Dance, music and movement for dementia
Why dance for dementia?
Dance, music and movement helps to stimulate cognitive function, improve mobility and responsiveness, foster positive memories and connect people to each other.
Dance makes a difference, tangible and deliverable. Apart from the more obvious physical benefits music and dance have a special role to play in creating meaning and order when the mind is fragmented. It also provides opportunities for making choices and using the imagination. Caregivers too can relax and join in with an activity they and their loved one can enjoy together.
And it’s great fun which is a tonic in itself !
What do we mean by dance in this context?
In a nutshell we are not talking about a specific dance style be it ballroom, bebop or ballet. Instead Dancing Recall is a form of inclusive community dance and draws from a wide repertoire of dance genres and eras.
What happens at a Dancing Recall session?
Sessions begin after a welcoming chat over tea and biscuits.
We start in a friendly seated circle, often with a lighthearted familiar song with movement to relax everyone and set the scene. The class then follows a particular arc and the main body of the session is carefully paced to last an hour. We weave rhythm,song, story and poetry into a structure in such a way that skills and confidence build over the course of a session.
We strike a balance between structured and creative activities and always adapt these for the needs of each individual and the group as a whole. There is no right or wrong ; every last person is celebrated for their presence and contribution.
We have a wonderful toolbox of colourful equipment which can set a scene, evoke natural movement and stimulate imagination.
Although Dancing Recall has been devised with a ‘clinical eye’ this underpinning is invisible to participants. It just means we’ve thought about what we’re doing and why from a therapeutic point of view.
Dancing Recall takes place in a variety of community settings including theatres, community centres, care homes and hospital wards. Have music, will travel !