Dance and dementia

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Dance has always been a part of cultural rituals and celebrations. But most dancing is about recreation and self-expression and is an enjoyable way to be more physically active. A diagnosis of dementia should not change this.

This blog looks at some of the evidence around the benefits of this activity as well as some supporting resources for incorporating dance into the lives of people living with dementia.

comedancewithmeCome dance with me

Come Dance with Me is a two-hour long workshop  that uses dance to bring joy and stimulate the minds of people with dementia.
Read an interview with workshop facilitator and professional dance artist Tiina Alinen to learn more about creative dance and how it embraces inclusivity.

For more information on this program Beverley Giles showcases Come Dance With Me, and talks about the  failure-free fun where the motto is ‘there is no wrong way only your way’
in The Australian Journal of Dementia Care Vol 6 No 3 June/July 2017 p.19
Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

01AJDCJJ17cover_2The joy and freedom of dance

Gwen Korebrits, Amy Gajjar and Sarah Palmer introduce Dancewise, a movement program suitable for people at all stages of dementia living in care homes
in The Australian Journal of Dementia Care Vol 6 No 3 June/July 2017 p.15-18
available online

 

danceforlifeDance for life : an evaluation of the pilot program (2016)

At the start of this project, the Dance for
Life team was aware of the growing body of
evidence showing the benefits of creative
arts for people living with dementia, but
had no fixed idea of how the project would
take shape. Early questions centered on the stage of
dementia that they might target in selecting
potential participants. Would they aim to
recruit those in early stages of dementia who might be able to learn routines and
follow instructions? Or would they work with those in the later stages with more limited
ability to understand, those who may struggle to communicate verbally and have
limited mobility?  Read the full evaluation

bestofsittingdancesBest of Sitting Dances Kit  (2008)

Best of Sitting Dances is a ‘Life. Be in it’ program encouraging gentle movement to music from a chair sitting position. It is a fun program for people with limited mobility, encouraging participation at all levels from the basic to the flamboyant!
The 13 dances range from slow and rhythmic to faster, more exuberant.
Each dance starts with a visual backdrop to stimulate interest and create the potential for stories, themes, reminiscing and jollity! Also included is a little background information on each dance and tips for leaders.

invitation to the danceInvitation to the dance  /  Heather Hill, Gary King and Ian Cullen  (2009)

This book provides guidance for anyone who would like to help people with dementia move expressively to music. It gives suggestions for approaches, props and music and provides vivid descriptions of the difference that dance can make to people’s wellbeing.
Includes a 6-track CD of music used by the author in her dance therapy sessions with people with dementia.

dance and movement sessionsDance and movement sessions for older people : a handbook for activity organisers and carers  /  Delia Silvester with Susan Frampton.  (2014)

The authors describe the many benefits of dance and movement for older people, and address important practical considerations such as carrying out risk assessments, safety issues, adaptations for specific health conditions and disabilities and how to select appropriate props and music. Step-by-step instructions for 20 dances and movements drawn from a wide range of eras, cultures and traditions are then provided. Ranging from Can Can and Charleston to hand jive, morris dancing, sea shanties and traditional hymns with movements, there is something to suit every mood and occasion.

AJDC_FebMar15Everyone can dance  /  John Killick  (2015)

John Killick is a poet and author who has been exploring the world as seen by people with dementia for two decades. This article is one of a series in which he looks at the role of art, in all its forms, in releasing the creative potential of people with dementia
in Australian Journal of Dementia Care, Vol. 4, No. 1, February/March 2015, p.7-8
Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

SmileandSway_DVDSmile & sway: seated movement program  /  Gina Buber and Ella Charles for the SMILE Program  (2014)

Smile and sway is a fun, low impact seated workout based on the music and style of ballroom and latin dancing. You’ll move to easy to follow choreographed routines to rhythms of Foxtrot, Cha Cha Cha, Tango and more.
more information 

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