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Dance and Memories: Dementia Engagement

Dance and Memories: Dementia Engagement
older adult woman, with white hair, wearing a blue paisley shirt, is reaching out in a dance move.

Dance and Memories: Dementia Engagement. Behavioral studies prove that dance is beneficial for people with many forms of dementia. Engaging individuals with dementia in dance offers multifaceted benefits, fostering physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being. The rhythmic movements associated with dance provide a unique avenue for enhancing motor skills and coordination, promoting flexibility and balance.

Furthermore, the social aspects of dance play a pivotal role in alleviating feelings of isolation prevalent among dementia patients, simultaneously fostering a profound sense of community and connection. Additionally, the emotional expression facilitated by dance serves as a potent outlet, enabling individuals to effectively communicate and connect with their emotions in a non-verbal manner. Notably, the cognitive stimulation inherent in the process of learning and following dance steps contributes significantly to maintaining cognitive function and facilitating memory recall. In summary, the incorporation of dance into dementia care not only enhances physical fitness but also actively promotes emotional expression, social interaction, and cognitive engagement.

About Our Guest

Upon hanging up her pointe shoes, professional ballerina Rachel Bar transitioned into a scientist, focusing on pioneering ways to enhance the lives of those with dementia through dance. During her studies, Bar initiated a groundbreaking MRI study that scrutinized dancers' brains during the acquisition of new choreography. "I identified a learning curve in the brain associated with dance," she remarked. The brain exhibits heightened activity during the learning of specific dance movements. As the choreography becomes ingrained, the less active region of the brain coincides with the area affected by Parkinson's, revealing an intriguing connectio

Knowing this, they started a pilot program to determine if they could bring dance to people with dementia-causing diseases. From this program, the movie Dancer Not Dementia was born.

Dancer Not Dementia is a short film by Canada's National Ballet School. Dancer Not Dementia captures the extraordinary experiences of dancers living with dementia and their carers. It encourages viewers to reimagine their perception of dementia and discover the vibrant communities challenging dementia-related stigma through dance.

Watch the movie Dancer Not Dementia Here.


Related Episodes:

Dementia Challenges -Resiliance & Joy in Caregiving

Music in Dementia Care Stress Relief to Moments of Joy


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Fading Memories was created to support family caregivers in a simple, on-demand form. When I was looking for advice on caring for my Mom, I needed this podcast. Since it didn’t exist, I created what I needed!
Jen – pod host

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