Dance Champions Group
In October 2009 the new Dance Champions Group was launched at the South Bank Centre, aiming to inspire thousands of people to take up dance as a form of physical activity. Looking to appeal to those who do not traditionally enjoy regular fitness activities, the Group will look to encourage the less active to try any or all of the many forms of dance in a bid to see them active for at least 30 minutes three times a week. At the request of the Secretary of State for Health, this Group is Chaired by Rod Aldridge, who will look to unite the dance sector and seek a more co-ordinated approach. Work began with the Dance Summit in February 2010, organised by The Aldridge Foundation. The subsequent report of the day highlighted ten key recommendations, and can be downloaded here.
Rod works with a Group of carefully selected dance experts and ambassadors - including Darren Bennett of Strictly Come Dancing, Arlene Phillips of So You Think You Can Dance, Angela Rippon - former presenter of Come Dancing and Lisa Snowdon - 2008 contestant on Strictly, with more Champions to be announced over the coming months.
A key element of the work of the Group will include free, mass-participation Dance Celebration Events, which will be held in every region of England. These events will see workshops and taster sessions in a broad variety of dance styles, and will give participants access to the information they need to find out about local dance opportunities. Supported by the Department of Health, these events will be delivered by the team at The Aldridge Foundation, aiming to see the first events held late in 2010.
Equally exciting is the new dance directory website, www.dancechampions.org, which will comprehensively list dance opportunities within England. We were delighted that the design for this site was developed by Liam Durgan, a student of DACA. It will allow anyone to search for activities by location and style of dance. An extensive mapping project is currently being undertaken by the Physical Activity Alliance, which will identify stakeholder organisations and dance providers.
The current Dance Champions are:
- Rod Aldridge OBE (Chairman)
- Janet Archer, Director of Dance Strategy - Arts Council England
- Darren Bennett, professional dancer
- Daran Bennett, Physical Activity Alliance
- Miguel Doforo, Choreographer - MD Productions
- Andrew Hanson, Director of Policy - CCPR
- Roger Mosey, Director for London 2012 - BBC
- Margaret Peggie OBE, EMDP
- Arlene Phillips, Choreographer
- Angela Rippon OBE, television presenter
- Lisa Snowdon, radio DJ and model
For more information, visit www.dancechampions.org.uk