Written by Jenny, Level Two TRS Teacher, Educating Dance Teacher and Active Armchairs Facilitator. When I joined The Right Step Dance Company in February 2020, I knew that they offered their seated dance programme, ‘Active Armchairs’, but it was not something that I immediately was drawn to. After starting my Journey and going straight into...
Written by Jenny, Level Two TRS Teacher, Educating Dance Teacher and Active Armchairs Facilitator.
When I joined The Right Step Dance Company in February 2020, I knew that they offered their seated dance programme, ‘Active Armchairs’, but it was not something that I immediately was drawn to. After starting my Journey and going straight into lockdown, I began to learn a lot from the dance teachers and found out lots about what Active Armchairs was all about. From that moment, I knew that I wanted to become a facilitator. Seeing the joy it brings to participants in care and residential homes was so uplifting and also the passion that the teachers have for their sessions – It was clear to me that I wanted to get involved.
When Rebecca said that she was going to run the training to become an Active Armchairs facilitator I was so excited. I had a great experience during the training period and also got to know some of the teachers more, as I had joined the team just before lockdown and had only ever met them via zoom! Everyone was so encouraging and enthusiastic.
I visited a variety of different homes to do my observations and also a variety of teachers. It was clear to me just how much all involved gained from these session: the participants, family members, care workers and the wonderful TRS Teachers. Each teacher was so enthusiastic, had some great ideas and treated every participant with a personalised approach.
Once I had completed my training I was so excited to get going. My very first flying solo session was at Woodstock Care Home in Sittingbourne. When I arrived I walked into the most welcoming room, with over 15 participants all sitting in their chairs in a semi circle eagerly awaiting their session to start. The carers were so helpful, making me feel right at home setting up for the session. As you can imagine, being my first session alone, I was a little nervous. But I soon felt right at ease with all these lovely faces smiling back at me. I felt the room just fill with joy through the music and movement and could clearly see that everyone was feeling happy and comfortable.
‘I really enjoyed the session, I loved listening to the music and feeling happy’ –
‘Are you coming again? Please come back for more dancing’
Participants at Woodstock Care Home
I have since been to two other homes and had a great time at both. I visited Valley View Care Home in Rochester and, although I only had 3 participants, we had a blast. One gentleman was smiling the whole way through and when I was about to leave he said
“Thank you for making me happy, do you have to leave?”
This was a real moment for me of pure joy and I felt proud to be making a difference and very proud to be part of The Right Step Dance Company.
I am really looking forward to progressing in my journey as an Active Armchairs Facilitator in the new year.