Check out this article published about us in Parade Magazine!
We're on Fox news!
World Alzheimer’s Month 2012
“Dance school raises funds for Alzheimer’s programs” p. 10-12, The Journal on Active Aging, November/December 2010, Vol. 9, No. 6
Rhythm Break Cares, the nonprofit arm of the Rhythm Break dance studio in New York City, held a Unity Ball fundraiser in November to help support its program for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Nathan Hescock, president, started the program after 10 years of teaching a weekly dance class as a volunteer in a local adult day care center. “When you dance with someone, you get to interact with them and establish communication,” Hescock says. “People who don’t really communicate in any other way often open up once the music starts and we get moving.” The organization has expanded its reach to a number of continuing care and memory-care settings in the new York area, and is actively recruiting volunteer dance teachers elsewhere. At The 80th Street Residence, an assisted living community that specializes in memory care, Executive Director Clare Shanley says residents have embraced the new program. Every week “more and more residents join in the movement and dancing,” Shanley reports, mentioning the program’s transformative impact. “Following the cha chas, tangos and salsa numbers, we actually had a conga line going the very first week. In fact, the program is so contagious,” she adds, “that we now see more and more families and staff members joining in and dancing along with the residents.”
Focus On Seniors Dancing: Good For Mind, Body, Soul: At All Ages, Interview By Marjie Mohtashem, New York 1
Dancing isn’t just fun, it can be good for your mind, body and spirit, especially for those who suffer from chronic illness or dementia. NY1’s Marjie Mohtashemi has more in this Focus on Seniors report.
The music is timeless and so are the movements. Each week, a group of seniors with cognitive impairments or chronic illness get together to get down at the Village Adult Day Health Center in Manhattan. Their instructor says dancing helps connect people who might otherwise feel isolated. “Being able to dance with somebody, you get to interact with them. And so you’re communicating with them and they’re communicating back to you,” said dance instructor Nathan Hescock. “We have people here who don’t respond to anything,” said the director of the Village Adult Day Health Center Sheila Merolla. “They may not even know their name. But when it comes to music, they’re able to get up, they start moving, their memory becomes much better.”
Some of the participants may suffer from memory loss, but the music brings back good memories from their past. “I like to dance because when I was a little girl I danced,” said one participant. “I started to dance when I was a little girl.” And even those who can’t get up and dance can still move to the beat. “Even if your legs don’t work as well anymore, the dancing is still here. It’s still a part of you, so you can tell that people still just enjoy moving back and forth,” said Hescock.
“I think it brings a certain joie de vivre to people no matter what their physical or mental status is. It makes them feel alive, it makes them feel like young women and men,” said Merolla. So no matter what other difficulties they face, as long as these seniors are still kicking, they’ll keep on dancing. “It feels good dancing a lot,” said one dancer.