SPONSORSHIP PROPOSAL for COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

(a public, private, non-profit partnership)

Sam’s Dance has an exciting, inclusive idea for engaging people in our city in 2019. We hope you will consider sponsoring this innovative project to inspire and invigorate the people of Vancouver. Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world—it can also be the most healthy, inclusive, and fun!

Dance in Transit will entice all kinds of people out of their homes, whether new to dance or already part of the dance community, whether they are young or old, shy or socially awkward, new to the area, newly retired, recently divorced, feel restricted by health issues, or immigrants.  We are notjust another dance school or event promoter.  We are community builders and activists who foster community development and cultural diversity.  Dance and music can help bring our community together to create stronger ties between us!

We believe social dancing is a way to connect with people who feel excluded from their own communities or are otherwise socially isolated or stigmatized.  It is also a proven way to increase fitness, and improve brain function and quality of life more than other activities like yoga, cycling, hiking, running, and crossword puzzles.  Dancing builds more new neural pathways faster than any of these other activities can and it has the added bonus of helping people to find friends and forge relationships they would not have otherwise.  The community we envision will also support networking for employment and business opportunities.

Dancing is a way for people to move away from their digital devices and reconnect with people face-to-face.  Social skills like conversation and casual physical contact are disappearing because digital communication can be so isolating and pervasive.  The less we connect with real people, the less we care about their welfare and the less we care about our society.  Music and dancing bring people together in real life!

Free outdoor social dancing can reach both locals and tourists.  Dance in Transit experimented  by hosting two Saturday nights at Robson Square at the end of summer 2016.  We hired a professional stilt-walker to wear our t-shirt and go onto the street to talk to passersby and invite them to join us for dancing.  A surprising number did.  One visitor sent us a message on Facebook afterwards. Nicole Jessica said: “Thank you for the experience! I’m from out of town and stumbling across this opportunity was a highlight of my trip!”

In the spring and summer of 2017, Dance in Transit held 27 free outdoor dance events in four downtown locations.  Over 6,000 people attended and we received overwhelmingly positive feedback for the project.  In 2018, Dance in Transit held 31 events in several locations.  Around 12,000 people attended and the response was even more enthusiastic.

About the Partners: 

Everyone wants to feel “normal,” a part of a community, a sense of belonging, acceptance for one’s authentic self.  Both Dance in Transit and McLaren Housing Society share the goal of making this possible for people who feel isolated due to ethnicity, gender, health status, age, changed social status, or recent relocation.  We hope our partnership will be ongoing to bring positive, lasting change to the lives of Vancouver residents.

Sam’s Dance:  An incorporated company, wholly owned by Patricia Hardin.  Patricia started her own dance school after discovering dance in 2012, then finding local dance schools unsatisfying and exclusionary.  She thought she could provide a space for fun, healthy movement, and friendship that was different from all the others.  Dance in Transit is a community project of Sam’s Dance.

McLaren Housing Society of BC:  As Canada’s first HIV/AIDS housing organization, our non-profit partner provides a variety of innovative, affordable housing options and support services to over 300 individuals and families in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.  In the near future, McLaren will focus on affordable housing for anyone in need of a safe, welcoming home, regardless of health status, gender, ethnicity, or age. McLaren works to help its members deal with social isolation and the stigma of living with HIV/AIDS.

The Idea:

  • To host free events throughout the spring, summer, and fall of 2019 in various outdoor venues.
  • To host dance events at indoor venues throughout the winter season at a nominal charge.
  • To promote dance as a healthy, safe, social activity and a way to form new relationships and achieve a higher level of fitness.
  • Events will be held according to a schedule we create, during days and evenings, primarily on weekends.
  • To utilize a combination of regular, predictable venues, like Robson Square, Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza, Jim Deva Plaza on Davie Street, Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza, and other open-air spaces on a rotating schedule, plus experiment with some new venues.
  • Managing partner Patricia Hardin from Sam’s Dance will plan, organize, and execute this project, with help from other partners, sponsors, and volunteers.
  • To be inclusive of locals and tourists, dancers and non-dancers, the physically fit and physically challenged.
  • To utilize community spaces that are accessible to everyone.
  • To engage societies that serve marginalized populations:Parkinson’s Society, Arthritis Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation, etc.
  • To bring more music and dancing and laughter and spontaneity into the lives of our citizens and those experiencing our city as visitors.
  • To promote Vancouver as a fun city!
  • Each event will feature mini-classes in specific dance styles, demonstrations, and social dancing to beautiful multi-cultural music.
  • To encourage and facilitate dancing with strangers, share knowledge between dance partners, and demonstrate respect and inclusiveness.
  • Outdoor venues that are open air will be covered by a large tent when necessary to prevent cancelation due to inclement weather.

What We Provide:

  • The concept and vision.
  • Expertise in how to plan, manage, and execute these events.
  • Volunteers to help with event days.
  • Teachers to demonstrate dances, teach the movements, supervise safety, and encourage participants to dance with us.
  • Performers to showcase different dance styles.
  • DJs to provide and play the music.
  • Contacts in the dance community.
  • Partnerships with non-profit organizations.
  • Marketing with posters, postcards, and social media promotion.
  • Access to thousands of participants who attend these events.

