Dancing away the Coronavirus blues….
It’s not a myth; it’s real…people are taking to the Streets and dancing in an effort to raise spirits, have fun, bring communities together, fundraise for the NHS and above all, to spread positivity in this period of social distancing……
And it is our NHS heroes who are leading the way and staying positive by dancing in their scrubs as they tackle Coronavirus pandemic in hospitals across Britain. The release of many TikTok videos show how they continue to dance through the crisis……..
This silent enemy (Covid-19) may continue to grow but so too does our enthusiasm for dance…. For example, earlier this month we heard how families in a Cheshire Street have been assembling outside their homes each morning for some “socially-distant” dancing which is otherwise becoming known as “distant dancing”. It is understood that dancing has lifted spirits amongst neighbours and brought the Street closer together, uniting all ages from kids to elderly residents. And according to the BBC plus other media sources, Cheshire is not alone with other Streets up and down the country dancing to boost morale and some, like the Residents of Kingsmead, have even been dancing to raise funds for the NHS.
Other heartwarming stories include the Bus Driver in Sunderland who posts funny dance routines in an effort to spread cheer and positivity across communities…!!!
There are far too many examples to list here but what is clear to me, is that more and more people are turning to dance for positivity during these uncertain times.
With mental health issues growing exponentially, I also believe that Dance could be more important now than ever before. Research provides a compelling argument. For example; Studies have long suggested that self-expression through dance can be beneficial in many ways. To provide some insight, a systematic review published in 2019 of various studies exploring how dance helps people with depression, concluded that there was evidence from high quality studies of a positive effect for dance in reducing depression in adults.
Furthermore, in these uncertain times when we may feel loss at every level (from loss of a friend or family member, to a loss of purpose and routine) we need to be doing things everyday that makes us happy, provides a sense of achievement and mastery. These factors contribute to our mood. Dance, (which incidentally is also considered the best form of exercise because of its creative outlet), provides all of these things and many other far reaching benefits too.
It is not surprising therefore that during this lockdown we have seen an explosion of online dance classes. These virtual sessions have provided a distraction from the stresses of the current situation and provided new and existing dance students with the opportunity to have fun with their families. Being at home, people may seem less guarded about keeping appearances up and be more open to new ideas such as dancing. As a result, they may be more focused on learning choreography and dance more freely rather than be concerned at how they may look or may appear to others (though there is no denying, dressing for the part, will likely motivate one more to take a dance class).
As a Dance Business Owner and a Qualified Mental Health Champion and First Aider, I am a strong advocate of Dance for Wellbeing and of course, it warms my heart to see and hear, how the UK appear to be embracing dance as a way out of the Coronavirus blues.
However, I do recognise that it is not for everyone. I also acknowledge that what is important during this time is focusing on enjoyable activities and not spending time regularly engaged in things perhaps one dislikes - for me that is cleaning and ironing!!! - things that could be detrimental to one’s mental health. For those though, who may be secretly harbouring dancing ambitions, NOW could be the time to ACT…..if you need further inspiration or courage to unlock your dancing dreams, just look at the many videos of our NHS Heroes dancing or read the various articles about ordinary men and women of Britain coming together to dance and spread positivity!!!!!!!
"We put our differences behind us,
while we dance and shine like the sun,
with hope in our hearts, positivity we spread,
see what we've all become,
together we are one!!"