Prioritising Wellbeing and Mental Health Workshop



Event Recap

On May 28th, from 10 am to 12:30 pm, Smart D8, in collaboration with The Family Resource Centre St Michael’s Estate, Common Ground, and dance artist Philippa Donnellan, hosted the ‘Prioritising Wellbeing and Mental Health’ workshop. Held in Bay 1 at The Digital Depot, this event marked the fifth workshop dedicated to Mental Health Awareness Month, highlighting the importance of community, dance, and mental health.

Workshop Highlights


Over the past two years, from 2020 to 2023, The Family Resource Centre’s women’s group engaged in weekly sessions with the dance artist Philippa Donnellan. These sessions took place in various locations such as the open air, local schools, and the People’s Pavilion at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, offering a safe and creative space during the challenging times of the pandemic.

Benefits of Dance and Social Gatherings 

The workshop was more than just a dance session; it was a celebration of community and well-being. Dancing offers numerous health benefits, both physical and mental. Engaging in dance can improve cardiovascular health, increase flexibility and strength, and enhance coordination. On a mental level, dancing is known to boost mood, reduce stress, and provide a sense of accomplishment.

Social gatherings like this workshop play a crucial role in mental health. They offer a sense of belonging, reduce feelings of isolation, and foster meaningful connections. By coming together to dance, share stories, and celebrate, participants experienced a sense of joy and camaraderie that is essential for well-being.

‘We Love Dancin’ Screening

A highlight of the event was the screening of the film ‘We Love Dancin’, a collaborative dance project produced by The Family Resource Centre St Michael’s Estate and Common Ground, directed by Cathy Dunne of Lore Films and funded by the Arts Council, with thanks to IMMA.

To watch the film, click here or view it on Vimeo

Women’s Empowerment Through Dance    

During the workshop, participants had the opportunity to dance alongside the women’s group led by Philippa. They enjoyed the group’s favourite dance tracks and learned different steps and movements.

Celebrating Dublin 8 Community Groups

This special event united diverse local community groups from Dublin 8, who had seldom gathered together since Covid-19. It fostered new connections and strengthened existing relationships, highlighting the importance of coming together in person once again. It was a testament to the power of community in promoting mental health and well-being. The workshop not only provided a space for dance and fun but also highlighted the importance of supporting one another through creative and engaging activities.

Workshop Goals

The workshop equipped attendees with a variety of dance steps, movements, and tracks that they can enjoy in their personal time, whether dancing alone or with others. Following the dance session, participants gathered for a delightful buffet, where they shared meals and stories. This communal dining experience underscored the joy and connection that such opportunities provide, fostering a sense of community and well-being among all who attended.

To watch the video showcasing the best moments from the ‘Prioritising Wellbeing and Mental Health’ workshop, please visit this link: