When Ellie Mackay is dancing, she is too focused on her technique to worry about the challenges she faces in life.
"Adult dance classes are a safe place where you can escape from thoughts or experiences that go around unhelpfully in your mind and just focus on the beauty that is dance," she said.
Ms Mackay is among the dozens of participants in Perth's Dance Workshop, which offers lessons across several disciplines. She grew up doing ballet but quit when her father died 2½ years ago. She took up ballet again six months ago.
"As you make friends and hear their stories, it makes it a positive experience because you realise that you've all been through tough times but you're here learning, developing and laughing together," Ms Mackay said.
A recent UWA study found doing arts as a hobby can have a positive impact on health and wellbeing. Lead author Christina Davies surveyed 33 adults across the State. "Arts engagement was found to make people happy, reduce their stress and create good memories," she said.