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Swansea’s dancing pharmacist aims to inspire Welsh healthcare workers

Dr Zi Hong Mok, a lecturer in pharmacy, is contributing four dance videos to an Arts Council of Wales project for healthcare workers.

On Sunday (July 30), Dr Zi Hong Mok will be “returning to [his] roots” - the high street community pharmacy in London where he did a two-week placement as a pre-registration pharmacist - to shoot a dance video.


This will be one of four dance videos featuring Dr Mok, commissioned by the Arts Council of Wales for its Cultural Cwtsh bilingual wellbeing initiative for healthcare staff, he told C+D today (July 27).


Read more: Award for ‘hero’ pharmacist who helped epileptic passenger on flight


Each video sees Dr Mok paired with a different professional dancer to encourage the audience to “explore some new dance moves”, the Arts Council of Wales said this week (July 25).


Dr Mok is a lecturer in pharmacy and pharmaceutics at Swansea University Medical School, a former community and hospital pharmacist, and a trained dancer.




Over twelve years, he has performed across the UK, including at the Olympic Games opening ceremony and at the National Theatre. He told C+D that he will be appearing as a dancer in a new season of a BBC series soon - "so watch out".


In his four videos, he collaborates with Kieran Lai (a Britain's Got Talent semi-finalist, who stars in the West End production of "& Juliet"), Damien Anyasi (a Brit Awards and National Theatre performer), Josh Denyer (a performer in Newsies and "Mary Poppins" on the West End), and Angelika Napierała (a Sadler's Wells and National Theatre dancer).


Healthcare staff wellbeing



The Cultural Cwtsh is a project that offers “fun and stimulating online resources”, produced by artists, as an “alternative, additional“ form of support for Welsh health and social care workers, according to its website.


The Welsh NHS Confederation, health boards across Wales, Social Care Wales, and Health Education Improvement Wales are also partners in the project, it said.


Dr Mok told C+D that the four Cultural Cwtsh dance videos “should be available from mid-August”, as well as a behind-the-scenes video that will explain the process and how he has achieved a balance between “teaching, pharmacy practice and dance”.


He told C+D that not only does dance help him to take his mind off things, but it also provides "other forms of cognitive and physical challenges". Where pharmacy work is "logical science", dance helps him examine things "holistically and creatively". 


Read more: Who gets your vote? Meet the pharmacy professionals going the extra mile


Dr Mok said that “chronic understaffing” and rising workloads were harming the wellbeing of healthcare workers.


He added that he hoped his contributions would encourage healthcare workers to “work on their passion and hobbies” in the little spare time they have.


The Cultural Cwtsh already offers 50 creative resources and Dr Mok’s videos will be part of 18 new items on the website, all aiming to “boost caregivers’ wellbeing, unlock their creativity or just help them switch off from daily stresses”, the Arts Council of Wales said.


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