Everyone it appears, is watching, doing or talking about dance. How many of us have been on the edge of our seats, cheering on our favourite celebrity during ‘Strictly Come Dancing’? The dance sector has known for decades that the healthy benefits of participating in regular dance activity are far reaching and when dance is broadcast on television its audiences reach thousands, in fact, hundreds of thousands.
It [dance] can speed up your heart rate, it can enliven your being, it can change your life.
Source: Richard Alston Artistic Director, The Place and Richard Alston Dance Company,
Dance UK, Dance Manifesto
dance 4 your life is a distinctive dance and health programme especially designed for young people aged 14 years old. It will kick start a creative dance focused, participatory and dance science research based activity that will take place across the NKLAAP region.
The health benefits achieved through dance will be measured using testing methods put in place by project researchers from Laban, an internationally renowned conservatoire of contemporary dance and pioneering work in Dance Science (www.laban.org). It is anticipated that the research will prove the positive benefits that dance has on young people.
dance 4 your life will aim to assess the physiological, psychological and mental well being of young people. It will take into consideration the effects creative dance can have on the following elements which can link into the science curriculum:
Heart (aerobic capacity or cardiovascular endurance)
Lungs (lung capacity or function of the lungs)
Muscles and bones (flexibility or range of motion at a joint)
Self Esteem (self respect or pride in oneself)
One school in Sittingbourne is even keen to work with their mathematics department in terms of gleaning statistical evidence throughout the programme. A truly engaging and creative learning experience!
Professional and experienced dance artists will devise schemes of work to deliver in 9 schools (3 in Medway, 3 in Swale and 3 in Gravesham) engaging up to 270 young people.
Download the Dance 4 Your Life Report
If you would like to read the findings of the Dance 4 Your Life study,
please download the reports below:
Download Short Report (PDF 729kb)
Download Full Report (PDF 2.4MB)
Watch The Dance 4 Your Life Promotional Film
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Why dance 4 your life? It’s simple really:
Regular dancing will reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Dancing also helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The dips, turns and side-to-side movements in dance routines make good use of your muscles and joints, helping to delay the progression of osteoarthritis.
Source: Dance UK, Dance Manifesto
via Bupa Website
Dance 4 your life Key Team Members
The key members of the dance 4 your life team are dance professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. Read their profiles below:
After completing 3 years training at the Laban Centre, Nina went on to form Loop Dance Company. As Artistic Director of Loop, Nina has worked with many well know choreographers including Filip Van Huffel, Jonzi D and Yael Flexer. She has created many works for Loop including site specific and has led and overseen many community, youth and educational dance projects.
Alongside Nina’s work with Loop she has also worked as a freelance choreographer, teacher, and dancer. She has taught many dancers at a variety of levels and ages, was artistic director of Medway Youth Dance Theatre from 1993-2002.
Nina recently returned from a two-year sabbatical in New York studying Limón technique at the Limón Dance Foundation. In addition, Nina taught at Peridance Center, participated in open classes and studied Low Flying Trapeze with Fly-By-Night Dance Theatre.
Loveday began her dance training at Dance Warehouse in Canterbury, Kent and The Royal Academy of Dance in London. She went on to study at the London Studio Centre with a DADA scholarship and graduated with a BA Honours Degree.
Loveday joined Loop Dance Company in 2006 and has enjoyed working with choreographers such as Jonzi D, Rashpal Singh Bansel, and most recently Yael Flexer.
Loveday has also spent the last 3 years performing in the Marlowe Theatre Pantomime, with Evolution Productions, both as a featured dancer and understudying lead roles.
Loveday’s commercial credits include various TV adverts and assisting the choreographer on Stephen Mulhern’s Tricky TV stage show she has also been involved in performances at Wembley, for the Carling Cup final.
Mary Kate Connolly
Mary Kate is a researcher at Laban, commissioned for the Dance 4 Your Life Project by the Dance Science Department. As a Royal Academy of Dance registered teacher, she has taught internationally, working with young people and adults. She holds an MA in Dance Studies from Roehampton University, and works as a freelance writer on dance for publications in the UK and abroad. She is also Company Manager for the theatre company iceandfire.
Kevin read Sport Science at Brighton University, and built on his ballet training through contemporary dance classes. He left university to join both Signdance Collective (touring in Austria, Slovenia and Sardenia) and Frontline Dance Company. As a deaf dancer he has performed at the European Deaf Arts festival in Paris and has also been involved in a dance film on Vee-TV on Channel 4. Kevin gained a PGCE (Dance) and is now a teacher of dance in school and community settings.
Katie trained at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds, graduating in July 2002 with her degree. In her final year, Katie toured internationally with The Verve.
Since 2004 Katie has been part of the YPSC Team at The Place and is also part of the Essential Alston team for Richard Alston Dance Company. Katie has been a member of Loop Dance Company since February 2003 performing and touring in works by Fillip van Huffel, Jonzi D, and Rashpal Singh Bansel.
Recently, Katie has been visiting lecturer at Winchester University and involved in numerous professional development projects with Dance United creating dance performances with young offenders. Alongside this Katie runs a gifted and talented youth dance company and boys youth dance company in Kent. In addition to her dance work, Katie has studied at the London School of Sports Massage, gaining her qualification as a Sports and remedial massage therapist.
Please keep revisiting this information as it will be updated regularly.
If you would like further details or information regarding the project please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.
Gail Brown, Arts Manager, Kent Arts Development Unit
T: 01622 696489
Alternatively you may contact Luci Napleton, Dance Development Worker for Medway Council on:
T: 01634 338328
The Brook Theatre, Old Town Hall, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4SE.