The UK is trying to reverse the tide of obesity and lethargy with dance. Following the success of dance contest shows on television, the government would like to see more children take up dance.
Dancing is a excellent form of fitness. It works out the whole body, improves muscular strength, cardiovascular strength and flexibility. Also, dance can be performed by all age groups and genders together. Unlike running or cycling, which are generally solitary forms of exercise, dancing is a more social form of exercise. It is in a way like martial arts without all the shouting and kicking.
Arlene Phillips, the 66-year-old dance choreographer, who was dropped from Strictly Come Dancing’s judging panel is leading a dance for fitness group that aims to improve the nation’s fitness levels. She is being joined by some of Strictly Come Dancing’s former contestants, such as Lisa Snowdon, in promoting mass open-air dances.
“In China, where in open spaces people join in and take tai chi with the masses, it’s there, it’s available. What I am hoping is that we are going to find enough accessible and open spaces for people to take classes and make it free and make it accessible. People will do things if they are there and they are easy, like brushing your teeth. We have to set up centres, we have to find places where people can just walk to get where they can dance. We have to make it free, we have to make it fun and we have to make it part of people’s daily lives.” Arlene Phillips, 2009
The problem is, now that people are being told to dance, will they do it? Also, are there enough venues if the dance revolution takes hold? And will it be on the school curriculum? If so, are our games teachers up to the task, or will specialist teachers be brought in at a great cost to the tax payer?