Activities Director at Dolan Memory Care Homes, Sandi Antalick recognizes the value of partnering with Big Muddy Dance Company. The dancers utilize our sun rooms as a performance venue for the residents. “They’re not just performing,” Antalick says. “They’re engaging.
Dolan Memory Care Homes was the first organization to participate in the company’s four-part workshop and training. Sandi Antalick, the homes’ activities director, says the dancers always leave the residents and staff wanting more: “Can we have them every day?’” they ask. “‘When are they coming back?’”
The way the dancers perform and interact removes the stress of communication skills and cognitive deficits associated with dementia. The energy shifts and focuses on strengths rather than disability. The 1940s-1950s music and dancer’s movement reignites memories and sparks life in residents’ eyes. The room truly becomes alive with the dancers perform!
“I think the other thing that I’m really impressed with is the dancers’ warmness toward the residents,” Antalick adds. “They’ll bend down, they’ll talk to the residents, and they’ll ask questions … When I see the residents smiling because they’re out there talking, that’s what I’m looking for.”