Social sustainability, it surrounds us in everything that we do and how we function on a daily basis. Now you may be wondering, what is it and what the heck does it have to do with dance? Believe it or not, dance (arguably) has been one of the first forms of “social science” in our history. I may be getting ahead of myself here, but stick with me. By the end of this read you might learn a thing or two about social sustainability, the impact of dance, and how STU Arts is dedicated to upholding it in all we do.
I don’t want to be too academic throughout this, but it is important to understand what social sustainability even is. To start off, the word “social”, while an integral part in how we function, is rather invisible within professional settings; and “sustainability” is a high indicator of how we should function in a professional setting to maintain a certain balance. But one cannot be without the other. Let me put it this way, social sustainability “is a critical component of a community’s wellbeing and longevity. [it’s] largely neglected in mainstream sustainability debates.” It is a “process of creating sustainable[,] successful places that promote wellbeing by understanding what people need from the places they live and work. Social sustainability combines design of the physical realm with design of the social world-- Infrastructure to support social and cultural life, social amenities, systems for citizen engagement and space for people and places to evolve.”
With all that understood, how does dance connect to social sustainability? As mentioned earlier, dance has long been used to answer a lot of questions regarding society. Humanity’s use of traditional tribal dances, rituals, and the cultural impact of dance throughout social issues in modern context etc. has been a constant reminder of how we’ve evolved and functioned throughout the course of history, so it is not as surprising when I suggest that dance is a great way to connect to social sustainability. With the already indicated notion that social sustainability is used to better the now and maintain its longevity; dance, and the effect it has on one’s well-being, acts as a bridge to better the local community. “Dance works as a connecting link of our soul, body, and mind to the surrounding environment, either people or sounds or nature. It helps us to get in touch with the energy that comes from within and gain control of ourselves while feeling free at the same time. It prepares us to make changes.”
But how does it really work? When you walk into your dance class, you are met with exciting thoughts on how the class might go, meeting up with your friends, enjoying the time getting your mind off of your professional work, and bettering your mental, physical and spiritual health. With all that in mind, the sustainability of your own wellbeing will inevitably bleed into other aspects of your life. Hip hop, ballet, team-building, stepping and stretching classes all offer a unique input to our social thumbprint. Hip hop offers energy and building confidence; ballet offers concentration and mobility; team-building offers trust and communications; stepping offers zealousness and sharpness; and stretching offers connection to one’s self and mental relaxation. All (when put together or individual) elongate your social sustainability within yourself and therefore your community as well.
Within any dance class at STU Arts Dance, the goal and objective is to be able to better yourself through creative movement and dance. The idea is to be able to get comfortable in your own skin, push yourself out of your comfort zone and therefore enjoy the moment fully. No matter what level you hold (whether beginner or not) the idea that everyone can dance is a matter of bettering yourself in any aspect that may be. Being constant and consistent in your classes will allow for that longevity to flow creating a foundation of well-being in your life and community.
At the end of the day, social sustainability is to help create a positive impact on your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, and what better way to take care of yourself in your community than by dancing? Dance offers you a time to get creative and build connections within your own community. If you would like to get started in our Everybody Can Dance classes, be sure to check us out here, and how to get registered for class here. Can’t wait to see you out there.
Thanks so much for reading this all the way through,
See ya later!!
The STU Arts Dance Team.
Susanne Rice., “Diversity for Social Impact; Social Sustainability, Everything you need to Know”, (Diversity for Social Impact) 2021. Accessed on July 12, 2021. Accessed from: https://diversity.social/social-sustainability/
Andriana-Christina Pateraki., “Dance as a Tool for Sustainability: Possibilities and Limits”, (Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University), 2015. Accessed on July 12, 2021. Accessed From: http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:820596/FULLTEXT01.pdf
Efrat Eizenberg, Yosef Jabareen., “Social Sustainability: A New Conceptual Framework” (Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 3200003, Israel), 2017. Accessed on: July 12, 2021. Accessed From: file:///Users/NardineGuirguis/Downloads/sustainability-09-00068.pdf
ManMohan S. Sodhi, Christopher S Tang., “Corporate Social Sustainability in Supply Chains; Athematic Analysis of the Literature” (International Journal of Production Research), 2018. Accessed on July 12, 2021. Accessed from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00207543.2017.1388934?needAccess=true