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Physiological benefits for boys who dance says new research
Research conducted by a University Campus Suffolk (UCS) lecturer into the impact of dance on physiological health and wellbeing in young people has found that participating in dance workshops significantly reduces pressure and tension amongst young boys
Go Dance report cover
The Go Dance Research project, commissioned by East Youth Dance - a consortium of dance organisations and providers, enrolled 250 children aged 10-12 years to participate in a 12 week dance programme to examine how dance might positively impact the lives of boys and girls in pursuing healthy lives.

The findings indicated that boys perceptions of pressure and tension as an indicator of intrinsic motivation reduced as a result, with male participants and their school teachers relating their focus in other curricular subjects to their participation in these workshops.

Additional results from this study also indicate that participating in a dance project during school time can inspire positive behaviour change in terms of physical activity levels and outside of the school structure.

Principal investigator, Elsa Urmston, joined UCS as a lecturer in Dance in 2011 and continues to undertake research projects and teaching work nationally and internationally as part of her academic profile.

Elsa Urmston, Principal Lecturer said:

“The Go Dance research has come at a significant time as it allows us to demonstrate the significance of dance participation amongst hard to reach groups. This creative dance project has shown that exposure to dance projects and opportunities to perform dance has the potential to change people's attitudes and behaviours about dance and exercise for health. Hopefully that means greater investment in dance for health projects in the future.”

The Go Dance study has been undertaken as part of a region-wide project devised for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad which feature programmes and projects that form the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements.

The project itself aims to inspire young people to participate in dance activity and provide the opportunities in deprived areas and has since been awarded a Cultural Olympiad InspireMark and work continues in the participating schools and local communities.

Jane Langston, East Youth Dance Coordinator, said: “This is a fantastic piece of research highlighting the positive impact dance can have on young people’s lives.”

The full report is available for download below.
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