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Dance and health

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Breathing Space dance-in-health programme
Dance Art Foundation's Breathing Space dance-in-health programme is a celebrated, national initiative that nurtures and supports public health through dance.

Breathing Space Dances, film by Becky Edmunds
From the 2008 Breathing Space Children's Programme residency at Royal London Hopsital
A partnership project with the hospital art programe, Vital Arts

Breathing Space
comprises a popular programme of dance and creative movement workshops, residencies and performances for children, young people, adults and elders. It works with those whose lives are affected by life-changing, life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses, disability and complex needs in hospitals, hospices, psychiatric units, schools and community settings across the UK.

Breathing Space also works with wider groups of children and adults in mainstream services to encourage engagement in dance as a creative and enriching way to improve health and to cultivate wellbeing.

National Leader

Dance Art Foundation’s Breathing Space programme is widely considered to be a leading innovative approach to nurturing public health and has received national recognition from Arts Council England and Foundation for Community Dance. Breathing Space Children’s Programme has been recognised by major awards from the True Colours Trust, one of the Sainsbury’s Family Charitable Trusts, who have supported Breathing Space annually since 2006 and BBC Children in Need, supporters since 2008. Breathing Space Children’s Programme is also currently supported by the Kirby Laing Foundation, Chelsea & Westminster Health Charity, City & Hackney Health Charity and number of smaller charities, local authorities and health services. 


‘We believe that any kind of movement can create playful and exciting dances. Sometimes our dance may be almost imperceptible; perhaps simply eyes blinking, breath moving or tiny dances with fingers. At other times, we may move our whole bodies, direct others to dance our choreography, or simply enjoy the dance of our moving, shifting perceptions.   

We believe we can all, whatever our condition, experience the benefits of dancing and moving creatively: discovery, play, expression, connection, physical replenishment, inquiry, choice. We believe that these dancing experiences nurture our wellbeing and can make profound contributions to our lives’
Joe Moran, Artistic Director