People all over the country are being invited to body pop and foxtrot for free at thousands of dance classes next weekend as part of the new Let’s Dance campaign.
Let’s Dance is the latest project from Change4Life, the nationwide movement to help us all live healthier, happier and longer lives, this time in partnership with the Fitness Industry Association.
There will be something for everyone with more than 1,400 classes from street dance to Latin, hip hop to disco, at venues across England on March 6 and 7. Places are limited so people who want to get down, should get online and book in at www.change4life.com/dance or call free on 0300 123 1051.
Public Health Minister Gillian Merron said:
“Dancing is a great way for people to be healthy – it burns calories, strengthens bones and therefore cuts the risk of becoming overweight or obese. The great thing about dance is that anybody can do it, you can dance in any style, with friends, on your own and at any age.
"Children should be active for an hour everyday – dancing is a fun and really interesting way to hit that goal.
“The Change4Life movement is all about making it easier to build activity into your daily routine so that we can all live longer, healthier lives.”
David Stalker, Executive Director of the Fitness Industry Association said:
“Dancing your way to fitness is fun and ideal for people of all ages and abilities. That is why more than 1,000 Fitness Industry Association gyms and leisure centres nationwide have already declared their support for this initiative. Our aim is to get the nation moving and their feet tapping.”
Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity recently joined forces with the Department of Health to launch a competition to get kids boogying for a healthier future across the country.
Ashley Banjo, lead choreographer for Diversity and judge on Sky 1’s ‘Got To Dance’ said:
“Dance has been such an important part of all our lives - it’s a great way to keep fit, burn energy and have fun with your friends and family.”
Thirteen-year-old Diversity member, Perry said:
“I absolutely love to dance. I think it is a really fun way to keep active and has helped me make lots of friends.”
Today’s sedentary lifestyles mean people don’t always burn off the energy they are consuming and this could lead to an unhealthy weight, and a risk of developing serious illnesses like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Dancing is a particularly effective way of burning energy because it’s often done in short, intense bursts. It’s easy to fit into the recommended 60 active minutes a day for children and can count towards their five hours of PE and sport per week. At the same time as burning calories, it builds bones – making children healthy and strong.
Even very simple dances help children develop their sense of rhythm, balance and co-ordination. Young children learn how to judge distances, and counting skills improve as children count beats of the music and their steps. It also encourages children to use their imagination and creativity, and to cooperate and communicate with others.
Other tips for parents include:
- Offer children healthy snacks after they’ve worked up an appetite dancing along to their favourite music channels.
- Suggest children learn a different dance each week of the school holidays and organise a back to school show with their friends.
- Make up a new dance step each and stage a ‘dance-off’.
Change4Life and the Fitness Industry Association are holding free dance classes for the whole family at local leisure facilities on 6-7 March. Places are limited so visit www.change4life.com/dance or call free on 0300 123 1051 to book a place. Under 16s must be accompanied by adults.
Let’s Dance with Change4Life follows on from the success of Swim4Life, Walk4Life and Bike4Life which last year helped thousands of families to splash, stroll and cycle their way to more active, healthier lifestyles.
Notes to Editors
1. For media enquiries only please contact the Department of Health newsdesk on 0207 210 5221.
2. To find out more about Let’s Dance with Change4Life and find a free local class, call 0300 123 4567 or visit www.change4life.com/dance.
3. The Let’s Dance with Change4Life and Diversity competition asked 5 – 12 year olds to recreate one of three dance routines choreographed by the 11-strong street dance group Diversity.
Kids across the UK copied the group’s moves from an online guide. To enter the competition they simply needed to film and upload their dance routines on www.change4life.com/dance. Entries have now closed. Diversity will now choose their favourite entry who will join them for an exclusive dance workshop and win tickets to their tour. The best videos will be showcased on the Change4Life YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/letsdance.
4. Change4Life is a groundbreaking campaign bringing government, community groups, health workers, teachers, and businesses together. Our shared goal is to help everyone eat well, move more and live longer. For more information visit www.change4life.co.uk
5. In May 2009, Diversity took the UK by storm by winning Britain's Got Talent. Nearly 20 million people in the UK, and much of the world were glued to their television screens to see Diversity overcome the odds and sweep to victory, in what was the most watched TV programme in these shores for over six years. Diversity are about to head out on their incredible 'Diversitoys' tour. To keep up to date with everything Diversity, just visit their official website at www.diversityofficial.com.
6. The Fitness Industry Association represents an industry which comprises over 5,700 sites nationwide and is staffed by over 200,000 people. The FIA aims to develop activity programmes designed to help every man, woman and child in the UK be more active, more often. In June 2009, they launched MoreActive4Life, a three-year national consumer campaign, designed to complement the Government’s Change4Life programme.