Concept 3: Creative Adaptations

The DVD attempts to suit as many participants as possible, but one size never fit all. Each person brings along a unique set of conditions. Ignore them and they will use their condition to remain passive. But, meet an individual’s needs by developing a creative adaptation of a dance and is will be very likely that they will surrender their resistance and participate rate in the sitdance.


I discovered early on that when I created a unique creative adaptation of the dance for an inactive participant, they surrendered their resistance and participated. Time and time again this worked, no matter what the nature of the conditions was. It makes the participant feel heard, giving them a sense that they count, and that you care about their participation.


Conditions that prevent elderly from joining in can be physical, emotional, mental, psychological and even spiritual. The condition has the key to creative adaptation solution. Look closely at the condition at hand as it will contain cues on what the adaptation for an original sitdance could be. This will make the task of finding a creative solution less demanding. An analysis of the essence of a dance will also inform what a possible adaptation could look like.


One of the simplest forms of creative adaptations is simplifying the sitdance. This is particularly easy if a dance has more than one part or versions such as the Irish Hand Jig. The ‘beginners’ version is in fact part 1 all the way through. In the advanced version part one and 2 are alternated. The more changes and variations, the more the participants will experience the sitdance as ‘difficult’.


Certain conditions, such as strokes, will always require creative adaptations for any original sitdance. There are too many possible adaptations to cover here. The concept of adaptations will be covered in depth during a Professional Development training with Marcel Baaijens.