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Stepping out in dance shoes

Wellbeing

Stepping out in dance shoes

Brighter smiles and increased communication and participation have been just some of the positive flow-on effects from the If Only I Could… dance program for aged care residents.

Wheelie walkers doubled as dance props when residents from two Lutheran Services aged care centers and professional contemporary dancers shared the stage in a ground-breaking collaboration recently.

If Only I Could… explores the role of dance in our lives – no matter what your age. It is the brainchild of internationally acclaimed theatre director Angela Chaplin who secured Arts Queensland funding for the creative research workshops.

The performance marked stage two in the development of a professional performance piece due for production in late 2019.

Lutheran Services is a partner organisation, providing financial support, staff and facilitating participation of 12 residents from Lutheran Services residences, Zion Aged Care at Nundah and Tabeel Aged Care at Laidley.

Lutheran Services Creative Programs Advisor Clare Apelt said the performance, which made the audience cry and clap in equal measure, had the cumulative effect of lifting people’s moods.

Since the performance there has been greater participation in the weekly dance sessions at both Zion and Tabeel.

“It’s been wonderful to watch people bloom,” Ms Apelt said.

“Some of the residents who have trouble communicating are speaking more, in general participation has increased and residents are more engaged and happier.”

If Only I Could… is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and by Lutheran Services.

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