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Queensland Ballet brings dancing to aged care

Residents of St Vincent’s Care Services in Queensland will get the chance to strut their stuff with the new dance program developed by the state’s ballet company.

The Queensland Ballet has partnered with St Vincent’s Private Hospital Brisbane and St Vincent’s Care Services to deliver a tailored online dance program which was developed through extensive consultation between Queensland Ballet’s Education Teaching Artists and dedicated clinicians and aged care staff from St Vincent’s.

As COVID-19 lockdowns in aged care homes have been enforced across the nation, it has often been difficult to keep residents active and engaged with creative classes, and aged care homes have been thinking outside of the box to keep residents healthy and happy.

Picture: supplied

Queensland Ballet education manager, Martha Godber, says these digital classes ensure that patients and residents still get to experience the joy of creative movement and music within the safety of their home.

“This newly created dance health offering has been informed by other evidence-based dance initiatives at Queensland Ballet, including Dance for Parkinson’s and Ballet for Seniors, which continue to stand as weekly pillars of community and social connection for the company and its dance class community,” Godber said.

“We take great pride in the dance health programs that Queensland Ballet delivers and are delighted to be able to adapt the skills and experience of the team to bring a little spark of joy, and perhaps alternate means of physical activity for the residents and patients of St Vincent’s,” she added.

The classes combine artistry and movement through a series of activities organised to mimic a ballet class. The movements can be completed while seated or standing and gives residents an opportunity to be creative while fostering a sense of connection with others taking part.

The program launched on 4 November at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Brisbane and will run as a pilot program over the course of the next three months.

St Vincent’s Private Hospital Brisbane allied health services manager, Amanda Bromley, said the program is already showing great promise.

“Since launching the online dance classes we have received positive feedback from our patients,” Bromley said.

Picture: supplied

The online digital program was launched at a number of St Vincent’s Care Service facilities throughout Queensland in October, starting at Kangaroo Point.

St Vincent’s Care Services CEO Lincoln Hopper said that in a tough year this program, and others like it, show that there were still many opportunities for the community to come together and respond positively.

“Our residents are at the heart of everything we do, so keeping them happy, engaged and connected is our top priority. For me, seeing the impact of this program first-hand, and the way it has ignited something in our community members, makes me extremely proud,” Hopper said.

“I know that at St Vincent’s, we can accomplish so much, even in the face of adversity. This dance initiative has given both our residential and hospital community something to look forward to and enjoy.

“Bringing just a little bit of joy into their home is what makes everything worthwhile.”

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