STRIKING ATTITUDES ARTS and HEALTH PHYSICAL, MENTAL HEALTH & WELLBEING
For the last 15 years, Striking Attitudes has done pioneering work promoting the concept of the mature body as a viable and valid one and continues to do so. Striking Attitudes’s focus is to offer creative physical exercises to support older people; to develop their skills and interests and also to improve their mental health and wellbeing
The chance to continue to be creative in older age is well known to be a vital ingredient in physical well-being and good mental health. Dance is now recognised as one of the best ways to support good health and well-being and to combat loneliness in older age.
The older dancer provides a positive role model, offers the opportunity to reassess what is possible as we age and is one of the best ways of challenging negative or stereotypical images of older people.
GOOD HEALTH AND MENTAL WELL-BEING
Are known results of movement activity and physical exercise.
A report by an all-party parliamentary group (APPG)
Physical exercise and creative movement work are health enhancing and often physically challenging – joint strengthening and stretching inevitably take place when older people participate in creative physical exercise and these help the body remain supple. Physical exercise improves balance helping to avoid falls.
The use of our bodies as our creative instrument has a positive impact on individuals; it gives confirmation of physical capabilities and a sense of achievement.
Striking Attitudes works with movement that highlights the specific qualities of an older dancer – a movement that comes from the older body. Our strength is in making high-quality work that celebrates where the individual is now, both physically and emotionally.
Having an outlet for creativity in life is vitally important at any age. Dancing and moving creatively is a life affirming experience. Striking Attitudes’ emphasis in our movement classes is always on the importance of an individual’s creative voice giving a sense of self-worth.
Using our physicality, our inventive and imaginative powers invigorates and fulfills us. It stimulates us physically and mentally helping to avoid a decline in energy and motivation.
Dancing and moving as part of a group helps combat social isolation and depression. Participants contribute both individually and within groups giving a sense of belonging and ownership.
‘Dance, ageing and the mirror: Negotiating watchability’
Research conducted by Dr Justine Coupland in collaboration with the older dancers of Striking Attitudes
Discourse & Communication 7(1) 3-24 2013
Dr Justine Coupland Cardiff University, UK: University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Bodily display and self-awareness are generally mediated by restrictive ideologies of youthful beauty. ‘How do I look?’ is therefore a salient question in terms of personal ageing. Dance makes bodies watchable, while ageing has been claimed to make bodies ‘unwatchable’. Ethnographic research conducted amongst a group of older dancers ….