Dance to Remember Trailer:

Testimonial:

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Content

The trailer gives an impression of overall programme and shows the 3 stages of progression for My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean. There are 7 sessions built on 7 dances and their progression. See the 'Pedagogy' chapter below to learn about the importance of the progression. Once dances have progressed there is time to introduce a new dance. This keeps each session at about 30 minutes long and explains when anew dance can be introduced.

Session 01:

Introduction

  1. Warming-up Dance
  2. My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
  3. The Grand Old Duke Of York
  4. Side By Side
  5. Good Night Irene

Session 02:

Dance 1 to 5 progress from 'dances with full instruction' to 'dances with reduces cues'.

  1. Warming-up Dance
  2. My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
  3. The Grand Old Duke Of York
  4. Side By Side
  5. Good Night Irene

Session 03:

Tutorial for dances 1-5 progress to quick reviews. Introduction new dance #6.

  1. Warming-up Dance
  2. My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
  3. The Grand Old Duke Of York
  4. Side By Side
  5. Good Night Irene
  6. Wait Till The Sun Shines Nelly.

 

Session 04:

Dance 6 progresses from from 'dance with full instruction' to 'dance with reduces cues'.

  1. Warming-up Dance
  2. My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
  3. The Grand Old Duke Of York
  4. Side By Side
  5. Good Night Irene
  6. Wait Till The Sun Shines Nelly

Session 05:

Tutorial dance 6 progresses to quick reviews. Introduction dance 7.

  1. Warming-up Dance
  2. My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
  3. The Grand Old Duke Of York
  4. Side By Side
  5. Good Night Irene
  6. Wait Till The Sun Shines Nelly
  7. The Irish Washer Woman.

Session 06:

Dance 7 progresses from from 'dance with full instruction' to 'dance with reduces cues'.

  1. Warming-up Dance
  2. My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
  3. The Grand Old Duke Of York
  4. Side By Side
  5. Good Night Irene
  6. Wait Till The Sun Shines Nelly
  7. The Irish Washer Woman.

Session 7 (final session):

Tutorial dance 7 progresses to quick review. All dances have now fully progressed. 

  1. Warming-up Dance
  2. My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
  3. The Grand Old Duke Of York
  4. Side By Side
  5. Good Night Irene
  6. Wait Till The Sun Shines Nelly
  7. The Irish Washer Woman.

 

Concept

That music benefits our elders with dementia is well documented by fantastic programmes such as 'Music and Memory' (click here to see their inspiring video channel). ‘Dance to Remember’ offers additional benefits by getting participants to dance and socialise at the same time, a kind of 'Dance and Memory' programme.

Sitdance selects popular songs, makes meaningful choreographies that express the lyrics, and films video tutorials on relevant locations. This integrated approach provides auditory, visual, and physical stimulation that moves body and soul.

Meaningful movements engage cellular or muscle memory reducing the reliance on brain memory. This enables elders with dementia to engage. The especially composed music functions as a non-verbal memory support.

‘Dance to Remember’ is a course consisting of multiple sessions that build skills and confidence with time. The thorough pedagogical approach enables participant to learn. People with dementia do still learn!

 

Pedagogy (Teaching methodology)

Video still Sitdance 'Side by Side'.

Video still Sitdance 'Wait till the sun shines Nelly'.

Video still Sitdance: The Irish Washer Woman.

Video still Sitdance: The Grand Old Duke Of York.

'Memory loss' and 'learning' sound incompatible, but not when the learning process is supported by an appropriate pedagogy. Marcel believes that everybody has the right to quality education. With this in mind he created a unique pedagogy for Sitdance that will give people with memory loss to opportunity to learn dances effortlessly.

Marcel has experienced (temporary) memory loss due to severe mercury poisoning caused by mercury leaching from amalgam fillings. He also has extensive experience teaching art to people with intellectual/cognitive impairments (read his research here). These experiences have informed the Sitdance pedagogy he developed.

"Many people working in aged care do not have the time or expertise to develop appropriate pedagogies", says Marcel. "I witness the implementation of exercise and dance programmes with pedagogies developed by and for people without cognitive challenges. Students may respond, but may struggle to learn. That struggle can affect their confidence, their self-esteem, and their ability to do it as good as they possibly can."

Progressions from one session to the next are subtle and hardly noticed. Staff may think one session is the same as the one before, but they are not. The progressions are so subtle that a students will barely notice them. That is the whole idea, as it allows students to learn without noticing that they are learning, without a struggle, without affecting confidence. Learning a new dance effortlessly will strengthen confidence and self-esteem. 

