Residents at Regis Aged Care Ferny Grove are being inspired by movement and music, with a new pilot program from Queensland Ballet (QB) getting their toes tapping.
Led by highly-skilled QB Teaching Artists, the program focuses on the physical, social and emotional benefits of ballet, offering residents the opportunity to express themselves creatively, learn new skills and connect with others, all while moving their bodies.
The weekly seated ballet class offers 25-30 participants a taste of different QB productions, from the iconic Swan Lake to the family favourite The Nutcracker, each week the class learns adapted repertoire, progressing and practising the moves over the duration of the course.
The 10-week pilot program was developed in consultation with key clinicians and staff from Regis Aged Care, with both organisations thrilled with the overall outcomes, and excited to explore future options with the program.
QB Teaching Artist Lily Spencer says the 60-minute weekly class focuses on strength, mobility, flexibility and memory.
“Seeing the improvements each week in the participant’s abilities has been incredibly rewarding to experience,” said Ms Spencer.
“We have seen from this program and past dance health initiatives, that dance facilitates joy, provides movement with purpose to enhance physical activity, boosts mood, and can potentially awake memory and engagement in participants with dementia.
“We are looking forward to continuing our relationships with Regis and hoping to build new connections with other aged care facilities to provide their residents the same experience that has been so rewarding for all involved,” said Ms Spencer.
Regis Ferny Grove General Manager Hazel Mango says the residents were delighted to participate in the 10-week ballet program with Queensland Ballet.
“The ballet brought joy through the creative movement and soothing music that accompanied the class. During the classes, there were smiles across all our residents’ faces, especially one, our resident Shirley who was a dancer and examiner, who used to teach many years ago,” said Ms Mango.
“Shirley found a special connection with one of the instructors, Tamara from Queensland Ballet who remembered being examined by Shirley.
“Connection, smiles and meaningful activities are something we focus on in our Home. We look forward to continuing to work with Queensland Ballet and would love to see the joy and happiness ballet brings to all our Regis residents across all our Homes,” Ms Mango added.
Dance Health has remained a core focus of QB’s Community Engagement team, with classes such as Ballet for Brain Injury and Dance for Parkinson’s Disease on offer at its Brisbane studio. Underpinned by evidence-based research, QB aims to enrich lives by delivering initiatives that positively impact all dimensions of wellbeing.
To find out more, head to https://www.queenslandballet.com.au/community/dance-health