I have recently had the pleasure to partner with DaRC (Dance Research Collaborative), an initiative of Sydney University on a paper that they published for the consultation on the development of a National Sports Plan for Australia.
A short and good read with the following key messages that I think all dance lovers will agree on:
1. Dance should be included in a broad definition of ‘sport’ in the National Sport Plan
2. Promotion of the importance of ‘fun’ in physical activity
3. Investment in dance teachers in schools and other low-activity community groups
4. Partnerships between traditional sporting bodies and the dance community though shared space resources and governance
Dance has so many benefits, and it is a real disadvantage to the Australian community that it is not more widely included and recognized as a wonderful form of physical activity. Not everyone identifies with 'sports' and this has always been a large part of the Australian culture. As we grow and mature as a nation, it is important to recognize that dance has many psychological and physiological benefits that are not being tapped into simply because it is not as readily available as other sports-but this is changing and it will make Australian communities better for it!
I wanted to take the opportunity to bring attention to 2 organisation in particular that have taken dance to a whole new accessibility level:
This organisations offers free dance classes to people with Parkinson's, their care givers, family and friends. One of my beautiful ballet teachers is part of this program and the stories she has told us of the joy that people experience through movement is beautiful. Some of the participants cannot stand but this does not diminish their experience and enjoyment of the class.
A program designed by the Royal Academy of Dance for participants aged 55+ who wish to take ballet class. There has been a lot of talk about this program; it takes adult ballet to a whole other level and is improving the participants lives and health.