Dancing to Remember for those with dementia and their care partners

New offering from Episcopal Retirement Services provides opportunity for connection

Dancing to Remember for those with dementia and their care partners

Dancing to Remember for those with dementia and their care partners 764 509 Episcopalians in Connection

By Kristin Davenport

Here’s a fun opportunity for Greater Cincinnati people with any stage of dementia, along with their care partners: They are invited to a series of three “Dancing to Remember” ballroom-dancing lessons on Wednesdays in June, followed by a Celebratory Saturday Showcase for friends and family where they can display what they have learned! The best part – It’s free.

Dancing can be a stress-free opportunity to learn new skills together. People of various dancing levels, from complete beginners up, will be learning. There will be plenty of tables and chairs available when people wish to rest.

“They can partner together, or if the care partner is unable to dance or not interested in dancing, then there will be volunteers who can help out and stand-in,” said Shannon Braun, director of Episcopal Retirement Services’ Center for Memory Support and Inclusion. “But the idea is that it will be something fun for them to do together.”

Ready for some fun?

Participants will attend all three Wednesday classes (June 8, 15, and 22, from 11 a.m. to noon). Those will be followed by the June 25 showcase from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., where friends and family are invited to see the dancing, enjoy snacks and refreshments, “and join in the fun,” Braun said.

Aside from offering stress-relieving bonding between care partners and those living with dementia, here are some other benefits of the dancing:

* Improved overall physical condition;
* Reduced risk of falls caused by weakness or imbalance;
* Socializing opportunities;
* Reduced stress and anxiety; and
* Fun!

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Don’t fret if you can’t dance

Mary Ramirez Cook, who owns A-Marika Dance Company, will teach the basic ballroom dances and promises people who may be wary of dancing that the steps won’t be complex.

“I tell people the hardest part is walking in the door,” she said. “Once you get inside, it’s total fun and very easy. Very low-key. Nothing competitive whatsoever. She said, ” social dancing,” such as the waltz, maybe some swing and other easy ones.

And the music will transport participants back to years when they were younger, she said.

The program is in partnership with the Giving Voice Foundation, which offers programs encouraging cross-generational conversations and connections to improve the health of older adults.

Dancing to Remember will happen at A-Marika Dance Company, 10831 Sharondale Road, Cincinnati, 45241. To register, email the names of both participants and a contact phone number to sbraun@erslife.org or call 513-979-2302.

Kristin Davenport serves as Director of Communications for Episcopal Retirement Services.