We believe that art has a powerful impact on health and wellbeing. Akademi works with hospitals across London to provide performances and workshops in atrium spaces and within the wards. Our dance artists work with all ages from young children on the paediatric wards, to older adults and those with long term health conditions; as well as visitors, relatives and staff.
Although some patients may only come into contact with our artists on one occasion due to discharge from hospital, these performances and workshops not only offer moments of respite, but have the potential to ignite or reignite a person’s interest in the arts and therefore encourage further engagement following their time in hospital.
Akademi dance artists regularly perform in the atriums, wards, admission and reception areas of several hospitals, including Chelsea Westminster Hospital and West Middlesex University Hospital.
Hospital performances are highly responsive, delivered and adapted for specific audiences in sensitive settings. Artists both perform for large groups of patients, visitors and staff as well as delivering more intimate experiences for smaller groups or individuals.
“I was in terrible pain feeling extremely anxious, I now feel so much better. Your beautiful dancing was an inspiration, it completely changed the energy in the room”
Patient, Chelsea Westminster Hospital
Akademi’s participatory work extends into hospital wards, working closely with occupational therapy and physiotherapy teams, artists provide workshops in day rooms within the wards and at the bedside. For those who are not able to attend a group workshop due to physical or cognitive impairment, bringing dance to their bedside allows them to still engage in a creative activity and experience a different relationship with the dance artists and hospital staff on the ward, who often join in.
Dance can also be used as a rehabilitation tool, complimenting the work of the therapies team in preparing the patient for discharge from hospital. This can include dance movements that will aid patients in day to day tasks, such as using mudras to articulate the joints of the fingers and wrists, which may help with making a cup of tea, opening a cupboard, or holding a pen.
Akademi continues to expand this work, and advocate for dance to be embedded into the healthcare system, for both prevention and management of chronic conditions.
“There was a patient who was waving her arms around to the music, laying in bed with her eyes closed whilst I was dancing. When I finished she woke up and asked me to perform again! There was another lady who had been very unhappy, suddenly she started talking and became animated after seeing the performance. The feedback was heart warming, patients said it put a smile on their faces, that it was absolutely beautiful to watch”
Dance Well artist