The Sitdance pedagogy gradually transfers the reliance on verbal instructions to the music or lyrics in 4 steps.

  1. Tutorials fully explain and show the dance moves without music, dance moves are stored in both brain and cellular or muscle memory
  2. Tutorials progress to 'quick reviews', to re-awaken the cellular memory without the need for full tutorials
  3. A dance comes initially with full memory support as voice-over instructions naming individual moves
  4. A dance progresses from naming individual moves to just occasional, yet essential cues.

Title screen before a tutorial.

 

Title screen before a quick review.

Title screen before a dance with full instructions.

Title Screen before a dance with reduced cues.

Progressions takes place at the tutorial level as well as the dance level, resulting in a pedagogy with 3 stages:

  1. Full tutorial + dance with full instructions as voice-over memory support
  2. Full tutorial + dance with full instructions progresses to cues as voice-over memory support
  3.  Full tutorial progresses to quick review + dance with cues.

Stage 3 is the final stage in the video programme and is required when the programme is implemented by Marcel in person.

Marcel Baaijens is a certified dance teacher (L.V.B. certificate, Netherlands) and a qualified Art Educator (M.A.A.E, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, U.S.A.), with over 30 years of experience teaching adults with cognitive impairments (see interview).

Independent Research

Sasha-Beth Wong (BSc hons Applied Sport Science) from the University of Edinburgh conducted independent research in 2013. Her findings support the use of Sitdance as an effective form of physical activity.

"Improves fitness and moods."

Her research found that it is of sufficient exercise intensity to induce improvements in physical fitness and mood in healthy older adults. Sitdance was found to be of significantly higher intensity than sedentary activity and of non-significantly lower intensity than standing forms of exercise.

"As effective as standing exercise."

These findings mean that one should encourage healthy older adults to participate in regular physical activity and to not be discouraged if they are unable or afraid of standing. A lack of participation in physical activity can cause many problems. Physical activities such as Sitdance, should be encouraged, as they may prevent many such problems from arising.

"They may dislike exercise but love to dance."

Sitdance is a valid substitute for traditional forms of exercise, especially for those that do not enjoy ‘exercise’, or lack the confidence and/or ability for such movements or have a fear of falling. It is wonderful to have this independent research confirm that Sitdance is a beneficial activity. Many thanks to Sasha-Beth Wong (BSc hons Applied Sport Science) from the University of Edinburgh for allowing Sitdance to use her research findings. Click here to read the complete research rapport.

Tips

  • Please call the Sitdance programme what it is: a dance programme, which is different and much more that an exercise programme.
  • If possible arrange participants in a semi circle facing the screen. This way they can see each other. Dance is a social event. The ability to make eye contact and see others having a good time will increase participation levels.
  • Should residents struggle following a person on a screen, arrange a session in such a way that a staff member (model) faces and copies the on-screen action, and residents face the instructor, but not the screen. Use live sound+instructions from screen, instructor should remain silent and only model the actions.
  • Spread staff evenly among the residents. Good role models will encourage participation.
  • Do not allow non-participants to just watch from the sideline. It is not a show. It can trigger self-consciousness in participants and cause them to stop.
  • Always aim for 100% engagement from a participant. For some that may be just being present, for others just singing. Sometimes holding a hand of a non-participating resident can encourage them to join in. Start gently by taping a rhythm on their hand, and see if they respond, if so, see if you cam do more.
  • Those that are weak or inclined not to participate, place a support person next to them. Start with just holding a hand and gently move it up and down or in a gentle swinging motion to the rhythm of the music. Often that is all they need to get going. With time they may initiate participation by themselves.
  • Refrain from repeating the video voice-over instruction. Most likely you will be just a fraction too late anyway and it will distract the participant from listening to the music.
  • Participants with reduced brain functioning can still learn kinesthetically, more words often do not help. Show, or let them feel the movement, rather than tell works often better. You can show by starting simply with holding hands and move to the rhythm of the music before getting into any part of the choreography.
  • When supporting a participant physically, always start subtly to get a sense what a body is capable of. It is better to do little than nothing at all, or too much. If it causes pain of fatigue they may choose to opt out next time.
  • If a participant does not want to move at all, you can still make a physical connection by just resting your hand on theirs. Their dominant hand will be most used, and thus open to touch. You can then progress to gently tapping the rhythm on their hand. That way they are physically experiencing the music.

Dance brings joy, so remember to ‘have a ball’ no matter what you do.

2 DVD set, buy now!

Download Licence up to 70 beds, AU$99. Buy now!

Download Licence up to 150 beds, AU$149. Buy now!

Download Licence up to 200 beds, AU$199. Buy now!