun has excellent credentials in the field of dance and a long-established reputation most notably as one of the Pro Dancers on Dancing with the Stars 2014 in the Middle East.

He has been dancing for over ten years - competing, performing, and choreographing. He has taught all of the international ten ballroom dances as well as many other partner dances which include the Argentinian Tango, Salsa, Mambo, Hustle, Lindy hop, West Coast swing & Bolero. He competes in American Rhythm and Smooth, and also dances commercial, body popping, hip-hop and contemporary/jazz dance as well his own fusion style.

In March 2018, Shaun was ranked number 6 in Europe for the Stage Tango Championships and was selected to choreograph, act and dance in the English / Bollywood soon-to-be-released film, Time to Dance

He has also appeared on Channel 4's Posh Frock Shop, Channel 5 series Bad Teen Ballroom Queen and The Strictly Story documenting the history of Strictly Come Dancing.




Sunrise Senior Living

Gracewell Healthcare link

Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare are providers of assisted living, nursing, dementia and respite care and have a total of 46 homes in the UK

Central to delivering first-class care is Sunrise and Gracewell's commitment to enhancing the quality of life for each and every resident. As part of this, the homes champion an active and thriving lifestyle every day, with activities and events to encourage residents to continue doing the things they love most, whilst exploring new opportunities which also find a place in their heart.