Moving to the music: Taking ballet to LTC homes across Ontario

Dance, Dementia, Baycrest, NBS, Ballet Care

“We are shifting the culture of long term care through the arts. Our program has demonstrated that people can participate in creative self-expression and meaningful connection through dance at all levels of cognitive and physical function.  We are proud and excited to say our program is now growing beyond Baycrest, as we’re reaching out to long term care homes across the province who have adopted this model. Art based interventions are helping us keep older adults connected to opportunities for wellness, social engagement, imagination and quality of life.

-Melissa Tafler, Coordinator, Arts in Health Program, Department of Culture and Arts and Arts Based Learning Specialist, Baycrest Health Sciences

Since 2014, Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS) and Baycrest have been working together to create, host, evaluate and improve dance classes for older adults. Led by a group of graduates from NBS’ teacher training program, professional dancers guide participants through a routine designed to meet the needs of older adults. This past year, NBS teachers began training to bring this program to residents at long term care homes across Ontario.

This program was made possible with support from the Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation and the Canadian Public Health Association.