healthBenefits of dance

Dance also has a long history of successfully working with hard to reach groups and building a sense of social cohesion within communities. There are many examples of how dance has effectively promoted the health and improved the lives of people
Dance is for everyone
Anyone can enjoy dancing regardless of their age or background, if they are disabled or non-disabled, whether or not they have danced before, and whatever their shape and size. Dance can be done as part of a group or practised alone and can happen in a variety of places – including social, education, community, arts and health settings. At its simplest, dance involves moving rhythmically to music. Anyone can do this with benefits to their physical health. There are numerous styles of dance, each with its own attractions such as Salsa, Argentine Tango, Merengue, ballet, ballroom, African dance forms, South Asian dance, contemporary dance, , hip hop – the list is almost endless.
Choose dance
Dance makes an enormous contribution to our physical, social and creative health and Well-being. This folder shows some of the many ways in which individuals, dance companies and organisations across the country engage people in dance activities that provide a wide range of health benefits. The broad appeal of dance is easy to demonstrate:
• Dance is the fastest growing of all the art forms
• Each year, nearly five million people take part in dance activity in their communities
• In a recent Physical Education School and School Club Links (PESSCL) survey, dance was shown to be second only to football as the most popular activity. Dance also showed the largest increase in the number of school club links created
• A survey of over 50,000 Year 9 pupils in over 700 schools in the North West of England showed that dance was the top activity for girls outside school and that demand for dance was greater than the opportunities available
Dance can play a role in changing attitudes to a range of health related issues including teenage pregnancy, and drug and alcohol abuse.
Physical and mental

Dancing can bring a wide range of physical and mental benefits:
• healthier heart and lungs • stronger muscles • stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis • better coordination, agility and flexibility

• improved balance and enhanced spatial awareness
• increased physical confidence • improved mental functioning

• increased energy expenditure can help counteract unwanted weight gain Personal and social
The creative and collaborative nature of dance can bring further benefits:
• improved general and psychological well-being
• greater self-confidence and self-esteem
• increased trust • better social skills
• reduced social isolation and exclusion