A4D South Asian Dance workshops with Akademi 2018

From February – April 2018, participants attended an 8-week series of South Asian Dance workshops with Arts 4 Dementia and Akademi at The St Pancras and Somers Town Living Centre. Rachel Waterman led attendees living with dementia and their companions in kathak dance, a style from northern India which uses circular upper-body movements in the style of the mughal architecture of the region.

Dance is not only good exercise, but great for coordination – a real work-out for the brain! Participants enjoyed exercising mind and body without being aware of doing so. Rachel used the imagination of the group to co-curate new dances, based on nature, favourite colours and experiences. A range of movements made the workshops suitable for all abilities and mobilities, and we experimented with ghungroo (ankle bells), parachute, scarves and sticks. Participants were also encouraged to take a dance diary home between sessions, and practice the dances at home together. In this way, creativity and exercise become an integral part of daily life.

Many thanks to all who attended, to our lovely volunteers, to Akademi and to Rachel! Find out more about Akademi’s other classes here.

Photos by Jon Holloway.