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Dance in Health: The Benefits for People of All Ages

April 27, 200727 April 2007

Arts and Health

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This report highlights 19 case studies of dance organizations, events and activities in the U.K. that aim to provide physical, mental, personal, social and educational benefits. The report indicates that dance “has particular appeal to a number of groups that may not readily engage with traditional sports – young women, older people and culturally diverse groups, for example”.

Some potential physical and mental benefits include: a healthier heart and lungs; stronger muscles; stronger bones and a reduced risk of osteoporosis; better coordination, agility and flexibility; better balance and spatial awareness; increased physical confidence; improved mental functioning; and better weight management.

Because dance is a creative and often collaborative activity, some potential social benefits include: improved general and psychological well-being; greater self-confidence and self-esteem; increased trust; better social skills; and reduced social isolation and exclusion.

Regarding potential educational benefits, the report indicates that “dance can play a role in changing attitudes to a range of health related issues including teenage pregnancy, and drug and alcohol abuse”.

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