Philanthropist, Michael Flatley – who brought Riverdance to a global audience – is announced global patron of a new UK dance and wellbeing initiative, led by multi award-winning, North East-based, female entrepreneur, Bethany Ainsley.

Established in 2008, Nuvo Wellbeing has already reached over 36,000 people through a wide range of dance and physical activity initiatives, which predominantly target low mobility communities in some of the most economically deprived areas of the UK.

The Make your Move programme, launched with private and philanthropic funding, will provide free dance classes to gifted and talented children alongside grants to help budding young dance artists develop creative community projects that reach out to both youth and care communities.

As well as founding Nuvo Wellbeing and ActivCare Coaching, Bethany is CEO of OptiMe, established in 2019 and is dedicated to optimising the wellbeing of employees through a confidential digital platform that focuses on proactive and preventative support, whilst assisting HR with practical training and ensuring essential policies are in place.

Institute of Directors, North East director of the Year 2020 and Nuvo Wellbeing founder, Bethany Ainsley, a former professional dancer herself, said: “Nuvo’s success has been based on the principles of improving activity levels and wellbeing in a fun and accessible way in some of the most under-served communities and has been recognised nationally. Our partnership work has also provided opportunities overseas in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US with our training partner company ActivCare.

“When I met with Michael and his wife Niamh recently, it was clear he shared this vision for civic wellbeing and the innovation that could come through dance. We are thrilled that he has agreed to be our Global Patron for the launch year of the Make Your Move and I know this will help us make a greater impact for the thousands of children and young and older people out there whose lives we seek to invigorate.”

Michael Flatley, said: “I was so impressed with Bethany’s passion and determination to use dance in such a creative way to help under-privileged communities. I am delighted to lend my support and know that it will be a national success.

“Anything that fills the hearts of young people with a passion for dance and giving back is a worthy cause. Hopefully, we can fill hundreds of spaces in dance studios, and even the streets, with a generation of those enabled by Bethany and her growing army of dance champions.”

Make Your Move launched this month in celebration of Nuvo Wellbeing’s 13th anniversary, will seek to establish ten Gifted and Talented Academies and fund 10 new creative dance projects by 2022, as part of the first phase of the project, starting with deprived areas across the North East and Midlands in England.