Get Active Online

Arts for Health

Get Active Online


Image Credit: Intercultural Roots with Maggi Swallow and Tiago Gambogi

Get Active Online is Intercultural Roots live and interactive online classes that have been delivered on Zoom since March 2020.

48 professional freelance artistic practitioners delivered 276 GAO sessions to over 2,675 participants Between March and December 2020!

Such sessions encompass movement, dance, theatre devising, qigong and other arts, health and social change activities.

Get Active Online offers a portal and opportunity for practitioners from diverse backgrounds to deliver interactive on-line classes, while continuing to develop their teaching skills in the digital sphere. We are focussing on creating connection and proximity through online interaction while also fostering spaces for reflection and feedback between participants and practitioners.


is the shortcut link to our What's On page for sharing.

Get Active Online offers the following:

- a permanent hub for healthy practices and supportive interactions

- an online studio for artistic co-creation, improvisation, rehearsal & even performance

- a space to develop and reflect upon online teaching methodologies

- a platform for online classes, providing income for practitioners, to promote their projects and courses while supporting the exchange of somatic and artistic practices, within the ethos of companionship in our shared love for learning and teaching in a way that integrates new artistic knowledge.

“The class – Qigong-Dance – is delivered in a way that recognises we are a trinity of body, mind and spirit. Whilst exercising the body and mind it also creates a deeper understanding of accessing peace and harmony within ourselves and the world around us.” Laura

A typical weekly Get Active Online schedule during June 2020

In March 2020 when it became apparent that a Covid-19 lockdown would close all London venues, IR quickly adapted, and within one week, moved all activities online.  A first priority was to honour existing contracts with practitioners to continue providing classes to participants. All available funding from IR and partner organisations was directed towards this adaptation that continues to be called Get Active Online. From zero online participants at the start of March 23rd, 2020 and to the end of May, Get Active Online! hosted a total of 126 classes/activities, which reached a total of 1,377 participants. Participation increased to over 2,000 by the end of July 2020.

Initially, the Get Active Online programme was devised (by our partner the Youth Media Group) to provide those who might not otherwise be able to take part in health and wellbeing classes in the community the opportunity to access such classes online.  The emergence of coronavirus and the ensuing lockdown created a situation whereby community classes came to a grinding halt, the twin effects being to deprive practitioners of a source of income and members of the public left without access to provision.  A collaborative effort very rapidly saw Get Active Online! re-imagined as a host platform which Intercultural Roots and our partners could utilise.  In this way we played an important role in supporting embodied arts practitioners, paying them to deliver classes and also providing them with access to a pool of potential participants outside of their local community.  We feel very proud of the success of this initiative and the quality that we achieved through an online platform, as witnessed by feedback from participants responding to a poll at the end of their session, who all agreed that they felt a greater sense of wellbeing after their class.

Get Active Online is an Intercultural Roots 'Health & WELLth' initiative

The core weekly activities offered via our Get Active Online digital platform have been: NIA Dance Class offered by Dr. Andrea Maciel, Traditional Chinese Medicine to Boost the Immune System with Dr. Alex Feng, Daoyin Breathwork with Dr. Alex Boyd and Qigong Infused Dance offered by Drs. Andrea Maciel and Alex Boyd. They were offered to the public until the summer on a donation only basis. The classes were promoted very inclusively and delivered in very accessible ways with thanks to the core team at that time Tiago Gambogi and Maggi Swallow (promotion), Wendy Boyd (financial admin), Dr Andrea Maciel (artistic direction), Clare Johnson (strategy and evaluation) and Dr Alex Boyd (coordination). Special thanks to Isabella Sperotto who voluntarily hosted so many of the Zoom sessions and provided production support to facilitators.

Please contact us if you would like to know more about Get Active Online as a practitioner or participant.

Regular Get Active Online offerings in 2020: Nia Dance with Andrea Maciel, TCM with Dr Alex Feng, Daoyin with Dr Alex Boyd, Virtual Lifebelts with Dr Ian Kenvyn, Energy Healing with Vanessa Godoy and Qigong-Dance with Drs. Andrea Maciel and Alex Boyd.

Intercultural Roots is grateful to have had received funding in 2020 to support our projects from the following funders that enabled free classes to become available for low and unwaged beneficiaries during the Covid-19 pandemic: