‘Dancercise’ class fun for people with dementia at Sage House

Participants having fun at the dancercise class
Participants having fun at the dancercise class

A new ‘dancercise’ class for people living with dementia has been launched at Sage House in Tangmere.

Exercise, such as dancing, can help improve the wellbeing of people living with dementia and singing can help with reminiscence. The class is run every Tuesday morning by Suzanne Hill, who has years of experience as a member of the International Dance Teachers’ Association.

Suzanne brings heaps of enthusiasm to the class, and the first session was a delight with lots of laughter and singing.

The group loved classics from ABBA, The Beatles, Singing in the Rain and a few disco numbers. Everyone felt comfortable dancing and could choose how to join in depending on their own abilities; some danced free style around the room, others remained seated.

The wife of one attendee mentioned that her husband comes home on a Tuesday singing having thoroughly enjoyed dancercise.

Suzanne spoke about how rewarding it has been to work with people living with dementia: “It’s a privilege to dance with these wonderful people. It is fantastic to see the spark in their eyes as the music brings back memories or the pure joy on their faces as they enjoy the fun. It has been proven that music, exercise and dance can really help people with memory loss. We are all having such a brilliant time and developing new skills and confidence; I appreciate the opportunity to give something back to the community and people living with dementia.”

Marth Pusey, head of Activities and Care at Sage House, said: “Songs can unlock some amazing memories for people living with dementia, it has been lovely to see everyone so animated. The gentle exercise also helps maintain wellbeing. Suzanne takes great care to tailor the class to the attendees; she is mindful of their abilities and the type of music that they enjoy. One gentleman’s favourite is ‘Rock Around the Clock’, this was noted by Suzanne and she made sure it was played.”

For those living with dementia who would enjoy and benefit attending dancercise, call Sage House on 01243 888 691 for more information. The sessions are held every Tuesday 10am to 11am at Sage House in Tangmere and cost £4 per person.