Artist wellbeing: exploring the experiences of dance artists delivering community health and wellbeing initiatives

Journal article


Collard-Stokes, G. and Irons, Y. 2022. Artist wellbeing: exploring the experiences of dance artists delivering community health and wellbeing initiatives. Research in Dance Education. 23 (1), pp. 60-74. https://doi.org/10.1080/14647893.2021.1993176
AuthorsCollard-Stokes, G. and Irons, Y.
Abstract

Research evidence indicates the ability of dance to improve physical and mental health and wellbeing through its unique combination of creative expression, movement and social connections. This article explores the wellbeing of independent dance artists/practitioners delivering initiatives for the UK’s social prescribing scheme. The article examines the experiences, practices and professional development of dance artists/practitioners providing community dance programmes with a particular focus on enhancing participants’ wellbeing. Dance artists/practitioners participated in a UK-wide online survey (n = 30) and a focus group discussion (n = 3) between May to September 2019. Using a qualitative methodology, we examined the dance artists/practitioners’ practice, perspectives and needs. Three themes emerged – barriers to wellbeing, isolation and support networks. Four crucial areas of concern were highlighted. 1) Clearer distinctions between social prescribing, arts in primary/secondary care and participatory, community arts programming. 2) Improved dialogue between dance artists/practitioners, employers/commissioners, communities and training providers. 3) Action to address the lack of affective support and training for dance artists/practitioners working in a health and wellbeing context, and 4) Recognition. The independent dance sector still has work to do in order to provide dance artists/practitioners with access to training, peer support, professional development and wellbeing provision.

Keywordsarts for health; social prescribing; dance artist wellbeing; community dance; personal narratives
Year2022
JournalResearch in Dance Education
Journal citation23 (1), pp. 60-74
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
ISSN1464-7893
1470-1111
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/14647893.2021.1993176
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14647893.2021.1993176
Output statusPublished
Publication dates04 Mar 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted11 Oct 2021
Deposited09 May 2022
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