This was our second week with the Adult Day program at Ridges and it was amazing. Everyone was ready and waiting in a large circle when I entered the room. I was greeted with loud “Hello’s” and big grins. There were comments like, “We’re so glad to have you back,” and “we can’t wait to start dancing again”. This group is so engaged and participatory – after just one week with The Dancing Heart program.
We started off with some deep breathing then dancing to rock ‘n roll. I was delighted to see many of the group standing up to dance right at the beginning of the session. This group doesn’t need much encouragement to get going. And they kept asking for another song. “Let’s keep dancing”, they said. We moved on to another breathing exercise that we had taught them last week. Again, they amazed me. Their retention of most of the exercise and the degree of participation is so high.
In addition to more movement and dance, we did sharing. We have a “game” we call These Hands where the participants establish a rhythm (e.g., tap their knees then clap their hands) and then each person shares something they like to do with their hands. When we asked Michael, the first man in the group to respond, “What do you like to do with your hands?”, he answered by saying “Hug a woman”! Each subsequent male member of the group said, “I’m on Michael’s team! I like his answer the best”. In spite of their physical and mental limitations, these people are warm and funny and positive and uplifting. I know whenever I am with this group, there’ll be lots of laughter and hugs!