Several months ago, Zion Lutheran Home in Nundah commenced a series of dance workshops to replace the usual friday morning exercise class. This was lacking energy and a strategy to keep people active and mobile with all forms of activity such as walking groups, Tai Chi, exercise class was considered. Adding Dance to the mix seemed a perfect idea. Dance and Artsworker Clare Apelt was keen to work with the group of seniors and see where things lead. With in 9 weeks many participants showed much more confidence in moving from chairs or fall out chairs. People demonstrated more reach and extension in their movements, people arrived and left the class happier, chattier and in better sprits. What seemed a ‘chore’ weeks before now became a reason to get up in the morning and attend the dance. People dressed for it, sat with friends and made requests.

Staff also began to dress up, choosing dresses from the 1950’s to match some of the music. They also took time from nursing tasks to get involved for a few minutes, chatting to residents, having a dance and returning to their work. People seemed more spontaneous, a husband visiting his wife, danced in the hall, a gentle man resident asked a lady to dance with him. They spontaneously took to the floor. Relatives hearing of the Dance visited and joined in. Now in its 12 week, Clare and staff are choosing international dances to keep up the interest and attendances.