Dance in Health & Wellbeing

A partnership between One Dance UK and People Dancing

Dance has a significant part to play in improving the health and wellbeing of the population. Dance combines healthy physical activity, the engagement of the creative spirit, the promotion of emotional expression and the encouragement of social interaction.

Primary Dance Lesson © Andrew Ford

As a form of cultural expression, dance is uniquely placed to respond to a wide range of health and social issues.

One Dance UK and People Dancing have joined forces to raise the profile of dance and to demonstrate that making dance more widely available is an effective way of responding to current issues across the Government’s health and wellbeing agenda in England. The partnership brings together two key national dance bodies with People Dancing bringing expertise particularly in community dance and inclusive dance practice and One Dance UK bringing its expertise in youth dance and dance in education. Joining these two organisations in this project, Jan Burkhardt brings specialist knowledge on dance and public health.

Working directly with Public Health, this partnership will embed dance firmly within the England’s health and wellbeing agenda. Working to reduce health and fitness inequalities across the England will ultimately strengthen the dance sector as a whole by creating a demand for, and improving access to, high-quality participatory dance.

The Government, together with the health and sports sectors, is already focusing on tackling issues including physical inactivity, obesity and mental health. Public Health England’s, Everybody Active Everyday has set out a helpful framework for action.

Making the case for dance in health and wellbeing is important if we are to raise the profile of dance and how it can improve the health of the nation.

The government’s latest strategy Sporting Future: A new strategy for an active nation is focussed on getting people physically active to improve health and social outcomes. Sport England has £245 million of funding allocated to tackle inactivity and outlined in its Sport England Strategy: Towards an Active Nation. It has defined physical activity as: sports, dance, walking and cycling and this represents a major opportunity for the dance sector to contribute to Tackling Inactivity through Dance.

The One Dance UK and People Dancing Partnership is developing a Strategic Framework for Dance in Health & Wellbeing. It also aims to offer workforce development opportunities and share the emerging evidence on how dance improves health.

More information on commissioning dance to improve health and wellbeing is available on the Public Health England National Obesity Observatory 

Media Coverage of this initiative:
The Stage
Arts Professional


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