(photograph by Josh Thomas, Capture The Second Photography)

In November 2016, I formed ‘Samphire’, a contemporary dance group specifically for people aged 55+.  We work on projects and small scale performances in the community and sometimes share our work with other similar dance groups on the south coast.  The professionally led sessions are fun, joyful and uplifting, and aim to improve people’s mental and physical fitness levels and feelings of wellbeing.  

 Participants say:

“I value the humour within the class, and the other members who are kind, considerate and welcoming.  The opportunity to be creative and to perform / share what we achieve…To be part of a team.”

“You and your classes are brilliant, Michelle.  Your teaching methods are so inspiring enabling us to be individually creative, building a stable foundation to work together in forming a special group of dancers.”  

As well as the performance group, there are also weekly classes for over 55s at Niton, and a newer group in Ryde.

For details of where we meet and costs, please see

Here are some of the projects Samphire have taken part in…

Under Julia’s Spell

Summer 2017, our first project, a collaboration between Samphire, QuayCrafts and film maker Paul Windridge culminated in the film, ‘Under Julia’s Spell’ which formed part of the exhibition ‘Out of the Shadows’ at Dimbola Museum and Galleries. (Photograph by Carol Walker).


The Nelken Line

In May 2018 Samphire and friends took part in the world wide project, The Nelken Line.

Knitting the Bones

Summer 2018 at the Ventnor Fringe – ‘Knitting the Bones’ choreographed by myself, Michelle Hainsworth, and Samphire, with words and music by Sandy Kealty.

Site specific improvisations

Summer 2019 and we danced at a variety of places around the Isle of Wight.  We collaborated with Paul Windridge and created ‘Journeys’ – an improvisation at Compton Bay and ‘Awakening’ at Borthwood Copse.



Crossing the Bar

In October 2021, we were commissioned by the New Carnival Company to create a site specific dance at Bembridge and at Niton for an Arts and Walking festival. The dance film was chosen to be shown at Host, an event celebrating Dance and Age from around the world:


In June 2022, Samphire created Breath for the 50th anniversary celebrations of Ventnor Botanic Gardens.

On the Bench

A light hearted piece, also at Ventnor Botanic Gardens.

A Fine Line

Commissioned by the New Carnival Company we created a dance inspired by Cowes Boat Shed in Oct 2022.

Life on an Island

June 2023 and Samphire produced a trilogy of films inspired by how we feel about living on the Isle of Wight.

To see our films click here:

If you would be interested in joining Samphire Dance then please contact Michelle Hainsworth here.