Dance to Health
Dance to Health was devised and is delivered by Aesop Arts & Society, a social enterprise and charity dedicated to solving problems in society through effective and high quality arts interventions. Through evidence-led practice and the valuing of creativity, it has come to demonstrate the potential for the creative industries to deliver key health outcomes, while valuing artistic integrity.
The seed of an idea
- Aesop identifies a possible crossover between falls-prevention and creative dance. After getting professionals from both fields in a room together, it becomes clear there is a solution. Dance to Health is devised.
Innovation Phase Kick-off
- After an initial £350,000 pilot, Aesop secures £2.1million in funding for an innovation phase roll-out around the UK. Sheffield Hallam University tracks its progress.
- Aesop organises the second of its large-scale conferences on arts for a social purpose, the first of which had Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt among its speakers.
- The three-year evaluation report from Sheffield Hallam University is published, highlighting dramatic evidence of DtH’s efficacy. A 58% reduction in falls.
Phase 2 roll-out
- Following the wind-down of the pandemic, phase 2 of the DtH roll-out begins. The transition from grant-funded innovation to social enterprise financed through earned income begins.
Growth and Recognition
- Staff team is expanded, several large contracts with NHS and Innovate UK among others are secured, and DtH is chosen as one of six key innovations in the NHS at showcase with NHS England Chief Exec Amanda Pritchard.
Dance to Health Conference. At the end of Dance to Health’s innovation phase, in 2019 we came together at the Birmingham Hippodrome for a huge celebration. The day saw participants, dance artists, volunteers, partners, and more share their learnings and dancing together! Early results showed that Dance to Health had successfully paired creative dance with well-evidenced falls-prevention.
Phase One Evaluation Report Published. The results were in. In 2020, Sheffield Hallam University published the findings of their three-year study on Dance to Health. Not only did it find that participants were 58% less likely to have a fall within a year, but also 87% of participants reported it makes them feel less socially isolated, and 96% said it improves their mental wellbeing.
High level recognition. In February 2023, we were selected as one of six prominent innovations within the NHS at a showcase at the Royal Institution. There, we were met by NHS England CEO Amanda Pritchard, and our Birmingham Bangladeshi Women’s Association group delivered a wonderful performance.
Over the next few years, Dance to Health aims to roll out across the country, so that everyone from Dunnet Head to Land’s End can benefit from falls-prevention dance.
Through in-person, real-time online and streaming delivery, and the development of sustainable, self-governing groups, we will create a long-lasting solution to falls in the UK.
Dance to health
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