Gwynedd Council’s Dementia and physical activity project recently collaborated with Theatr Ardudwy’s Creative Director & Producer, Siri Wigdel to put on a Dementia Danceathon for participants.
The aim was to invite those who have been taking part in Gwynedd Council’s DementiaGo classes based in the county’s leisure centres to come together at the theatre for two hours of music and dance and it proved to be a huge success.
The group consisted of people living with dementia as well as their carers. Dancing is a very social activity and an enjoyable way to participate in exercise. It can increase strength and flexibility, help with staying steady and agile, and reduce stress.
Emma Quaeck, Gwynedd Council Exercise Referral Coordinator said: ”The event had a lovely sense of occasion. We organised mini buses to take everyone to the theatre and following the dancing we all enjoyed a healthy ‘brain food’ buffet. Dance is a very social activity and can be a great way to lift spirits, as soon as Siri put the music on the effects were immediate – everyone got up, danced and sang along together. There were smiles all around the room.”
Creative Director and Producer, Siri Wigdel is keen to ensure that Theatr Ardudwy is a dementia friendly venue and welcomed the opportunity to host this event. She said: “This group was one of the best I have ever worked with, they were so easy to engage and were all happy to get up and move. We used music chosen by the participants themselves. We danced with one lady in her 90’s who remained seated for the whole session but happily moved her feet to the music. Many shared their memories of dancing with the whole group – such wonderful stories.”
The event raised over £400 for the Alzheimer’s Society and it is hoped that similar events will be organised in the future.
For further information about the physical activity classes for people living with dementia in Gwynedd, please contact Emma Quaeck on 01766 512711 / 077678 988095.