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Dance campaign encourages good mental health

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Dance campaign encourages good mental health

The Mental Health Foundation is inviting all New Zealanders to do a little dance as it supports this year's Body Festival.

Mental Health Foundation (MHF) chief executive, Judi Clements, appears in a YouTube clip (http://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/page/1221-do-a-little-dance-2012) encouraging people to get up and dance as a way to take time out from the busyness of daily life.

"The Do a Little Dance campaign ties in nicely with our five Winning Ways to Wellbeing - take notice, connect, keep learning, be active and give," Ms Clements says.

The MHF is encouraging people to take a video of themselves doing a little dance which can be emailed and automatically uploaded to its website during the Body Festival from 21 September to 14 October.

While the Body Festival is a Christchurch event, the Do a Little Dance campaign is nationwide.

Ms Clements has got into the spirit of the campaign by doing a little dance on the streets of Christchurch in the video clip. The clip was filmed on a rainy day but that didn't stop people around her joining in the dancing, and that is what the MHF is hoping will happen during the campaign.

"Sometimes our mood can feel like a rainy day but doing a little dance helps us focus on a more joyful experience," she says.

"We want this to be the largest virtual dance performance in New Zealand. Get out your mobile phone, get someone to video you doing a little dance and send it to us. Its all about letting go of your worries and it only takes a moment," Ms Clements says.

The five ways to wellbeing are based on international evidence analysed by The Foresight Project in the UK, which suggests that building these activities into our everyday lives can help improve wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.

This is the second year the MHF has been involved with the Body Festival, Christchurch's annual festival of dance and physical theatre.

"When was the last time you danced like no-one was watching?" Ms Clements asks. "Now is a good time to get up, get moving and do a little dance."

The email to send dance videos is n8ml9wzw28b3@m.youtube.com (the subject line is the video title and a description can be included in the body of the email). Clips can be seen at http://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/page/1190-videos-2012.

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