Never underestimate the power that song and dance has to ignite a flame of happiness inside people. The social aspect and enjoyment taken from music can be empowering and uplifting to people of all ages.

Dancing has now been proved to help older people with their memory and with their mental health and all the evidence suggests that we should be embracing dance and incorporating it in to our lives every day.

Barrow-based counsellor and ballet dancer Monica Jaklin-Taylor, 27, from Island Road, Barrow works for SAFA on Duke Street. However, she also does part time work as a dance practitioner and is passionate about helping people through the medium of dance.

She has been working for roughly one year on a project called 'Dancing Recall' which is based in Cumbria and has stemmed from worldwide research showing that dance really can help people with dementia. She said: "At the moment I work with a great group of people at Staveley House Residential Home in Dalton and we are hoping to expand more through the South Lakes.

"We tailor movement to each person's individual needs but the main objective of the class is to have some fun.

"We choreograph dances to music like Elvis or George Formby and it's amazing the way older people come to life when they hear old music that they love.

"It really is the best job in the world and I get so much enjoyment from spending time dancing with older people. Even if you are based in a residential home you don't necessarily spend a lot of time interacting and activities that bring a smile to your face like dancing are great for your social life.

"I really get in to the old music and it is important I think to play songs that might trigger memories. Music and dance is an incredibly effective way of bring some happiness and positivity in to people's lives."