Dance therapy has been proven to have an effective role in stimulating social interaction, enhancing mood, reducing anxiety and depressive symptoms. It also plays a vital role in increasing self-confidence, self-awareness and self-expression. Just think of it as the ultimate Mind & Body Connection. Dancing engages our hearing, vision, motor skills and memory when it comes to remembering dance steps. All of the above are extremely important, however maybe one of the most beneficial for Alzheimer patients is the connection on an emotional level – hearing music that brings back memories from our lives. Music made extreme changes in the researches for Alzheimer’s. It offers a host of benefits in varying stages of the disease. Studies show music therapy improves patient’s focus, their ability to communicate with those close to them and may lower the dependence on psychiatric drugs. Researchers also believe that music stimulates many parts of the brain at the same time, such as those areas affecting language, mood and movement. Hearing familiar music orders the body to respond, by clapping, swaying or humming to the music. This is where the dance therapy comes in as a crucial point to patients suffering from Alzheimer’s, especially the ones in the early stages. Movement to music can even maintain and at times improve memory and cognitive functioning. Dancing increases the amount of endorphins in the brain which result in experiencing a sense of well-being. It brings us joy, happiness and most importantly it is proven that movement and music activates certain brain circuits that help patients with memory loss.
Dr. Outevsky speaks to former ballet dancer, Srna Klotz (srnasworld.com) (Insta: @aku_dama) who lead the Dance Therapy for Alzheimer’s project with Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest Chapter (see videos here). In this brief conversation the outline the results of her work and potential future projects. Contact us for further information and see our Dance for Older Adults workshops
See below for our interview with Srna –
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