Doncaster Council wants more people to start dancing in order to tackle inactivity levels

Doncaster Council wants more people to get dancing in order to get fitter.

Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 6:30 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd September 2019, 11:39 am

Doncaster Council wants more people to get dancing in order to get fitter.

A strategy has been drawn up by health bosses at Civic Office in order to boost health levels as Doncaster 'experiences low levels of activity'.

Cabinet members are expected to rubber-stamp the Get Doncaster Dancing strategy which will establish a 'sector-led steering group' to deliver and monitor dance activity and participation.

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One opposition councillor intially thought the idea was a 'joke' but on further reading acknowledged the benefits to residents if done right.

The steering group will include members from Doncaster Council's public health team, Doncaster Community Arts (darts), Cast, Active Fusion, Cre8ive Dance Academy and an unamaned independent artist.

Council bosses want to 'change behaviour' and 'inspire people' especially those who do not engage in much physical activity 'regardless of their age, ability and cultural background'.

The council has said that Doncaster has a 'strong dance culture' with around 60 private dance schools and groups across the borough in a range of dance styles. But bosses add these may not always be affordable to all residents.

Bosses want to establish a 'community dance festival' in raising the profile of dance and highlighting opportunities to dance in Doncaster.

They also want to promote dance participation through performances in public spaces and at events which could include 'flash mobs' in shopping centres, promotion at professional performances, dance school shows, galas and community events.

Conservative councillor Nick Allen, who represents Bessaccarr, said: "At first I thought this was a joke but then when I read more and did some research I recognised what a valuable idea and strategy this could be. It’s designed to make dance and physical activity more accessible.

"You can’t really argue that the council should promote healthy activity as that should help reduce budget pressures elsewhere.

"At the back of my mind is the idea that this isn’t really the best use for our taxes. I am concerned that we don’t have enough money to keep the Dolly Parton Imagination Library but we can still spend on this.

"However I can see that Get Doncaster Dancing could bring real benefits to people and reduce costs in other budgets so it could be a long term win."

Carys Williams, public health improvement officer, at Doncaster Council, said: "Doncaster has experienced low levels of physical activity and currently there is almost a third of our adult residents who are sedentary and do less than 30 minutes per week.

"As one of the key areas within Get Doncaster Moving, the Get Doncaster Dancing Strategy aims to support a reduction in inactivity levels in Doncaster through increased opportunities to participate in dance across the lifecourse and across the borough.

"Dance provides opportunity for residents to be active in their local communities and stay healthy in mind as well as body, helping to boost mood and self-esteem and can help maintain social interaction and improve community cohesion."