A seated dance class is 50 minutes long. The class is offered with a variety of music from different eras and I incorporate dance and movement games that challenge the mind as well as the body. The focus is on FUN and CONNECTION! There are always plenty of smiles and a lot of laughter! Because people’s functioning levels differ, each class can be customized to fit the needs of your residents.
The cost for the 50 minute class is $125. The class can be divided into two 25 minute classes if preferred.
Here’s a little bit about my classes at Edina Care Center to give you a better idea what the seated dance classes are like.
Edina Care Center Classes
Barb Mesenbourg has been a tap dance student of mine since 1995. She is the Activities Director at the Edina Care Center. In January of 2011, she asked me to teach a “Seated Dance Class” at her facility. This was new to me, but I was up for the challenge.
When I started teaching the residents, I learned that the first thing I needed to establish was a sincere connection. I made it a point to take their hands, establish eye contact, introduce myself, and to try to memorize their names. People’s faces lit up when they heard the music! If I noticed someone not participating, I would walk over to them, ask a question or make them laugh. This type of interaction established trust with the residents. Below are some examples of some of the games I incorporate into class.
Examples of Seated Dance Games
Add on Game – Each person does a movement for 4 counts. We continue going around the circle, adding on, and always going back to the beginning. The more people in the circle, the more there is to remember.
At the Farm – We use our bodies to do various farm chores. For example, pitching hay, feeding chickens, milking cows, driving a tractor, etc.
Seasons – We use our bodies to act out various things we do during each season. For example, rowing a boat, fishing (summer), making a snowman (winter), planting flowers (spring), etc.
Careers/Activities – We’ll go around and talk about careers that people had when they were younger, and we’ll act that out. For example, a secretary/typing, a truck driver/holding a big steering wheel and bouncing, etc. Sometimes I’ll come up with various activities and act it out, have the residents guess, and then do the movements all together. For example, conducting an orchestra, juggling, painting, etc.
Barb said that many of their residents were agitated and crabby. She noticed that they would calm down when they attended the class, even if they didn’t participate. She was in disbelief as she watched some of the residents who never participated in anything who were either engaged or at least watching with interest.
“There was a woman who had been diagnosed with ‘Failure to Thrive’ who attended Tracy’s class. When class started, she lifted her head and was curious. She didn’t participate much, but was interested in what was going on and was quite attentive. This woman had stopped eating, talking, and had become unresponsive. This was the first time in several days that she was alert and responsive.”
An Observation from Barb’s Boss
“Who is the lady who comes and teaches the Seated Dance Classes? I’ve never seen an entire group so engaged!”
Because many residents don’t have consistent visitors, the 50 minute class is a bright spot for them in their days. It benefits them physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. The class encourages the residents to be in the moment, listen to the music, move, laugh, and have fun! I’m thrilled to be positively contributing to people who are living lives that are important, regardless of where they are mentally or physically.
If you are interested in seated dance classes, please call or email Tracy at 612-965-4242 or firstname.lastname@example.org.