Akademi’s track record of community and health work demonstrates that South Asian dance can have a powerful impact on health and wellbeing of the general population. Physical inactivity costs the NHS over £450m per year (Gov, 2016) and is the leading cause of long-term health conditions such as coronary heart disease, Type II diabetes, cancer. Levels of adherence to “traditional” physical activity such as gym membership and seated exercises classes are suboptimal (Picorelli, Periera, Pereira, FelÍcio, Sherrington, 2014; Franco et al. 2016). The creative arts are known to act as agents of wellness and healing, through stimulation of creativity and by incorporating music, movement, humour and aesthetics (2010, Malchiodi) and dance can therefore provide a creative, nurturing enjoyable alternative. By increasing levels of physical activity through dance classes, it may be possible to delay the onset of such diseases and increase overall levels of physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Alongside the participatory programme, Akademi runs a hugely successful performance programme across a number of London hospitals, including a long-standing partnership with Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust. Feedback from existing hospital programmes has demonstrated the positive impact these performances have on patients, visitors and staff alike.
Akademi maintains a high standard of artistic, performance and teaching quality across all of our programmes, ensuring dance artists receive regular training for delivery of dance in these settings.