18 DancingBackToLife 200918

Love Island stars join Ballroom Giant Gary Edwards in support of World Alzheimer’s Day  

In a dazzling show of support for World Alzheimer’s Day, Love Island stars Savanna Darnell and Ellie Jones and US TV’s Dancing with the Stars presenter Gary Edwards visited Sunrise Senior Living in Elstree to put on a dance class for the residents.  

In an effort to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease which affects 50 million people worldwide, and 850,000 people in the UK, Gary, Savanna, Ellie and the Arthur Murray Dance troop led by Shaun McEnery performed for and then danced with the residents of Sunrise Care Home. 

Kid Creole has every reason to be proud of his little girl Savanna, who stole our hearts on Love Island this year and then stole them right back again on the dance floor today. Dancer and Singer Savanna told us that for her, it was all about taking part and publicising the massive benefits that dance can bring to those living with Alzheimer’s.  

She was modest about her dancing abilities in spite of her musical heritage, saying: ‘It was so heart-warming and touching to be here today. Everyone really wanted to get involved and it was so lovely to see the smiles on their face.   

I am running my own dance workshops to teach people everything I know as a trained dancer and get them on their feet. Seeing how happy everyone was here today has made me really excited to spread the love.”   

Her Love Island co-star Ellie Jones added to Savanna’s comments, explaining her passion for the cause and the personal struggles she and her family have experienced as close family members have suffered with Alzheimer’s. Ellie commented: “I’m so glad I came today. My Grandmother had Alzheimer’s and the years later my Grandad had a form of dementia, so I know how horrible the condition is.”  

The team were joined by Actor, Model, Presenter and Pineapple Dance Studios TV reality star Dean Rowland, TMA talent management representative and an avid supporter of the Alzheimer’s awareness and #GetBritainDancing campaigns.

From left to right – Vaida Arlauskaite, Gary Edwards, Ellie Jones, Shaun Mcenery, Maria Zujeva, Richard Evans, Qiaosen Feng, Savanna Darnell and Dean Rowland.

Dance legend Gary Edwards has taken considerable time to promote the #GetBritainDancing campaign, in an effort to bring the many benefits of dance to as many people as possible, including those who would normally be excluded, spoke a few words at the beginning of the event: ‘Dance is for Everybody, even those who have restricted movement can enjoy dancing.  

He formally introduced the Arthur Murray Dance troop who put on a magical display of Ballroom and Latin dance for the Sunrise residents before inviting everyone to take to the floor for a group dance. Gary was also able to offer some impromptu instruction and clearly enjoyed reprising his dancing lessons with Ellie Jones, whom he coached earlier this year. 
Gary added: “It was humbling to see the faces of the residents light up when they engaged in the dance and the level empathy 
and engagement that Ellie and Savanna had for those living with dementia. It’s forgivable not to be so connected to the hard issues like Alzheimer’s when you’re so young, so you can imagine I was thrilled to see them not only dance with the residents but be so passionate about raising awareness for the cause. 

“I am so glad that we live in a world where we can talk more openly about mental illness which is huge part of what my #GetBritainDancing campaign is all about.”  

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