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On Wednesday 5 June we made the third of five special wishes come true as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations.

Lesley Cumming, Alzheimer Scotland’s Community Activities Officer for West Dunbartonshire, submitted a wish for Scottish Ballet to perform alongside the Every Voice Community Choir as part of their summer concert.

In January, we surprised the choir to reveal that their simple wish of ‘We Sing, You Dance’ had been chosen, and we invited them to Scottish Ballet HQ to help us create a unique joint performance. Scottish Ballet Soloist Jamiel Laurence choreographed a beautiful duet between Principal Bethany Kingsley-Garner and Soloist Evan Loudon, which we rehearsed with the 50-strong choir to their rendition of 'Only You' by British synth-pop band Yazoo. After the rehearsal, we gave them a tour of our studios, technical and wardrobe departments before sitting down to a well-deserved cup of tea together.

Today, we were honoured to join the choir for the finale of their summer concert. The sold-out performance at St Augustine’s Church in Dumbarton, led by choirmaster Bryan Marshall, was greeted with a standing ovation and hardly a dry eye in the house!

‘Thank you to everyone who has supported us, and all those who voted for the Every Voice Choir; the journey from rehearsals to performance has been magical for all involved. It is part of a once in a lifetime memory.’

Lesley Cumming, Alzheimer Scotland’s Community Activities Officer for West Dunbartonshire

The performance was held during this year’s Dementia Awareness Week in Scotland which sees the national dementia charity raising awareness of local dementia support, as well as the need for more people with and without a dementia diagnosis to sign up to dementia research. It is estimated that there are around 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland, and that 20,000 more will be diagnosed with the condition every year by 2020. This is a cause close to our hearts, with our own weekly Time to Dance classes for those living with dementia now a core part of our Dance Health programme.

Every Voice Community Choir rehearse on a fortnightly basis, bringing people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia together, in the hope of improving physical, mental and social wellbeing. We are delighted to continue to share our love of dance and music with them as we work together on another special performance that will see the choir join us on stage to conclude a matinee of Christopher Hampson’s new production of The Snow Queen in Edinburgh, later this year.


‘It is a powerful thing to unite people through such a celebratory performance. I am so pleased that Scottish Ballet has been able to make Every Voice Community Choir’s wish of singing and dancing together come true.’

Susan Calman, champion of the third wish

Photography by Sally Jubb