About Gold Moves Australia

Our Story

We are a team of passionate and highly experienced dance artists, educators and community practitioners with expert skills and knowledge in working with older people. We combine scientific evidence that demonstrates the health benefits of dance, with our passion and expertise.

We see dance as an elixir for life! Dance offers a myriad of benefits especially transforming the health and wellbeing of older people. This transformative power has a positive ripple effect on families, friends, community and society in general. We want to share this dance potion throughout Australia.

We want to increase the number of practitioners to work effectively with this demographic thus enabling more over 60s to move, feel and live better through dance.

We share the design of dance programs that harness the positive effect of moving to great music with others with a particular focus on falls prevention, brain health/mental agility, emotional wellbeing and social connection, all within a fun, safe, welcoming and supportive environment. We share how to adapt dance to cater for different levels of ability, mobility or dance experience and for a range of settings from community to aged care, respite centres, hospitals and hospices.

We seek to work collaboratively with other practitioners interested in this field.

Our Vision

GOLD Moves Australia (GMA) was established by Gail Hewton and Julie Chenery in 2018 to make dance more accessible to all older people and to progress the field of dance for older people through advocacy, networking and offering professional development opportunities.

GMA supports and advocates for dance with a focus on enhancing health and wellbeing for a better quality of life using evidence informed approaches without losing the essence of the dance intent.

 GMA aims to:

  • Promote and advocate the benefits of dance for older people

  • Help older people find dance activities in their area

  • Provide dance, fitness, allied health and care practitioners with professional development, network and mentoring opportunities, and resources to assist their practice

  • Provide health professionals access to a directory of dance practitioners and programs to refer/recommend to their patients and clients

  • Provide care and community organisations access to a directory of dance practitioners to lead dance programs for residents, clients and/or patrons in their facilities

“Dance is a cuddle to myself. Ripe Dance has put a whole new perspective in my life. At 82 it is great to dance and enjoy the company of lovely other dancers. Thanks Gail with all my heart. Helen.”

GMA would like more older people to have the chance to feel just like Helen!

Swans becoming cygnets – Image: Gail Hewton

Our Focus on Health & Wellbeing

GMA supports and advocates for dance with a focus on enhancing health and wellbeing for a better quality of life using evidence informed approaches without losing the essence of the dance.

Why a focus on dance for health & wellbeing?

We believe the core function of dance is, and always has been, about health and wellbeing. People make, do or watch dance to meet a need, whether that need is to express themselves creatively, physically or emotionally; or to connect with others; having needs met contributes to our health & wellbeing.

So why shouldn’t we enjoy the benefits of dance into our later years? We are constantly looking for ways to help improve and maintain our health & wellbeing as we age and dance is unique in that it offers benefits for older people across a wide spectrum of physical, cognitive, emotional and social determinants of quality of life.  This is supported by a growing body of research evidence.

 Our objective is to have practitioners adapt their practice for this demographic, particularly to incorporate principles that address falls prevention, mental health and social connectedness.  These are major issues that often accompany ageing and can be life threatening or can seriously decrease quality of life. Dance has the power to directly impact these issues.

 And how do we do this? By:

  • Incorporating principles and exercises from evidenced based falls prevention exercise programs into all dance sessions to build strength, increase flexibility and improve posture, balance, coordination, proprioception and reflexes

  • Ensuring attention is paid to the cognitive demand placed on participants noting a different approach is required for those with dementia

  • Underpinning the practice with a relational approach specifically to ethically engage participants and build strong community connectedness 

  • Using a range of points of inspiration relevant to participants’ age and interests

  • Creating a fun, safe, supportive and welcoming environment


We want to inspire practitioners, wherever they are, and whatever context they work in, to develop quality dance experiences that consider maintenance and improvement of health and wellbeing for older people.

Join us to continue your learning in this field

Our Team

Gail Hewton and Julie Chenery bring 80 years of combined professional experience as artists, educators, producers and community dance practitioners. Both Gail and Julie have received the Ausdance Qld Osmotherly Award for contribution to the development of dance education in Queensland.

Gail has become a leader and specialist in dance for older people. Immersed in working with older people since 2012 across a range of contexts and settings through her practice RIPE Dance in Noosa, Gail has undertaken in-depth desktop research, continuous professional development and in 2018 she undertook a 6-week study tour of the UK to investigate dance for older people. Find out more…

Julie brings many years’ experience as an educator and community dance practitioner. She worked broadly across the dance sector during a decade as the inaugural Executive Officer of Ausdance Qld. Julie has added community development practice and strengths-based counselling approaches to her offerings. Find out more…

Our Support Crew

To ensure we remain abreast of current research and information regarding older people, health aligned matters and dance for older people we establish relationships with Associates and Advisors (other experts and specialists) to consult and collaborate with to inform our work.