PEOPLE from Arbroath and the surrounding area living with dementia celebrated the freedom of dance last Friday at the Royal British Legion Scotland’s Green Street Hall.
The Dancing for Dementia programme is funded by Awards for All and run by Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust (THAT) in association with NHS Tayside, Alzheimer Scotland and Smallpetitklein Dance Co.
THAT promotes the therapeutic value of arts based programmes to enhance quality of life, to promote social inclusion, to empower the individual and so help to make a significant contribution to their health and well being. This is one of a range of art programmes for people with long term conditions currently being delivered by THAT.
This 10-week performing arts programme focuses on the benefits of music and movement, combining the physical qualities of dancing exercises with creative and expressive performance which is beneficial for those adjusting to and living with the early stages of dementia.
Dancer Yolanda Aguilar of Smallpetitklein has been working with the group of Alzheimer Scotland participants, encouraging them to remember music and dances that they have known and to develop dance performances that express their identity.
She said: “It has been fascinating working with this group which is mostly made up of Alzheimer participants and their partners. The commitment and understanding that they have as couples is celebrated without ignoring the difficulty they all face with this condition. We have also used reminiscence as a route to expression and dance and that has been very successful.”
Friday’s participants performed their repertoire of dances, which ranged from traditional Scottish Country Dancing to Salsa and a number of performance dance pieces, for their family, friends and healthcare professionals.