What We Need:

  • Sponsors to help with rent and other costs (teachers, performers, DJs, printed materials).
  • A sponsor to provide speakers, mixers, microphones, and cables.
  • Sponsors and partners to send emails promoting each event to their customer databases and to promote events on social media.
  • Parking spaces near each event so we can bring the equipment we need each time.
  • Help from the City of Vancouver with permits, access to venues, and permission to exceed 10 pm noise limits for evening events.
  • Partnerships with vendors to provide amenities to attract people and keep them at the events:popcorn sellers, cold drink vendors, cookie makers.  We plan to provide a variety that changes for each event, which would also give many vendors a chance to participate and engage more local businesses.
  • Access to washrooms and staff to maintain them.
  • Electrical outlets and lighting.
  • Some tables and chairs, if space allows.
  • Access to radio stations, newspapers, social media, and other means of advertising this project.
  • Giveaways and prizes for raffles.
  • Overhead cover for open-air spaces, including set up and take down, to prevent cancellations due to weather.

Donor Recognition:

Depending on sponsorship level, you will receive the following;

  • Your logo on both Sam’s Dance and Dance in Transit websites.
  • Placement in social media posts reaching over 10,000 people each week.
  • Tags to your organization on social media ads, which will start with a reach of 100,000.
  • Tags to your organization on printed matter such as flyers, posters, t-shirts, and signage.
  • Access to a targeted audience of more than 10,000 people through the summer months.
  • Mention of your organization at each event.
  • Visual placement of your organization at each event with a banner or booth.
  • Opportunities to use events as fundraisers for your organization.

Our Sponsorship Packages:

$30,000 title sponsor WE ARE YOURS Package–anything we can give you is yours.

$1,500 per event is our IN IT TO WIN IT Package with all the above benefits, plus customized extras for one event only.

$5,000 is our TOTAL DEVOTION Package with these benefits:

  1. Placement of your sign or banner at each event. (You provide the banner or sign.)
  2. Announcement of your support at each event.
  3. A link to your website on our websites.
  4. Your logo on our printed marketing materials. (You provide your print ready logo.)
  5. Placement in our Facebook ads. (You provide your web ready logo.)
  6. A table at each event to talk to people about your business, sample your products, and hand out your advertising materials.

 $1,000 is our FEELING THE LOVE Package with these benefits:

  1. Placement of your sign or banner at each event. (You provide the banner or sign.)
  2. Announcement of your support at each event.
  3. A link to your website on our websites.
  4. Your logo on our printed marketing materials. (You provide your print ready logo.)
  5. Placement in our Facebook ads. (You provide your web ready logo.)

$500 is our GETTING TO KNOW US Package with these benefits:

  1. Placement of your sign or banner at each event. (You provide the banner or sign.)

ABOUT SOCIAL ISOLATION:

An ambitious initiative unveiled in November 2018, by British Health Secretary Matt Hancock may soon enable the country’s doctors to prescribe therapeutic art- or hobby-based treatments for ailments ranging from dementia to psychosis, lung conditions, and mental health issues. Writing for the Times, Kat Lay explains that this unconventional strategy, described by the U.K. government as “social prescribing,” could find patients enrolled in dance classes and singing lessons, or perhaps enjoying a personalized music playlist.

“We’ve been fostering a culture that’s popping pills and Prozac, when what we should be doing is more prevention and perspiration,” Hancock said in a speech at the King’s Fund health care think tank. “Social prescribing can help us combat over-medicalizing people.”

According to the Telegraph’s Laura Donnelly, the proposal, which arrives on the heels of a larger preventative health scheme, provides for the creation of a National Academy for Social Prescribing that will ensure general practitioners across the country are equipped to guide patients to an array of hobbies, sports, and arts groups.

The medical benefits of engaging with the arts are well-recorded: As Lay notes, a collaboration between the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and stroke survivors living in Hull, England, encouraged patients to play instruments, conduct and perform; 90 percent of these participants reported improvements in their physical and mental health. In Lambeth, dance lessons have been shown to improve concentration and communication skills amongst those displaying early signs of psychosis, and in Gloucestershire, hospitals have begun to refer individuals with lung conditions to singing sessions.

A similar campaign launched in Canada, Brendan Kelly reports for the Montreal Gazette. Beginning on November 1, 2018, every member of the Montreal-based medical association Médecins francophones du Canada (MdFC) gained the option of handing out 50 prescriptions allowing patients and a limited number of friends, family, and caregivers to tour Quebec’s Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for free. Normally, admission costs up to $23 Canadian dollars (roughly $18 USD). As MdFC vice president Hélène Boyer tells Kelly, the initiative builds on research suggesting museum visits raise serotonin levels to offer a quick mood-boost.

