Destined to Dance

Following the success of the Born to Dance initiative, EADA are pleased to relaunch their programme: “Destined to Dance” to combine the skills of school teachers with the expertise of our dance teachers, to encourage young people to learn to dance. 

Schoolteachers attend a one-day seminar taught by Professional dancers to learn a basic Ballroom & Latin dance course which they can teach to children as part of the curriculum.  They will then receive support to help them deliver this course, all for a modest £10 fee.

Destined to Dance flyer

The problem of childhood obesity:

EADA are keen to encourage more young people to try dancing.  We are concerned by repeated reports of obesity amongst young people, particularly amongst Key Stage One Primary pupils.  NHS statistics for 2010 show that in reception (age 4-5yrs) 23% of children measured were overweight or obese and in year 6 (age 10-11yrs) 33% were overweight or obese.   We are also concerned that nationally not enough young people are encouraged to start Ballroom and Latin American dancing.  A recent survey by YouGov showed 89% of adults don’t dance, with 21% feeling too self-conscious and 23% believing they have two left feet.

EADA is in support of Change 4 Life and encourages both children and adults to try dance as part of their 60 active minutes per day.  In order to maintain a healthy weight we need to both eat better and move more.  Many families are making changes that will help them live healthier and longer lives.  Visit or call 0300 123 4567 for more information.

Dancing as a form of physical activity:

Dance is an excellent and enjoyable form of exercise and can also help improve co-ordination, balance and posture as well as teaching children discipline.  We want to encourage children to try dancing, have fun doing it and feel a sense of achievement. In 2005 Trinity LABAN began a study of the effects of dance on 350 11-15 year olds: it was demonstrated that dancing increased their physiological health and led to improvements in psychological well-being. 

Medical benefits of dancing:

Various medical studies have taken place which demonstrate the physical exertion involved in competing in Ballroom & Latin American dancing:

  • University of Freiburg study in 1986: exertion and breathing rates of dancesport athletes performing a single dance were the same as cyclists, swimmers and 800m runners over the same two minute period.
  • University of Oxford 1988: level of fitness of championship dancesport competitors is the same as Olympic decathletes; a dancer performing a two minute Viennese Waltz experiences the same exertion level as that experienced by an Olympic 100m hurdler.
  • Peter Pover, former President US Dancesport Council stated that tests in Germany “found no significant athletic difference between running 800 metres and doing the quickstep for 1.5mins” Sports Illustrated 1995.
  • Medical research has shown that dancesport is comparable with other sporting activities such as basketball, squash and cross country running with dancers performing at over 80% of their maximum oxygen consumption level and burning up at least 300 calories per hour (Blanksby & Reidy, 1988 British Journal of Sports Medicine, Vol 22, Issue 2, 57-60: Heart rate and estimated energy expenditure during ballroom dancing)
  • Dancing used by a Mexican cardiologist Dr Hermes Ilarraza for heart disease patients.  Patients did 30minutes of dancing over five weeks for five days per week and increased their exercise capacity by about a third.
  • Research by Italian scientists in 2000 used by the IDSF
  • New England Journal of Medicine in 2003 reported that eldery people who danced frequently had a 76% lower chance of developing dementia.

Why Ballroom & latin?

  • “Dancesport” has been recognised as an Olympic sport since 1997, so teaching ballroom & Latin can also have a connection to the 2012 Olympics. 
  • Ballroom and Latin have become increasingly popular with audiences of over 11 Million watching “Strictly Come Dancing”. 
  • There is a well-established network of dance schools, medal exams and competitions for those who wish to take their interest further.
  • Partner dancing has the added benefit of teaching interaction skills.
  • Ballroom dancing has an interesting, international history, which could also be part of a learning project for children.

How does the scheme work?

EADA organise a one-day training course for school teachers who are shown by a local, qualified dance Professional how to teach a six week starter course in Ballroom & Latin dance.  The teacher can teach the classes as part of the national curriculum or as after school clubs.  Any children who wish to take their interest further can contact the dance Professional at the local dance school.   We can also help with asking dancesport Professionals to teach after-school clubs during term-time and/or during the holidays. 

EADA can supply a detailed syllabus which has been designed by dance
Professionals, who have great experience in this area.  All those attending the course will receive a certificate of attendance.  We can then provide guidance notes and local support as the schoolteacher delivers the course.

What do I have to do to get involved?

If you are a schoolteacher who interested in being taught the course in Ballroom and Latin or asking a dance Professional to run a club at your school, contact Alan Homer and he will put you in touch with a dancesport Professional.  You will then be able to arrange times that suit both parties.

Contact Alan: destinedtodance [at] eada [dot] org [dot] uk   01202 752908


Destined to Dance has been granted the Inspire mark, the badge of the London 2012 Inspire programme.