Here are dance groups inviting new participants this month:
Mixed-Abilities Dance Group: A new inclusive dance group is starting on September 20th. Mixed-abilities dance group sessions are free and are on Thursdays 1:00pm-2:00pm. The group includes people who experience disability as well as people who don’t experience disability.
55+ Dance Group: An inclusive, collaborative dance group, mostly 55years+ (but younger folks welcome), starts with a free introductory session September 21st. 55+ Dance Group sessions are Fridays 10:30am-11:30am at Cedar Hill Rec Dance Studio.
Invitation for ideas and suggestions: This season we will be checking in with folks through a survey about what types of sessions or groups people would like to be part of in 2019. The survey will be sent through the Dancing for Wellbeing newsletter; if you would like to sign up your email please use the contact page.
This is an invitation to join a new dance group, which will be shaped by participants’ interests:
50+ Dance Troupe *the group will come up with its actual name once it meets.
Mondays 2:00pm-3:30pm At Cedar Hill Recreation (3220 Cedar Hill Rd) in the Dance Studio. Free. Facilitated by Joanne Cuffe in partnership with Saanich Parks & Recreation.
Oct. 17 – Nov. 14 (5 weeks): Dancing + Brainstorming sessions. Sessions include an hour of movement (a warm-up and guided improvisation activities for moving as a group) and a half-hour of brainstorming ideas and discussing what everyone is interested in.
All abilities welcome. No prior dance experience needed.
50+ is just a suggestion; adults under 50 are welcome too if there is room.
No need to register – just come by the dance studio on the dates that you can make!
If you are interested in the dance troupe but not available this autumn, there will be an opportunity to join the group in the New Year (there will be an intro session on Monday Jan. 23rd at 2:15pm-3:30pm at the Cedar Hill Recreation Dance Studio).
*As this autumn I am at full capacity with community programs, I am currently offering monthly Dancing for Wellbeing sessions, rather than weekly classes (to be added to an interest list about weekly classes in the New Year, please be in touch).
A regular highlight of my week is connecting with residents at the Douglas Care Community, for a Move to Music session on Wednesday mornings. There is much laughter and playfulness; adaptive dancing, with relevant music, is excellent for engaging with people who are experiencing memory loss.
After each session I rate how it felt to me, in terms of connecting and engaging with participants, out of 5 stars (with 5 stars meaning ‘great’). The past couple months’ sessions here have felt like: 6 stars, 7 stars, 9 stars (a new record), 6 stars, 3.5 stars, 7 stars, 6 stars, and 8 stars. Thank-you to Leslie for impromptu photos of us with an Octaband (star/ sunshine/ octopus) dance prop a few weeks ago:
There were 174 unique participants at sessions in September – including a new record for me of 128 new participants in one month. I facilitated sessions at 14 different locations, including 7 new places, in a lovely time of year for trying out new bike routes between sessions. (For a sample of a week`s programs, see the Joy & cohesion post.)
I had fantastic times at the Dancing for Brain Health demos last week! Thank-you to everyone for your great reflections and feedback.
Last Wednesday at the Monterey demo we fit 19 of us in a smaller room and filled the place with laughter. We warmed up with the BrainDance, and mid-way through the demo, each person suggested a fun dance move for the group to follow. We began the cool-down with mini dances (dancing with just one part of the body at a time, inspired by a Margie Gillis activity) to Dancing Queen by ABBA.
On Friday in Cook Street Village, we were in a much bigger room, although with around 24 of us in a big circle we filled up the space. We did a simple social dance step in twos, sparking new connections and boisterous conversations. We played a human-sized tic-tac-toe game, and then waltzed with scarves while singing along to Que Sera Sera by Doris Day. Most participants were in their 50s-70s, although the age range varied from 30s-90s. A side note… on Friday a participant left behind a brassiere – if you forgot to take your bra with you, please find it at the Cook Street Village Activity Centre lost & found!
Is there anything that you are wondering in terms of what the upcoming sessions will be like, or whether it will be a good fit for what you are looking for? If so, please be in touch (see the Contact page for contact info – there is also a sign-up form for the monthly Dancing for Brain Health updates there). And please feel free to share this memo with any friends you think might be interested.
Thank-you everyone, and I hope to dance with you soon,
*Creative Commons brain image by OpenStax College: The Central Nervous System. OpenStax CNX. May 10, 2013 http://cnx.org/contents/24e8609c-16a7-4dd5-b3da-e38aaeef7ed5@4@4.
Thank-you to everyone who has been part of the Dancing for Brain Health program this Spring at the Bayanihan Community Centre. It has been an honour to witness your dancing and to be part of your process.
I am excited to connect again for the Dancing for Brain Health series in the Fall! The program will be at two locations: Monterey Centre (Wednesdays at 2:30pm) and Cook Street Village Activity Centre (Fridays at 11am).
p.s. Much gratitude to the participants at last week’s class who agreed to be in photos for the website, as well as to the photographer and the people who chose not to be in the photos.
It has been a delightful month of dance – thank-you to everyone who has been part of it!
From improv with a lovely group at the International Dance Day sidewalk dance party, to adventures in movement at the Dancing for Brain Health and Dancing for Wellbeing classes, to joyful connections at day programs and seniors’ residences, and to the past week of workshops and choreographic project with Crystal Pite and Kidd Pivot dancers – I am grateful for the enlivening, interesting month.
(The Kidd Pivot company also performed in town last Wednesday: a brilliant, stunning The Tempest Replica. )
On the last day of National Brain Awareness Month (March),
“Dementia is a general term that refers to a variety of brain disorders. More than 70,000 British Columbians have dementia of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form. The risk of dementia doubles every five years after age 65 but the disease can strike people as young as 40. Evidence shows that changes in the brain that lead to dementia can begin up to 25 years before symptoms appear.”