Music and movement
Performing or listening to music isn’t the only way music can help support health. Sometimes, we need to get moving! Dance and movement can be one of the many ways in which to care for ourselves amidst the emotional and physical demands of daily life, including in hospital.
We can move to sounds in a variety of ways to improve health and wellbeing. Getting our bodies moving not only improves our physical health, but has a huge positive impact on our emotional wellbeing. Research suggests that music can stimulate the body’s natural feel good chemicals (e.g. endorphins, oxytocin).
It can help energise our mood and provide an outlet for us to take control of our feelings. It doesn’t matter whether or not you think you can dance, just do whatever you can to get moving!
Here’s a collection of playlists you can tune into and dance along to.
You can also read more about Dance Fitness on the NHS website.
Amy Drew and Richard Read, principal dancers from the English Youth Ballet, on the children’s ward at Stoke Mandeville Hospital
There’s always room to carve a little creativity into our day, and to get moving in a variety of ways. It doesn’t have to be done standing in a dance studio or in full lycra! Dance can be done sitting down, or even secretly. With headphones on, see if you can make up a little routine using just your hand on the table. Just engaging with the rhythm of the music can have a huge impact on your happiness.
If you’re interested in just moving your body a little, why not follow some of the movement videos that choreographer Vic Hole has recorded for the Culture Weston website? There’s a wide range of both seated and standing exercises:
If you don’t feel like moving right now, there are fantastic opportunities to watch a magnitude of dance performance online, free of charge. The Royal Ballet is just one of many companies offering a free, digital insight into their rehearsals and performances.