A Day of Discussion, Wellness and Dancing

20 Dec 2016

By Chloe Blackmur and Erin Sanchez

Sadler’s Wells and Rambert in partnership with the Dance and Creative Wellness Foundation hosted a two day event in London focused on the practice of creative wellness, and One Dance UK’s Erin Sanchez and Claire Farmer attended. Here’s a recap of the event, and some of the exciting developments from a group of inspired delegates, speakers and leaders.

Diverse voices from the UK, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and France came together for an active and discursive sharing of dance and creative wellness practice and the role of dance in well being and preventative health.

Day 1 began with a welcome by Joce Giles followed by a key note speech by Mark Baldwin. Throughout the day there was workshops, panel discussions, presentations, sharing information, a film and debates held and presented by several speakers. The speakers for day 1 were; Dr Sara Houston, Lucy Perry, Clare Guss-West, Monica Gillette, Andrew Greenwood, Aleka Loutsis, Lucina Jarrett, Edith Wolf Perez, Pauline Hasse, Nicholas Kahn, Tamara McCloud, Jennifer Curry DCD, Erin Sanchez, Mark Morris Dance, Louisa Borg-Costanzi Potts, Rebecca Denby, Jo Meredith, Danielle Teale, Kate Hartley, Nia Williams, Jon Petter, Boris Caksiran, and Eldridge Labinjo. Day 2 began with a welcome by Julie Fitzelle and Eldridge Labinjo. Collaborations and presentations took place on Saturday with speakers from day 1 also joined by Hana & Attila Zanin, Dr Stephanie Freierabend, Simona Scotta, Filipa Pereira-Stubs, Julie Cleves, and Katie Manson.

Over these thought provoking days, there were a number of great moments. Daniele Teale, a former One Dance UK mentee and founding member of the Dance for Parkinson’s Network UK (a special interest group housed under People Dancing) and contributor to the English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s programme, led a session examining the integral value of artistic integrity in dance and health based practice. It posed questions about the equal roles of dance health leaders as both artists and trained and knowledgeable teachers and facilitators. In an event aimed at practitioners in dance health, this spurred interesting conversation and exchange. Felipe Pereira-Stubs who delivers DanceMoves at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, spoke about the importance of knowing and using anatomical terminology when teaching in health settings, not only to guide people through the movement but to be able to explain the reasons for doing that movement. This tied in with other conversations about training available for dance practitioners working in health care and the differences between dance movement psychotherapy and dance for health that might have therapeutic qualities. This question came up again on Saturday from practitioners wanted to start teaching in dance for health but not sure where to start.

Overall, it was a great event to network with passionate people and great organisations and projects active in the UK and abroad, and it brought to the fore that much more work in this area can be shared. At the end of the event on 3rd December, delegates were invited to be ambassadors for Dancing Wellness. Future events for this area will include ‘Dance & Creative Wellness’ Forum hosted by Berlin Staatsballet on 31st March 2017 as well as a celebration of Global Wellness Day on 10th June 2017. Find out more