Lifestyle Coordinators in Melbourne: 3 ‘Rhythm Beats (dementia) Blues’ workshops have been scheduled for the Melbourne area. They are held by aged care facilities in Hawthorn, Werribee, and Geelong. If you are interested in attending let me know and I will connect you to the organisers. If you want to organise a 2-hour workshop yourself, get in touch a.s.a.p. I will be in the Melbourne area till early February, after which I will travel to Canberra, Sydney, New Zealand, and back to New South Wales, before heading to Europe in May.
The technique is beneficial for both the receiver, the giver, and their relationship. It enables family members and care volunteer/staff of those with advanced dementia to establish a non-verbal, meaningful, connection and interaction using rhythm. See this short trailer for more. https://youtu.be/Owl5o_EEiYM
Rhythm is first experienced in the womb and one of the last memories to go. It is a non-verbal ‘language’ we can use to connect and interact with people with advanced dementia, especially at a time when verbal communication is diminishing. Applied as a simple dance the technique activates voice, body and soul.
Music and songs provide a structure and lifts spirits. Simple hand dances provide physical connection, a meaningful occupation of time and expression to music. ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ is beneficial to both giver and receiver. It will bring joy to family visits and caring situations.
The ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ technique combines principles of Base Stimulation, Holistic Pulsing, and Sitdance to effectively establish human interactions and meaningful connections. It is person-centred, intuitive, and easy to learn.
A 2-hour workshop with creator Marcel Baaijens will teach you the ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ principles and empower you to put the technique into practice. Workshops are available on request. To request a workshop or find out if one is held near you visit the Sitdance Facebook page or contact Marcel.
Marcel is currently travelling through Australia/New Zealand and is available for ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ workshops and Sitdance sessions. His travel schedule is roughly as follows:
Jan-mid Feb: Greater Melbourne area
Late Feb: South of Sydney
March: North of Sydney + Central Coast + Tamworth + Gold Coast + Brisbane
How to approach and connect with someone non-verbally
Person centered approach: learning to ‘read’ body language
The basics of rhythms
The basics of music and songs
Sensing limitations and possibilities
The workshop will teach the basic skills from the various disciplines that make up ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ technique
The workshop is experiential in nature, meaning you get to experience the technique first hand, so the learning experience will be stored in both brain and muscle memory
The workshop will empower you to implement the technique using your own choice of music as deemed suitable for the person you will be engaging with.
You will know how to approach a person with advanced dementia for the purpose of a ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ session
You will know how to use non-verbally cues to determine what to do next as part of a person-centred approach
You will know how music and songs can be used to establish a meaningful interaction and connection between yourself and somebody with advanced dementia
You will know how to intuitively ascertain the limitations and possibilities of a session.
Workshop facilitator Marcel Baaijens
Marcel Baaijens is a multi-creative Dutch New Zealander. He is a certified dance tutor (LBV Cert. Netherlands), a qualified art educator (M.A.A.E. School of the Art Institute, Chicago) and architect (MSc in Architecture, University of Delft, Netherlands). He also trained in Holistic Pulsing, a New Zealand healing modality, Interactive Drawing Therapy (a New Zealand client centered art therapy modality) and Dementia Essentials, Dementia Training Australia.
Marcel has over 30 years experience as a dance and art educator. He is the Founder, Developer, and Director of Sitdance, (world-wide), Founder, Developer, and Coordinator of the world’s first inclusive tertiary art education programme, (New Zealand), and Founder, Developer, and Director of innovative art programmes in New Zealand, Slovakia, and U.S.A.
Marcel dedicates his life to provide access to dance and art to those with limited access with the aim to offer participants opportunities for self-expression and wellbeing. He works globally. He is a keen photographer. You can follow his journeys, stories and photography through the Nontropolis and Sitdance Facebook pages and websites.
