Dance & research – working with the University of Northampton

Hello there – when I post a new blog update, it’s fascinating to see the engagement I get through the various socials I share the news on. Interestingly LinkedIn seems to offer the most noise, and this was certainly the case when ‘shouting’ a little louder about being able to be prescribed dance to support mental or physical health through our Dance Elders programme (please see here to read more). This is because of the somewhat effort it takes to be taken seriously sometimes about how effective dance and movement, and generally the creative arts can play in supporting people to live well. It’s not really new news though is it?! So those in this industry trying hard to make just this happen were excited to hear about this news!! And so they should be…

We all know just how important it is to use movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive, and physical integration of the individual to improve health and well-being. However, we still need to amplify this further, not only for continual investment in this kind of work but also to allow people to explore different options within their wellness journey they may not be aware of.

So…we are excited and humbled to be working in partnership with the University of Northampton to conduct a research study on the effects of movement and dance on health-related psychological and physical outcomes, especially when it comes to the social prescribing strand as aforementioned in the previous post.

We have the privilege of working alongside Dr Melinda Spencer, who has been a long-standing advocate of our work since we first launched the Elder’s Dance Company back in January 2020 (just before the dreaded Covid-19 paused us to a standstill).  Since then, we have had reports produced sharing the outcomes of the work, BUT now we mean business!! We are now able to really delve into the depths of the work, thanks to the success of the Arts Council England bid. This allows us significant time for Melinda and a research assistant to examine and report on the health challenges associated with adverse effects related to ageing, such as physical function, social isolation and quality of life through a contemporary and creative dance programme.

We look forward to sharing this with you upon the completion of this project.

If you read this far – thank you 🙂

Warm Wishes


About the Author: Tina Heeley

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