May 05, 2017

The Dancing Queens of the Aged Care Scene

Josie, Iris and Helen started line dancing in nursing homes in 1999 where a friend of Helen’s was in charge of the activities. Originally there were six of us to start with, then the group grew as others wanted to join us.

Word soon got around about our demonstrations and that is how it all began. At first we only did line dancing with clogging being introduced only in  the last few years.

Clogging is a form of hillbilly tap dancing which originated in the Appalachian mountains in America. The clogging is only done if the home doesn’t have carpet in the room we demonstrate in.

What we do isn’t complex or difficult – we explain the line dances clogging we are about to do and try to be an inclusive as possible. We interact with the residents after our demonstration.

If any of the aged care staff are interested, we tell them about classes that we attend.

The reason we started this program was because we wanted to show people what we’d learnt, but at the same time we also wanted to help people. Dancing at nursing homes is a way we can show our expertise and also a way of volunteering and entertaining people who couldn’t get out and about very much, if at all.

The reaction to us and our dancing has always been generally quite good. Sometimes when we get to the nursing home, some of the residents are asleep but when the music starts then you get a reaction in toes twitching or a smile on their faces.

The rest clap their hands, sing along and even want to join in. For those particularly eager participants, some of the staff might get them up and do a little dance with them while we are dancing. When we finish we always get asked when are we coming back.

Some of the residents have danced in their younger days and like to tell you their stories and passions. We try to have music that they can relate to and sing along with. Some very old and popular songs are “Begin the Beguine” and “Over the Rainbow”.

Dancing, and especially what we do with the elderly, makes us all feel so happy to have made others happy. It’s wonderful to see how it stirs up memories and joy. It’s always very rewarding when we see somebody smile and sing along to the music we bring.

We’ve been really lucky with Helen organising all the dates for the group. She contacts the nursing homes to see which dates suits them and to fit it in with our calendar year.

We are currently doing 19 different shows this year. At the end of the year we get together and discuss the program as a group for the following year.

We all take part in organising the music and dances. We have a couple of practice sessions before we start in our program in February.the first one for this year

Our troupe of girls all met through line dancing at the classes we attended. We bonded over our passion and joy.

via GIPHY

We started off with six, but now there is a big group of 17 of us; Robyn, Josie, Gay, Iris, Susan, Betty, Lorraine, Maureen, Sue, Sharyn, Marie, Maureen, Jenny, Shirley, Leanne, Dorrie and Helen.

It’s a good solid group who have a tight bond and love what we do.  What more could I ask for?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Hi Ladies,

    Do you visit nursing homes ? We are Little Sisters of the Poor, and we would love to have you come visit us.

    Kind Regards.

  2. Hi,

    Just wondering if you are able to visit our nursing home in Bexley?

    Looking forward to your reply

Banner Banner
Advertisement

Mother, 92, kills son for wanting to take her to a nursing home

In a tragic turn of events, a 92 year old woman has shot her son after he proposed putting her into a nursing home. The 72-year-old man died at the scene. Police who arrived at Anna Mae Blessing’s home afterwards, found her sitting in her bedroom, and they allege she muttered, “You took my life, so... Read More

The bullying epidemic in US nursing homes – it’s not just a problem in the school yard

Bullying is usually associated with the school yard – but the problem is also often present among seniors, in particular in nursing homes where elderly people are living together. All around the world, there is a growing awareness of the destructive power of bullying behaviour, especially in the age of internet bullying which can be hard for young people... Read More

Seniors forced to live in hospital amid shortage of Darwin nursing home places

Seniors in Darwin who have been assessed for nursing-home-type care and who don’t have family who can adequately look after them, have been forced to live in hospital due to a shortage of nursing home places. Royal Darwin Hospital says it has 24 patients who have been assessed for aged care who are living in... Read More
Banner Banner
Advertisement