I have a great idea for an iconic Waltzing Matilda LipDub for an aged care facility. This will be a great activity for residents and staff, a great team-building opportunity and wonderful PR video for your facility or Corporate Group your facility may belong to. I expect that the production will take two days (rehearsals 1 day and shoot second day). If you don’t know what a LipDub is, have a look at the example below. It will be soo much fun, boost self-esteem and fulfil age old dreams of becoming a movie star. I will choreograph, direct, shoot and edit the lip dub. You may need to provide some props and the people. It will be an exclusive one-off choreography.
My availability: weekends and Christmas period
Till Christmas: Adelaide area
Xmas-mid feb: Greater Melbourne area
Late Feb-early March: Sydney and Central Coast
Late March: Gold coast/ Brisbane
If you are interested message me :).
Sample of a LipDub (not by me) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebD_drWYVaI&t=60s
Most people travel from A to B, Tomorrow I will travel from A to A: Amsterdam to Adelaide. I will begin a 4 months tour of urban Australia (ADL,MEL,SYD, BNE) to promote Dance to Remember and offer short evening courses in the band new ‘Rhythm Beats (dementia) Blues’ methodology. In the video below you can see me in action during an improvised afternoon of music, singing and dancing in a Greek care home on the island of Syros, Greece. If you are interested in a demo session, or training or the Dance to remember DVD, get in touch. I would love to hear from you.
Filming is not as easy as it looks. Many aspects need to come together to film a tutorial. Have a quick look behind the scenes in a small market town in Brittany, France. Brittany is one of the six Celtic nations on the edge of Europe where I have been filming for the ‘Sitdance with the Celts’ programme.
The weather has been just appalling since yesterday, but just as I was about to leave the location I had selected to shoot a video tutorial for the Welsh dance ‘Farewell Marian’, the very wet drizzle stopped (and started, then stopped, started and then stoped again), juuuuuust long enough to film the 2 tutorials, PHEW!
Luckily I was prepared with a sheet of plastic to protect my laptop that needs to play the music, and an umbrella to protect my camera. There was a walking track next to where I was doing the filming. I could hear passers crunching their brains trying to figure out what on earth this guy was doing when they saw an empty folding chair standing in the rain, and me huddled next to the tripod with camera shielding it from the drizzle with an umbrella. Gives them something to talk about tonight doesn’t it 🤣.
I was looking for a pond, as it features the story behind the dance. What I got was not just a pond but also a castle, and not just any castle, but the one where Henry the 8th was born (Pembroke, Wales).
This dance will feature in the ‘Sitdance with the Celts’ programme, a Sitdance journey through the six celtic nation on the edges of Europe. I Visited 5 nations thus far: Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, Cornwall and Wales, the last one is Brittany, the far west corner of France.
I am pleased to announce that the Dance to Remember Sitdance Programme is now available as a 2-DVD set. It can be purchased through the Nontropolis shop, or Sitdance shop. World-wide shipping is available at reasonable prices, allow 2 weeks for shipping. When shopping, please note that all prices are in Australia Dollars. A link to an online currency calculator can be found in the shop.
Dance to remember was already available as Download/streaming option. I trust that the DVD will suit many Activity Coordinators/ Lifestyle Coordinators.
As dementia progresses, it may become harder to have meaningful interactions. I combine principles of Base Stimulation, Holistic Pulsing, and Sitdance to establish a non-verbal interaction that is enjoyable and meaningful for all.
In this video I still used linguistic communication as Anne did comprehend, and also because it was a demonstration, but it can totally be done without words.
Music and songs provide a time frame, songs activate the voice and soul, simple pulsing/handdances activate the body and establish non-verbal contact. It can be subtle, but that does not mean its less effective or less meaningful.
Once words fall away, we have an opportunity to intuit, to ‘tune-in’ to the person. It is an opportunity to connect at a different level, a heart level, an opportunity to be truly present, resulting in quality time spent with a loved one.
Care staff may not have much time available for one-on-one interaction. For family members this may be a valuable tool to make visits enjoyable and meaningful. Training sessions for groups available on request.