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This three month Arts and Health artist in residence project at The Royal Melbourne Hospital in partnership with Ausdance and The Institute for Creative Health is the first of two residencies, over 6 months, bringing dance to the hospital wards and halls aligning with RMH priorities of safety first, hand hygiene, and positive staff engagement.
Dance for Health is building towards a public performance ‘en masse’ of the Hand Dance for Change Day, March 11. Change day is a people led global social movement. It invites you to be ‘change-makers in health, aged care and community services for better outcomes for everyone’. RMH is pledging to take ongoing action in hand hygiene and to use novel and engaging approaches to maintain the change and sustain patient safety and an improved experience. It is also pledging to look at innovative ways of providing a vibrant engaging workplace that places a high value on ‘joy’ as a key element of workplace improvement that translates ultimately to better patient care. Throughout this residency choreographer and dynamo Andy Howitt, Director and CEO of Ausdance, is working with staff, carers and patients, hosted by Music Therapy in Allied Health. Andy is also bringing in a team of six dancers and together they will provide performances in unexpected places, focusing on health priorities. Dance workshops will also be provided to the staff and the new work will be online, so everyone can learn the moves and join in on Change Day. Original music is being composed for the dance in collaboration with Emma O’Brien and Stephan Skov (The Institute and Music Therapy at RMH) and the finale performance will feature the en masse Hand Dance punctuated by beautifully choreographed variations on the theme featuring the dancers in residence. The project has key outcomes measures being collated and reported by The Institute to investigate the clinical impact of the program and the experience of the participants. Updates of this project and the next phase of the residency will be posted via The Institute, RMH and Ausdance.