Discussion of Dance for Life Program

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Mary Hampshire in Health Development Today (2004) writes about a program called Dance For Life and in this article talks about the importance of community-based plans to either prevent disease or enable people to deal with disease in themselves. The program was started in 1992 by the Bradford Heart Health Strategy Group, a collection of people from housing and health authorities to the Yorkshire Arts group.


The 40 different weekly sessions involved in the program have drawn an initial 1,500 people in the first year to its current 20,000. Most of the people involved are under 18 and almost half come from minority ethnic communities.
Classes in Dance For Life include salsa, street dance, modern dance and dance exercise, as well as others. (Dance for Life). The program has only been funded for three years but Middleton has gotten the support of many civic groups and has the program running strong. Their website discusses their objectives in detail, which include their focus on empowering young people to deal with obesity and stress. In addition to these weekly classes, Dance For Life has a professional dance group, Stance, that has workshops in the Bradford District at schools and youth groups. This company of 5 dancers have arrangements that "talk" about social issues including bullying, communication and how they feel "living in their own skin" (Dance for Life). Teachers comments have included: "Children all enjoyed the workshops and were fully engaged throughout" and "Excellent performance - pupils totally absorbed". The kids involved have commented positively as well. ...
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