The Value of Arts and Culture to People and Society: an evidence review. Arts Council England. (2014).
The report references other reports, including:
- Keep Dancing: The health and well-being benefits of dance for older people, BUPA, 2011.
- What do we know about the role of arts in the delivery of social care?, Consilium, 2013, Skills for Care.
- Dancing toward well-being in the Third Age: Literature review on the impacts of dance on health and well-being among older adults, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, 2011.
“The [Consilium] report (2013) concluded that the use of art, when delivered effectively, has the power to both facilitate social interaction and enable those in receipt of social care to pursue creative interests. The review highlights the benefits of dance for reducing loneliness and alleviating depression and anxiety among people in social care environments. Dance has the ability to promote creativity and social integration and allow nonverbal stimulation and communication. The review evidence demonstrates the considerable physical and psychological benefits of using arts with people in receipt of social care.” (page 26)
“In 2011 BUPA published the Keep Dancing report which highlighted a number of issues relating to old people and exercise, and identified the key benefits of dance. Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (TLCMD) published a literature review on the impact of dance on health and wellbeing in older people, also in 2011, called Dancing towards wellbeing in the Third Age.
“TLCMD’s literature review (2011) makes a distinction between dance therapy (a psychotherapeutic activity focusing more on therapeutic than artistic outcomes) and dance interventions and focuses on studies looking at dance interventions. They acknowledge that this boundary is sometimes blurred and included some therapy-weighted studies that are relevant to a dance and health research context.
“The reports from BUPA and TLCMD shared key findings relating to the physical and psychological benefits of dance. Many featured studies focused on activities that were specific to particular conditions such as arthritis, Parkinson’s, dementia and depression. The benefits of dance in relation to the prevention of falls were also evidenced (BUPA, 2011). Alongside evidenced benefits related to particular conditions, overall physical improvements include increased cardio vascular, strength and flexibility and improved balance and gait. These physical benefits vary depending on the individual participant and style of dance undertaken.
“Evidenced psychological benefits include quicker reaction times and cognitive performance”… “The physical benefits when contrasted with sports or other exercises are bolstered by the social and creative aspects which can enhance overall wellbeing. Dance activities create a sense of community and can help counter feelings of isolation. ” (page 29)
“Dance is a key component of many cultures and traditional dance activities can present a more relevant choice of activity for individuals in particular communities. Both reports reference pieces of research that highlight the value of culturally specific dance.” (page 30)