In the context of my MSc Dance Science at the University of Wolverhampton, I created the poster below which I wished to share you today.
This poster was designed to show the benefits of practicing dance on health components in everyday life. Nevertheless, promoting an active lifestyle seems as important nowadays. In this context of Covid-19, maintaining a moderate physical activity on a daily basis might be a real challenge, while many individuals took time during lockdown to adapt their physical activity or try new ones in their daily environment. So why not trying dance ?
Against inactivity and its consequences on health and well-being, it was shown that dance provides several benefits on functional, metabolic, psychological and social components. Dance is a way to stay active as well as express yourself and feel included in a group dynamic. Each individual, whatever their age and background, can gain such benefits from dancing.
Humans are designed for moving : staying at home for a long period of time has threatened our freedom of movement, and maybe in the same way, our humanity itself. However, dance (and all the Arts’ field) has continued to share its soul through performances’ repeats, training courses, interviews, social networks, choreography competitions and challenges… Even in companies and dance schools, classes and training were assured online. Dance was also a way to connect people wherever they were.
Individuals for whom dance practice is necessary for their health because of ageing and/or diseases, online courses were also planned in order for them to maintain a regular and adapted physical activity. You could find several accounts in this video, entitled “Dance for Health Interventions during a Global Pandemic… and Beyond” and shared by IADMS.
It is also important to note that practicing a physical activity should be adapted to individual abilities. As dance is characterized by diverse types of techniques, everybody can find his/her heart’s desire. Besides, as respiratory infection is one of the main features of Covid-19, such practice should stay at a moderate level of intensity. Indeed, low or high levels of training intensity are related to higher risk of upper respiratory tract infection and alteration of the inflammatory response. A moderate intensity of practice is the best way to protect as well as improve your cardiorespiratory fitness.
Risk of infection related to amount and intensity of exercise
In this way, practicing dance on a regular basis and at moderate intensity can help to favour a good health over time for everyone. Do not forget that physical activity is not the only factor to participate in fitness and well-being: having a healthy nutrition, maintaining social connections, blossoming in her/his professional and private life… are as important and essential, whatever the situation. We live difficult periods sometimes, but as humans, together, we have tools to go through them. And dance may be one of these tools.
If you have had Covid-19 symptoms, you should see your general practitioner or another health professional according to your situation before beginning or coming back to dance practice.
If you are interested in Dance for Health, you can also read our previous post (in French) about Dance Creative Wellness Foundation and their forum, which took place on the 14th and 15th of February 2018.