Exposure to dance can impact a child’s education, health and the creative economy of the community.
Only 26% of African American students and 28% of Hispanic students receive arts education throughout childhood. (see Americans for the Arts Inequality in Access to the Arts Education). Reports indicate that no other tactic or performance measure for students increases positive results as much as a high involvement in the arts, such as dance. (see Americans for the Arts Improved Academic Performance for Students with High Levels of Arts Involvement).
In several national studies over the past decade, students at risk of dropping out cite participation in the arts as their primary reason for staying in school. (see Staying in School: Arts Education and New York City High School Graduation Rates). Low socio-economic-status students who are engaged in arts learning not only have increased attendance, but they also have increased: academic performance, college-going rates, college grades and holding jobs in the future. Despite these findings, arts in education opportunities have decreased for these students by 22% in the last 30 years.
Half of the nation’s healthcare institutions provide arts programs for their healing benefits to patients. (Americans for the Arts) Healthcare systems are using visual arts, music, dance, drama, literature and other arts to focus on healing the whole person including their family members and hospital staff. Healing benefits to patients include – shorter hospital stays, better pain management and less medication. (Arts in Healthcare)
Dance increases cardiovascular circulation and burns hundreds of calories. As Indiana is the 11th most obese state in the country, with 1.5 million residents suffering from obesity, dance can be a catalyst for tackling this epidemic. (America’s Health Rankings) Dance not only improves physical health but enhances mental health as well. By dancing twice a week, adults were significantly less likely to develop dementia in older age. (AARP Let’s Dance to Health)
Economy & Community
Creativity and Community Learning
Humans are genetically disposed to creativity (Pinker & Greenspan). Young children foster natural creativity that sparks and fosters learning at a young age. As people age, creativity is influenced by the views of others and begins to wane. When a class is offered for children, adults or senior citizens in our community, creativity continues to flourish. Creativity improves academic achievement, creates a stronger working class and wards of Alzheimer’s.
Creativity is essential to the economy and is necessary in both the public and private sectors. Creativity is about generating ideas and transforming them into something of value. By investing in arts programming, you invest in people who conceive new ideas and solve everyday problems, which grows a thriving work force and a booming economy. Without creative experiences for the community, we risk a lack of new ideas, high-tech business startups, and stunted regional growth.
At the end of 2015, Fort Wayne Dance Collective hit a milestone – more than 39,000 people served. But by 2050, the region is expected to grow by 40% (Indiana’s Business Review – Indiana’s Population Projections). Unless programming is grown quickly, the region could suffer from a lack of arts and creativity and therefore a shrink in economic growth.
You Participate in the Fort Wayne Dance Collective
A LIKELY SCENARIO
Your family was given the opportunity to participate in the work-study program at the Fort Wayne Dance Collective. Now, you and your children can afford to express yourselves, relieve stress and learn how to dance while giving back to a non-profit you believe in.
Dance in Education
By participating on-site at the Fort Wayne Dance Collective you learn that the public school where your children attend offers a Movement Mix class, free of charge. Your stress lessens, as you do not have to worry about negative influences after school.
Your son’s class was provided with free tickets to the Guest Artist Residency performance hosted by the Fort Wayne Dance Collective. He was so inspired that he wants to become a professional dancer and aspires to graduate from college.
Dance for Disabilities
From attending a Fort Wayne Dance Collective event you learn that your brother, who suffers from Autism, can participate in free movement classes at his care facility. He suffers less frequent outbursts due to his participation in class and he is learning a dance to perform at a dance concert.
Dance for Health
Your mother has less stress as she does not worry about your brother. The hospital where your mother received chemotherapy was implementing the Fort Wayne Dance Collective-Parkview Health Healing Arts program. Each time she received treatment; she created art to give to others, helping inspire not only her own healing but also others in the community as well.
Your friends and family learn about how dance changed your life. They too, begin to participate in Fort Wayne Dance Collective programming, and the cycle starts again.