Curious Motion - adventures in dance, health, and happiness with the people of Elland and Calderdale
Curious Motion is an arts and health community organisation using dance and movement to tackle loneliness and isolation in the lower valley of Calderdale.
We provide accessible creative experiences that facilitate togetherness, friendship, and kindness.WHY?
An overarching issue that is common amongst our community, and around the world, is loneliness.
Despite the variety of ages, genders, cultural backgrounds, and life experiences of the people who connect with us, loneliness is common. The pandemic has increased this, but we know from experience that loneliness has a long history in the communities we work with.
Research shows that loneliness poses a serious risk of early death (45%), exceeding the risks posed by more commonly recognised issues such as obesity (20%) and excessive alcohol consumption (30%). People who have stronger social relationships are 50% more likely to recover from health issues. (J. Holt-Lunstad, T. B. Smith and J. Bradley Layton, 2010)
Dancing naturally fosters empathy and connection with others
– we see this in communities and cultures around the world, from Hawaii to Scotland and South Africa to Australia. Celebratory human experiences rarely exist without some form of dancing.The body and movement are integral to our wellbeing as human beings.
The physiological aspects of dance and creativity are hugely beneficial, and science tells us that important things are happening in our bodies when we dance, including:
- Mirror neurons, sensory-motor cells in the brain that help us to understand and communicate with each other, are activated when we perform a movement or watch another person perform a movement.
- Dance is proven to release the ‘feel good’ hormone serotonin in our brain, which lowers stress levels and helps with memory, decision-making, and communication.
- The combination of cognitive effort and social interaction that dancing involves can improve brain health, for example for people with Dementia.
- Dancing is of course great for physical health too, including co-ordination, balance, strength, and endurance!
We also combine our dance practice with other creative experiences to foster curiosity and increase access
– ensuring people have choice over how they’d like to engage with us and promoting a culture of collaboration, learning, experimentation, and wonder. The arts sector makes a vital contribution to the health and wellbeing of society in many ways, and we celebrate this.Projects include:
We particularly focus on working with people of any age who:
- Regular classes and workshops: including our popular over 55s 'Brews & Grooves' sessions, 'Dance for Wellbeing' evening classes and 'Rainbow Art Trails' for children and families.
- Elland's Happiness Lab: a project spanning 2021 and 2022 to explore what happiness means to the community of Elland through creativity.
- Welland: celebrating arts and wellbeing in Elland with our signature annual event.
- Have limited or no access to creative wellbeing opportunities
- Are at risk of discrimination, isolation, and/or loneliness
- Are living with one or more chronic health conditions or are at risk of declining health
- Have complex social needs that affect their wellbeing
We facilitate togetherness, connecting people to themselves and each other, and are advocating for a world where social connection, creativity, and play are available to everyone.
Thank you so much for your support!www.curiousmotion.org.uk