Hospice ready to launch free dance program for older adults

Last year, thanks to a Federal grant from New Horizons for Seniors, Hospice North Hastings launched the Golden Players, a theatrical workshop experience for older adults who wanted to explore their artistic abilities and now, following on the heels of that successful program, Hospice is ready to launch the “Silver Steppers,” for those who want to dance.

c31a258f32e5eb3b441fc10cdb752bf4--dancing-quotes-dance-fitnessOnce again, in partnership with The Government of Canada, through New Horizons for Seniors, Hospice will be offering a step-by-step workshop and class program that will introduce older adults to dance, music and choreography. The program will wrap-up with an experiential showcase at the Village Playhouse in Dec. 2019.

“Dance is now being regarded as one of the best activities for older adults,” says Hospice North Hastings coordinator, Heather Brough. “It’s social, it uses music, it works the body, it activates the brain and it provides an opportunity for older adults to feel strong, capable and beautiful.”

Brough says the desire to offer creative arts programming for older adults is inspired by the Village Playhouse, which is operated by Hospice North Hastings.

“We have this gorgeous theatre and so many of our patrons are older adults,” she explains. “It’s a magical experience to actually get up on that stage and perform for both friends and strangers. We want to keep finding ways to help this happen because it really is transformational.”

The program will cover a wide range of dance styles from ballroom to ballet, Latin, swing, belly dance and hip hop are also possible.

“We’re inviting anyone that is interested to join us an information session; we’ll discuss the schedule and the programming and then our free weekly classes will start at the Village Playhouse,” Brough says. “This is a learning adventure so no experience will be necessary!”

Brough believes that dance programs are emotionally and socially valuable for older adults because they provide an opportunity to learn, connect and grow. Research is also suggesting that dance, because of the integration of many multiple brain functions – including kinesthetic, rational, musical and emotional – increases neural connectivity.

“We also know that dance increases feelings of joy and wellbeing,” Brough says. “This is something we all need.”

The Silver Steppers Information Session will be hosted at the Village Playhouse on Thursday, June 27th at 7pm. Interested program participants are invited to come to the session for details and free registration.