Daphne Cushnie, a neurological physiotherapist and community dance practitioner and Susie Tate, a specialist dance in education and health practitioner developed Dancing Recall to provide enjoyment and exercise for people living with dementia and their care-givers
Daphne is a chartered neurological physiotherapist with many years experience . She works part time for Morecambe Bay NHS Trust where she specialises in neurodegenerative conditions (NDC) such as Parkinson’s, MS and dementia.
In 1995 at almost 40 years old she went ‘back to school’ and gained an honours degree in dance . Since then she has meshed key principles from both disciplines to develop an innovative approach to movement for NDC which combines dance and physiotherapy to great effect.
Daphne has worked at grassroots level, one to one with countless neurological patients over many years in order to find out what works best for them in maximizing their movement potential and giving them hope for the future. She has then applied this knowledge in group settings and used the unique power of music and dance to harmonise and regulate movement as well as lift the spirits!
In 2013 she worked alongside Susie Tate with the support of Active Cumbria to develop and roll out the Dancing Recall project which trained a specialist team to deliver dance and dementia sessions in all 6 regions of the county. This proved a great success and is now running in care homes, hospitals and community settings across North Cumbria.
Daphne is one of the early pioneers of Dance for neurodegenerative conditions in the UK, she and Susie regularly deliver training across the UK for health professionals and dance and health practitioners.
She has witnessed the rapid changes within the health sector over the last few years and the welcome emergence of new models of healthcare which merge health and social care. She believes the time is ripe for a more compassionate integrated health service and hopes to see Dancing Recall and similar dance based activities adopted as a therapeutic tool for all those living day to day with neurodegenerative conditions.
Professional Training & Experience
Approach to the work/professional ethos
Curiosity is at the heart of the work that I deliver. Individuality is celebrated and unique approaches to movement and ideas fostered in order to give each participant a strong sense of self and achievement.
I look to draw out the inquisitive mover by offering participants a space to explore and create, often supported through the use of other art forms such as drawing and writing.
At each session, participants’ approach to moving and creating dance is challenged in an environment of inclusivity and where play and enjoyment are part and parcel of the working process.
I moved to the North in 2012 and have found the astonishing environment of the region to greatly influence my practice. It has led me to develop projects in rural locations, draw on the environment for ideas, and has expanded my interest in the relationship between where we live and health and wellbeing, and how dance can connect the two together.