People ask us: ‘so what does it mean when we say we are a health-promoting organisation?’ Surely dance is always healthy? Well… no.
Dance is not always healthy. Alongside the health-positive aspects of dance as a physical activity, it can also have negative health influences, often inadvertently. For example, many dancers feel pressured towards unhealthily low weight, or towards unhealthy use of drugs to develop their bodies. Bullying is rife in some dance environments, and attitudes to self-image can take a battering .
At QL2 Dance, we want to be part of the solution, not the problem. So, we promote a healthy environment for dance, we demonstrate healthy dance practices, and we build young people’s capacity to manage their own health. We aim to make “health” — in its broadest meaning — a crucial part of everything we do, through healthy role models and specific health messages. We focus on health issues relevant to dancers, promoting:
- a physically and psychologically safe dance environment
- good nutrition
- healthy body image
- acceptance of physical diversity
We actively intervene in unsafe practices by dancers, teachers and choreographers; and counter unhealthy images of dance. We encourage young people to prove that anybody can dance, and to fuel their bodies well for peak performance. And we create opportunities for young people to ‘dance to their own beat’ — creating their own dance world.
QL2 Dance was supported for several years by the ACT Government under the ACT Health Promotion Grants program. This enabled us to run several targeted health activities with our participants, as well as funding studio work to include health promotion activities. It is focussed on the Go for 2&5 campaign.
Hot Tips to Play Safely in Dance, a health promotion package developed by QL2, is distributed to Ausdance ACT Summer School participants; and through schools.