Compared to the Canadian project, the U.K. one is simultaneously more comprehensive and less fleshed-out. Rather than simply prescribing one museum trip, the British campaign will encompass multiple walks of life, from social activities such as cooking classes, playing bingo, and gardening to more culturally focused ventures, including library visits and concerts.

But a key issue the proposal does not fully address is a sustained funding model to support local services, Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, points out to BBC News. Mark Rowland, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, adds that that accessibility is another obstacle. “Our concern is that social prescribing options including music, arts, and volunteering aren’t being accessed by the poorest in our community,” he says. “If we’re going to make the biggest difference to prevention and recovery, the government needs to show how it will reach those most at risk.”

Social prescribing is intended to complement rather than replace more traditional forms of treatment. As Sally Copley, director of policy for the Alzheimer’s Society, explains, music and the arts must function in conjunction with “access to the right support and medication when needed and, crucially, the government ensuring adequate funding for care is addressed.”

Social prescribing is projected to be employed across the U.K. by 2023, according to the government’s recent outline of its “loneliness strategy.” (Back in January of 2018, the U.K. appointed Tracey Crouch to serve as its first “minister of loneliness” to explore how to combat the “sad reality of modern life” following a revelatory report issued by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness the year prior.)

According to the Stage’s Georgia Snow, pilot programs are already underway in England’s northwest, where there’s a social prescribing scheme specifically for new mothers and babies, and in Wales, where the National Health Service has teamed up with the country’s arts council.

“We should value the arts because they’re essential to our health and wellbeing,” Hancock said in his remarks earlier this week. “Access to the arts improves people’s mental and physical health. It makes us happier and healthier.”

-Smithsonian Magazine

We hope you will consider supporting this innovative project to promote vitality, healthy movement, music, multi-culturalism, diversity, social involvement, and pure fun in Vancouver.  I am available to answer any questions you may have or to discuss the options.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

Yours truly,

Patricia Hardin

samsdancevan@gmail.com

604-839-3299

samsdance.com

danceintransit.com

SCIENCE CONFIRMS:  DANCING MAKES YOU HAPPY

“Without music, life would be a mistake”, said Nietzsche, and he wasn’t entirely wrong because we have a natural instinct that leads us to follow the rhythm of the music. In fact, most children move and clap their hands when they hear a song they like. It is a spontaneous response related to our need to communicate and express our emotions through the movement and the body.

There is no doubt that music is a universal language and everyone, except the people who suffer from amusia, is able to appreciate and enjoy it. In fact, it was discovered that people of different cultures react emotionally in the same way when listening to different types of music. So, it is no coincidence that anthropological studies indicate that groups who were more likely to survive were those who had developed a particular dance and were able to share their feelings dancing.

Of course, music and dance not only serve as social glue, but are also very useful for our physical and mental health. Recent studies revealed that one of the keys to happiness and satisfaction is right on the dance floor.

Steps that heal, movements that make us happy

In 2013, psychologists at the University of Örebro realized an experiment with a group of teenagers who suffered from anxiety, depression and stress, in addition to presenting psychosomatic symptoms such as neck and back pain. Half of these were asked to attend two dance classes a week, while the rest continued with their daily routine.

After two years, those who continued to attend the dance classes (where emphasis was on the pleasure of the movement rather than performance), not only showed a significant improvement in psychosomatic symptoms, but also reported to feel happier.

In another study conducted at the University of Derby, the psychologists worked with people who were suffering from depression. These people received “salsa” lessons for a period of nine weeks. The improvements began to be appreciated after four weeks and, after finishing the course, the participants said they had fewer negative thoughts, better concentration and a greater sense of peace and tranquility.

But the truth is that dance is not only an excellent therapeutic resource. A study at Deakin University revealed that dance has a very positive effect on our daily lives. These Australian researchers interviewed 1,000 people and found that often those who were dancing not only reported feeling happier, but also more satisfied with their lives, especially in relationships, health, and the goals achieved over the years.

Interestingly, also the psychologists at the University of New York discovered a similar effect in children. These researchers worked with 120 children, aged 2 to 5 years old, who were exposed to different types of sound stimuli, some were rhythmic and imitated the rhythm of the music, others were completely arrhythmic. They could appreciate that children who were moving following the rhythmic movements showed more positive emotions and felt happier. Therefore, these researchers concluded that not only do we have a tendency to move to the beat of the music, but also that dancing improves our mood.

Why dancing makes us happy?

When we dance our brain releases endorphins, neurotransmitters that create a feeling of comfort, relaxation, fun and power. Music and dance do not only activate the sensory and motor circuits of our brain, but also the pleasure centers.

Indeed, neuroscientists at Columbia University say that when we move in tune with the rhythm, the positive effects of music are amplified. Therefore, a little secret to make the most of the music is to synchronize our movements with the beat, so we will be doubling the pleasure.

However, the magic of dancing cannot simply be reduced to brain chemistry. Dancing is also a social activity that allows us connect with the others, share experiences and meet new people, which has a very positive effect on our mental health.

What’s more, as we move, our muscles relax to the music, which allows us to free ourselves of the tension built up during the day, especially the one accumulated in the deepest part of the musculature.