Community University Dance
Purpose: To examine the effectiveness of engaging in the arts through dance in creating a sense of community, enhancing motor and cognitive skills, and in the reframing of personal identity. Through arts based inquiry, we are researching the process of knowledge transmission from a research-intensive university to the local community involving faculty members and students working off campus with diverse populations.
Using two distinct community-based programs, Dancing Parkinson’s YYC and University Heights Dancing, these university-community partnerships studies the impact of participating in dance classes, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of engaging in the arts in creating a sense of community; sharpening motor and cognitive skills; developing research-focused evaluation tools; and identifying effective strategies for program design, operation and management. Co-Investigator Anne Flynn has worked on the research with neuroscientist Dr. Afra Foroud, and with sociologists Dr. Adolfo Peters and Krista MacEwan.
Lead partners have been Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, the Universities of Calgary, The Rozsa Foundation, University Heights Community Association, Foothills Mennonite Church, Parkinson Alberta and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute.