A New Government Initiative Proves It: Dance Heals
via @_this_inspired_life_ on Instagram
It's a cliché because it's true.
Doctors in the United Kingdom will soon be able to prescribe dance classes or other artistic experiences to patients suffering anything from mental health struggles to lung conditions, according to The Times. This initiative, which the British government is calling "social prescribing," is one part of a new preventive health strategy in the UK that will educate general practitioners on guiding patients toward treatment in the form of experiencing or participating in the arts.
Y'all already know how dance changes and improves lives. And the research supports this idea: A study conducted in south London found that dance workshops helped young adults at risk of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental health challenges. Another research study found that practicing partnered dance reversed some symptoms of cerebellar ataxia (an extremely serious brain disorder) in a patient who'd had the disease for 15 years.
A similar program was announced in Montréal in October, allowing patients to visit the city's Museum of Fine Arts for free. Next, we're hoping our own stateside government will put similar faith (and funding!) behind the healing powers of dance and the other arts. After all, as British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, "We should value the arts because they're essential to our health and wellbeing. Access to the arts improves people's mental and physical health. It makes us happier and healthier." One more time for the legislators in the back!
Expressions Dance Alliance president Liz Ladley addressing the company (Sabrina Thadani, courtesy Liz Ladley)
Do you dream of running your student dance company or becoming captain of your dance team? Are you a triple threat eager to direct your school's next musical? If you have big ideas and the drive to make them a reality—as well as a strong rapport with your fellow performers—you might be a good fit for a leadership role. But even the most dedicated dancers can stumble during the transition from peer to peer leader. Try these tips to make the most of your tenure at the top.
In today's dance world, versatility is key. It's not enough to be a master of one style—even when they specialize in one area, dancers are frequently asked to fuse multiple genres, or step out of their comfort zone for specific projects. With their wide variety of summer programs, Joffrey Ballet School aims to prepare dancers for the demands of a professional career. We asked five faculty members to share how they do this:
Right now, it seems like the entire world is equal parts obsessed with and thoroughly creeped out by Jordan Peele's Us, the horror film about devilish doppelgängers that's currently rated 94% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
But while the normal human reaction to Us is to hide under the covers for approximately 17 years, "Step Up: High Water" superhero Kendra "K.O." Oyesanya's reaction was to make a totally bananas dance video.