Akademi produces new Dance Well education videos
Since January 2016 Dance Well, Akademi’s participation project funded by the Big Lottery, has grown and developed to make South Asian dance movement accessible to older adults. Akademi have now created free digital resources in the form of twenty-five short video clips, in which professional dance artists provide examples of exercises that can be used when teaching dance movement to older adults. These resources, filmed by James Williams, stem from the Dance Well Resource book that was published in 2017 and distributed to over 100 dance artists, health professionals and activities coordinators.
Akademi works with professional classical Indian dance artists who have been trained in community and health dance practices. Since 2016 these artists have delivered over 180 workshops to more than 700 older adults in hospital wards, day centres, community centres and care homes. These new videos feature five of Akademi’s most experienced Dance Well artists; Archita Kumar, Archana Ballal, Rachel Waterman, Jane Chan and Anusha Subramanyam. The videos provide a number of guided examples that can be used as a warm-up, cool down, co-ordination and balance or cardiovascular exercise during a workshop.
The Dance Well workshops are attended by older adults with a range of abilities and long-term health conditions, therefore each movement workshop is tailored to the needs of the participants. They have a choice of variations depending on their own ability and these options are shown in the videos. In these workshops the participants learn a wide variety of movement exercises focused around the South Asian dance styles. These aim to help improve participants’ mobility and encourage them to reach the Public Health England recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week. Another objective of these sessions is to enhance psychological wellbeing amongst older adults.
Akademi recognises the importance of movement sessions targeted to older adults, not only because of the incredible health benefits, but also because of the positive impact they can have on one’s quality of life. As this strand of community outreach work develops within the dance sector, Akademi believes that these Dance Well digital resources will offer artists valuable insights into dance for health work and things to consider when working with participants with varying levels of mobility. Not only will these resources be an important tool for other South Asian practitioners, but the exercises are also accessible for those working in other dance genres and can be easily adapted to a variety of workshop situations.
Explore Dance Well’s digital resources here.
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