I have just sent out this email to what is still a small networkof dance and dementia practitioners in the U.S. Please contact me if you would like to be part of this network.
Dear Dance and Dementia Practitioner,
This is the first email of a network which I envision as a resource for keeping each other up-to-date on the latest happenings, resources, articles, links and events related to dance and dementia within the U.S. that any of us find most useful. It is my hope that we will use this network to inspire one another, thus improving the quality of life for people living with a dementia. The network is quite small at present.
I would like to better understand the state of the art of dancing with people with dementia in the U.S., whether done by dance/movement therapists, dance educators, or dancers. I would like to know how many strong we are and what we are actually doing. Again, my hope is that as we begin to share our resources, that we can also share our dreams for better advocacy and our dreams for greater support, i.e. through workshops, training, conferences and research opportunities.
Since I began to work with older adults with neurological impairments in the early 1980's, I have come to believe that ALL older adults and especially those with dementia in care facilities, are best served by being offered the opportunity to dance and/or move expressively on a regular basis, preferably daily. I also believe that best practice for people with advanced dementia who can no longer use verbal language would involve at least 1 person on care staff who comes from an embodied perspective.
My model for this network comes from Dr. Richard Coaten who has both a UK and international networks. Here is his contact info: Dr Richard Coaten <firstname.lastname@example.org> .
What I need to know from you at this moment is:
- Do you want your email addresses public to one another?
- If not, do you know of another way, other than email, that we can create an interest group? LinkedIn would be one potential way.
- Are you willing to send and receive emails directly from one another?
What do you need and want relative to your interest in dancing with people with dementia? What are you willing to share?
Thanks to all. May you have a most joyous July 4th celebration.
Donna Newman-Bluestein, MEd, BC-DMT, CMA, LMHC
Dance for Connection
Senior Lecturer, Lesley University