The Dance Health Alliance was born in Australia as a result of connection and inspiration from Andrew Greenwood. Seven years ago Andrew dedicated a big part of his work to Dancer’s health (injury prevention & rehabilitation) offering guidance to enhance dancers personal wellbeing, physically and mentally. This provided the foundations of knowledge and assisted Andrew an unexpected turn of events, the discovery that dance and dancers need health but health needs dance.

Five years ago the artistic director of a dance house in the Netherlands was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age 37. At the time Andrew was engaged as the house ballet master and developing an injury prevention and rehabilitation centre for dancers. Because of his disappointment with the options in physical training as a Parkinson’s patient, Andrew was asked to apply dance techniques and explore how dance could enhance his friends physical and mental state. After discovering the amazing effects and possibilities of these dance sessions, they decided to investigate and study further. Combining existing programs such as the Dance for PD Program (Marc Morris foundation), reading extensive detailed literature, and in-depth discussion with patients and other experts from the field of science and dance, Andrew developed a movement methodology. In 2012 Dance for Health Foundation in Holland was founded. For the last four years Andrew was the Director of Education and Research applying his movement philosophy. Now over 40 teachers have been educated internationally under his mentorship with classes established for Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Arthritis and Dementia in cities in the Netherlands, Italy, UK and Australia.

Gwen Korebrits, an ex-professional ballerina based in Australia, and Andrew’s cousin, launched Dance for Health in Australia in April 2015. The launch took place at the Sydney Dance Company, with over 45 Multiple Sclerosis participants, Physiotherapists, Lectures and Doctors. There was media interest from channel nine’s Today show and an in-depth segment went to air in June 2015.

The Launch of the Dance Health Alliance™ Australia

After successfully growing a calendar of open classes and care home classes using her cousins methodology under the banner of Dance for Health, in 2016 Gwen decided it was time to grow.

She connected with like-minded professionals, registered as a charity organisation, appointed a board, expanded the vision and the Dance Health Alliance was born.

The Dance Health Alliance have created a teacher training program specifically for the Australian market, with support from Andrew Greenwood. These programs support allied health professionals, experienced dancers and facilities implement a research-based, effective, proven, innovative way for people to stay active, strong, agile, inspired, connected and creative. Focusing on the person rather than the illness the Dance Health Alliance was founded to start the world dancing to prevent disease and support the search for cures.

Our areas of support, research, and focus are aimed at people at any stage of the diseases listed, allied health professionals wanting innovative and current add-ons to support their work, and organisations and foundations who support Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Arthritis. The Dance Health Alliance™ provides a certified training and education program, an ambassadors system, ongoing CPD opportunities and yearly subscription services.

Proven Benefits:

  • Reduces anxiety, isolation and the incidence of falls.
  • Reinvigorates individuals and environments.
  • Creates an atmosphere of fun and builds social connections.
  • Engages and trains staff, leading to better retention of staff.
  • Allows family members to be involved in creative rehabilitation and treatment.

Why Dance?

Dance is an inclusive, social and holistic activity which has the power to engage individuals of all ages and improve physical, mental and social health.

Why Dance?

Dance is inclusive and anyone can take part;
Dance can be tailored to match the physical capabilities of an individual and the cultural diversity of a population;
Dance has a myriad of physical health benefits; and
Dance is a social activity promoting a sense of well-being and social inclusion. 1

Why Now?

With an ageing population and a climate where governments, health organisations and health insurers are looking for answers to global health epidemics such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia, Dance can play a significant role in the health and wellness of individuals, communities and the general public. Dance is perfectly positioned to support the public health sector providing proactive and cost-effective solutions to global wellness challenges.

The Benefits

Research shows that dance…
Improves balance and is associated with reduced risk of falls 2–5
Improves cardiorespiratory fitness 4–6
Improves strength, body agility, flexibility 4
Decreases Body Mass Index (BMI) 7
Improves mood 8 and
Induces neuroplasticity 9 and,
Enhances memory 10

The benefits of dance have been documented across a range of medical conditions including:
Arthritis including Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis 11
Neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis 3,12–14
Dementia 15
Depression 8
Intellectual disabilities 16


References and Further Reading
1. Bupa. Shall We Dance Report. (2011).
2. Krampe, J. Dance-based therapy to decrease fall risk in older persons. (University of Missouri–Columbia, 2010).
3. Hackney, M. E. & Earhart, G. M. Effects of dance on balance and gait in severe Parkinson disease: a case study. Disabil. Rehabil. 32, 679–684 (2010).
4. Hopkins, D. R., Murrah, B., Hoeger, W. W. & Rhodes, R. C. Effect of low-impact aerobic dance on the functional fitness of elderly women. Gerontologist 30, 189–192 (1990).
5. Donath, L., Roth, R., Hohn, Y., Zahner, L. & Faude, O. The effects of Zumba training on cardiovascular and neuromuscular function in female college students. EJSS 14, 569–577 (2014).
6. Baldari, C. & Guidetti, L. VO2max, ventilatory and anaerobic thresholds in rhythmic gymnasts and young female dancers. J. Sports Med. Phys. Fitness 41, 177–182 (2001).
7. Huang, S. Y., Hogg, J., Zandieh, S. & Bostwick, S. B. A ballroom dance classroom program promotes moderate to vigorous physical activity in elementary school children. Am. J. Health Promot. 26, 160–165 (2012).
8. Koch, S. C. et al. Effects of Dance Movement Therapy and Dance on Health-Related Psychological Outcomes. A Meta-Analysis Update. Front. Psychol. 10, 1806 (2019).
9. Müller, P. et al. Evolution of Neuroplasticity in Response to Physical Activity in Old Age: The Case for Dancing. Front. Aging Neurosci. 9, 56 (2017).
10. Simmons-Stern, N. R., Budson, A. E. & Ally, B. A. Music as a memory enhancer in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Neuropsychologia 48, 3164–3167 (2010).
11. Marks, R. Dance‐based exercise and Tai Chi and their benefits for people with arthritis: a review. Health Educ. 105, 374–391 (2005).
12. Marchant, D., Sylvester, J. L. & Earhart, G. M. Effects of a short duration, high dose contact improvisation dance workshop on Parkinson disease: a pilot study. Complement. Ther. Med. 18, 184–190 (2010).
13. Mandelbaum, R. & Lo, A. C. Examining Dance as an Intervention in Parkinson’s Disease: A Systematic Review. American Journal of Dance Therapy vol. 36 160–175 (2014).
14. Mandelbaum, R., Triche, E. W., Fasoli, S. E. & Lo, A. C. A Pilot Study: examining the effects and tolerability of structured dance intervention for individuals with multiple sclerosis. Disabil. Rehabil. 38, 218–222 (2016).
15. Verghese, J. Cognitive and mobility profile of older social dancers. J. Am. Geriatr. Soc. 54, 1241–1244 (2006).
16. Martínez-Aldao, D., Martínez-Lemos, I., Bouzas-Rico, S. & Ayán-Pérez, C. Feasibility of a dance and exercise with music programme on adults with intellectual disability. J. Intellect. Disabil. Res. 63, 519–527 (2019).
17. Fong Yan, A. et al. The Effectiveness of Dance Interventions on Physical Health Outcomes Compared to Other Forms of Physical Activity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med. 48, 933–951 (2018).
18. Merom, D., Ding, D. & Stamatakis, E. Dancing Participation and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality: A Pooled Analysis of 11 Population-Based British Cohorts. Am. J. Prev. Med. 50, 756–760 (2016).