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Cheshire Dance works with older adults and uses dance and creative movement to boost the health and wellbeing of others. It has been proven that dance not only offers beneficial physical experiences, but also enhances social interaction, promotes a greater sense of community spirit and heightens positive mental health overall in those living with Dementia.
Although Cheshire Dance does not consider dance as a therapy, the art form itself has inherent therapeutic properties which enhance the art form benefits, enabling participants to experience wide ranging health benefits; “In contrast to physiotherapy or exercise based models, dance offers auditory, visual, tactile and somato-sensory stimulation, musical experience, social interaction, emotional perception and interaction, memory and motor learning.” (Scholl, 2013, p.5) Particularly when working with older people with dementia whose cognitive powers may be diminishing, dance offers an opportunity to connect with individuals through a physical, lived body experience, irrespective of their ability to communicate verbally.
In 2017, Cheshire Dance created “Tea Ladies”, a fun and quirky pilot performance for those living with dementia at Leighton Hospital in Crewe. Since this time, Cheshire Dance has gone on to take its uplifting piece into care home facilities in Cheshire East.
Combining dance, live music, song and the opportunity for care home residents to participate and interact with performers, the Tea Ladies show has allowed residents, family members and staff to experience the transformative power of the art form.
Combining watching dance with opportunities for residents to join in and move together, the performance enables dance to permeate and illuminate care settings, re-imagining the spaces and co-creating joyous moments with residents.
Cheshire Dance has received outstanding feedback for its Tea Ladies Care Home Tour and has been delighted with feedback from staff and caregivers recognising the vast positive shifts in the reactions and behaviours of residents as a result of the experience.
For more information on Tea Ladies or for a greater insight into the Dance & Dementia Programmeat Cheshire Dance, please get in touch with Jody Morgan at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“As soon as the performance began, the atmosphere in the room changed and became completely calm. One particular resident who is often aggressive began to smile. She never smiles and it was lovely to see her so happy. It’s rare for us to have events of this quality that are actually appropriate for people with dementia.”Tea Ladies Care Home Tour
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Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. Cheshire Dance is a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England.
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Cheshire East provides a full range of local government services including Council Tax billing, libraries, social services, processing planning applications, waste collection and disposal, and it is a local education authority that supports Cheshire Dance and its groups within the Cheshire East area.
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