We passionately believe that art has a powerful impact on health and wellbeing. Our work with hospitals includes partnerships that have lasted for over 25 years.

patient in a hospital bed taking part in a movement workshop
Patients enjoy contributing to the performance after being taught some simple moves

We work with hospitals across London to provide performances and workshops in atriums, admission, and reception areas, and within the wards. Our specially trained dance artists work with all ages from young children on the pediatric wards, to older adults and those with long term health conditions; as well as visitors, and the NHS staff. These performances and workshops are designed for large groups as well as a more intimate experience for smaller groups or individuals.

Our Dance Well sessions are highly responsive, delivered and adapted for specific audiences in sensitive environment. The artists read the mood of the room on the day and modify their content and mode of delivery to either invigorate or soothe the audience. For those patients who are not able to attend a group workshop due to physical or cognitive impairment, we bring dance to their bedside that allows them and their families to still engage in a creative activity. It’s even more fun when the ward staff joins them!

patient in a hospital bed taking part in a movement workshop
Smiles all round as patients learn the art of Kathak dancing

Although some patients may only attend once due to discharge from hospital, these sessions not only offer moments of respite but have the potential to ignite or reignite a person’s interest in the arts and therefore encourage further engagement in future. 

During COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to provide respite through our specially adapted performance format in accordance with the Government safety guidelines. We created video content for remote access and whenever in-person delivery was possible, the artist wore masks while performing.

“I was in terrible pain feeling extremely anxious, I now feel so much better. Your beautiful dancing was an inspiration, it completely changed the energy in the room.”

Patient, Chelsea Westminster Hospital

Watch BBC coverage of Akademi’s work in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

Watch our film celebrating 21 years of partnership with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in 2019

Our impact

We believe that art has a powerful impact on health and wellbeing. We have seen:

  • Improved static and dynamic balance reducing the risk of falls
  • Development of new friendships
  • Engagement in additional physical and cultural activities
  • Improved levels of self-confidence alongside a reduction in levels of stress and anxiety

“It’s good work you do. It’s actually really good therapy, it helps the patients to get better quicker. I always sing to them and dance with my patients. If they’re cheerful it also helps them get better quicker.”

Nurse in Newham Hospital


We either partner directly with the hospitals or with their respective associated charities. Our current partners are:


If you’d like to know more about the programmes or would like to partner with us, please contact us on

“The feedback was heart-warming, patients said it put a smile on their faces, that it was beautiful to watch”

Dance Well artist

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