Thursday, 16 June 2011

Cut the Health Bill: dance.

An incisive article by Mark Brown today in the Guardian about the Lost Arts website launched by various arts unions where you can record your own cuts. See
To read Mark Brown's whole article:

For every £1 spent on the Arts, there's a £2 return. Some pundits even claim for every £1, there's a £6 return. Subsidizing the Arts is therefore an investment and the Arts Cuts of 25% throughout the UK don't make sense.

I have my doubts concerning this utilitarian argument for supporting the Arts, since if this led to having to quantify £ for £ generated, this rather militates against slim volumes of poetry! However, Mark Brown goes on to develop the argument that there's the money saved by improving mental health. I guess that's unquantifiable: but think of the millions saved if we could apply this to mental health, prisons, old people, youth clubs, the marginalized in sink housing estates. Cutting the numbers in prisons, the NHS bill for anti-depressives etc.

Which brings me to my own life saver: Golden, a dance group for over 60+ at Dancebase, in the Grassmarket, Edinburgh run by Morag Deyes, the Director. It's fun, keeps us active and flexible and gets the dopamines flowing i.e. natural happy drugs. You go in a bit down, thinking of the aches and pains that come with age, and leave walking on air. We've done contemporary, flamenco and (my favourite) Bollywood so far. Morag is fun, energetic, bursting with ideas and can-do: already several spin-offs have resulted. One is a group called 24ct Gold which is run by members of Golden themselves, to explore choreography and expertise by members of the group: Then there's the social spin-off.Golden are a feisty group of mainly ladies (2 males)with a wicked sense of humour and get up and go. I had no idea what I was letting myself in for. It's a hoot.
Far more fun than prozac.

And because of present funding, it's FREE. I can only hope that will last.

You can watch Golden as part of 6 programmes about dance groups in Scotland on BBC Alba on Mondays at 10pm or currently on iplayer. It follows the progress of 6 dance different groups with different dance styles all round the country: The Heavy Smokers, a breakdancing group from Livingston; a group for refugees in Glasgow; Fusion, an Aberdonian young people's dance class; a dance college in Dundee; Ballet West, a ballet school in rural Highlands near Taynuilt, and Golden. They eventually all came together at the Tramway, Glasgow for a massive event co-ordinated by the choreographer, Andy Howitt. Wish I'd been a member then!
Dannsa:Scotland is dancing

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