Tuesday 16th May 2023, 12:30 – 1:30pm
Dance for Health: Insights into the health benefits of dance
Date & Time
Dr. Rachel Evelyn Ward joins us to discuss the therapeutic effects of dance for people living with physical, mental and social health challenges.
Did you know that dance can improve balance, flexibility, muscle strength and coordination? It can also increase cardiovascular fitness and endurance, and provides lots of fun challenges for the brain to boost your memory and cognition.
Dance has been shown to have positive health effects for people living with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, cancer and chronic pain. If you experience these or other health conditions, you may find dance is beneficial for you. Come along to this lecture to hear about research in this area and explore the type of dance you could be doing to improve your health and wellbeing.
About Dr Rachel Evelyn Ward
Dr Rachel Evelyn Ward is a passionate dance educator and researcher. She is a former professional dancer and currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Health Sciences at the University of New South Wales. Her research focuses on ‘Dance for Health’, investigating the health benefits of dance for clinical conditions across the lifespan.
Rachel is a member of the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) Dance for Health Committee and has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences.
She is a Registered Teacher and Practical Teaching Supervisor of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), and a Licensed Teacher of the RAD’s Silver Swans ballet program for older adults. Rachel is also an Accredited Exercise Scientist with Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA).
Rachel recently appeared as Science Program Lead in the ABC TV series, “Keep on Dancing”, in which a group of over 65’s attempt to slow the effects of aging through dance. The show followed the dancers across 12 weeks of rehearsals with leading choreographer Kelley Abbey, culminating in a one-of-a kind performance for friends and family.
In her presentation for the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, Rachel will share her experience in researching and developing dance programs for various health conditions. She will discuss the health benefits of dance for people of all ages and abilities.