Tag Archives: Adults

Everybody Moving – Art

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Art has become a key part of everyone’s day whilst socially isolated at home. It is great for well being and learning. It is very therapeutic. Although dance is an art form in it’s own right, the TRS Teachers have thought of some ideas for how dance and art can be brought together. 

As always, please adapt the ideas to suit yourself and the people you’re with. The ideas are great at any age, for any ability, but always need adapting to make them the best they can be for each individual. Don’t forget to warm up sufficiently before dancing too!

Paint a Body…

This can be done with the whole body of parts of it. If you’re using the whole body, you need to find a big piece of paper such as rolled paper or unfolded boxes. Draw around the body or body part whilst it does a dance move or interesting gesture. This is a great way to learn about body parts. You could try codified dance steps such as a plie lying down or against the wall. You could do a sequence of three gestures to tell a story like in Kathak. Once you have the shape drawn, decorate it in some way with paint, pens, pencil, chalk, any medium you like!

… Or Send a Hug 

This is a really nice extra thing that could lead to a chat about feelings, very important at the moment. Instead of drawing round a dance move, draw around the top part of the body, with arms outstretched as though about to give a hug. Cut out, decorate and post to some one you would like to hug.

 

Foot Print Painting

Make your art floor… get a big bit of paper, join some paper together, open a cardboard box, use a paper tablecloth, lay down some opened and flattened bin bags, newspapers etc.

Once you have a suitable floor, put some random blobs of paint on it, turn the music on and dance through the paint! You could improvise or do a dance you’ve already learnt or have choreographed. You could use one of our videos if you want. After the dance you can see your pathway (that’s what we call the path taken through the dance). Is it varied? On the spot? Do you use all the space or only a little bit? What a great way to see if you’ve made a good use of the space.

An adaption for those who can’t walk. Ask someone to put the paint and paper under your feet. It feels amazing to have paint under your toes and you can still see what pathways your feet take during a dance.

Masks

Make a mask that turns the wearer into something different then move like that character. Animal masks work really well, but you can also try things like Zoro, Spiderman, The Lone Ranger or Lady Gaga (in the photo). You could make up characters as well. 

 


Paint what you find

On your next exercise walk, or in the garden, search for some unusual things to paint! If you’re doing this with children you can describe how you’re searching in different ways (high, reaching or stretching etc) to help develop their vocabulary. Once you’ve found the things you need to paint them and display them in whatever way you feel. This could be a bright, colourful display for a care home.

Croquis

Croquis is a French art form where the model moves and the artist sketches quickly. We held some Croquis events with artists Richard Jefferies and Marissa Mardon in 2014.

You could hold your own event and adapt it in your own way. For ours we had a dancer in the centre of the room and the artists, using whatever medium they wanted, around the edge. There was a different theme each week and the artists drew what they saw. Sometimes drawing the body, sometimes the movement, sometimes the space in between.

Use your imagination to make it interesting. Find out more and get ideas from our Croquis blog posts… https://www.therightstepdc.co.uk/category/croquis-events/ 

Click HERE for our Croquis Pinterest Board. 

Chalking Outside or In

Grab some chalk, whatever you have, but the bigger and chunkier the better. If you’re heading outside you can chalk on so many services. If you’re inside chalk works well on black paper, card board boxes or normal black boards. Some music playing in the background could provide to some interesting inspiration too.


Turn the Music Up

This goes back to our first Everybody Moving blog post, but with a difference… Paint with the music turned up and see how it affects your mood. You could try specific pieces of music. TRS Teacher, Jenny put The Gruffalo soundtrack on for her children whilst they painted these with brushes and straws (blowing the paint).

Body Part Challenge

Have you ever painted with your elbow or knee!? Why not give it a go!?

Dance in The Sand

Like a zen garden, but with dance. Such a fantastic sensory idea. You can do this in a large sand pit with your whole body, put a box or tray of sand on the floor under your feet whilst seated or have a tray of sand in front of you for just your hands. Cat litter trays and tea trays with high handles make good mini sandpits. Put the music on and see where it takes you. Make patterns whilst dancing and see what happens.

We also have a Pinterest board that links art and dance. Take a look here… https://www.pinterest.co.uk/therightstep/art-and-dancing/

For more Everybody Moving ideas to keep you moving throughout the day please see our other blogs and videos…

Everybody Moving

Everybody Moving – Care Homes

Everybody Moving – Families at Home

Everybody Moving – Videos

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Everybody Moving – Easter

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It’s almost Easter weekend and there are a lot of things we would usually be doing, but can’t. Let’s find some new, active traditions to get us moving and learning throughout the day. 

As always, please adapt the ideas to suit you and the people you’re with. Many of our photos are of the children the TRS Teachers are with at home, but the ideas are great for adults, including care home residents, too. 

Hunts With a Difference

Hunts don’t have to be saved until Easter day and they don’t have to involve chocolate. You can hunt for other things and link it to learning too. 

 
Phonics Egg Hunt

The child writes the new words/sounds they’ve learnt on cardboard egg shapes, the adult hides them and the child finds them. You can adapt this for the child’s phonic stage, perhaps using common exception words (used to be known as tricky words), the spelling words for their year group or putting sections of words on different eggs and asking the child to make words when they find them. 

Number Hunt

Print some bunny rabbits and number them. Hide them in the garden. The child has to find them, count them and sequence them. They could re-hide them in order for you too. Maybe the bunnies have to line up in order so they can come back inside too.

You now have 10 or 20 little bunnies that can be used for all sorts of number learning. Older children could make number bonds to 10 (adding up to 10). You could extend that to make number bonds to 100 by using multiples of 10 on the bunnies. 

Inside Hunt

You can visibly hide things so that they can be found from a wheelchair or walker. Or you can make it a bit harder. Adapt to your group. You could hide printed things or cardboard eggs that have been decorated by residents. 

Dance Hunt

Every time you find an egg you make up a dance move and add it to the last, a bit like ‘what’s in the supermarket van’. By the end of the hunt you’ll have a whole motif (sequence of movement). You could combine the Dance Hunt with any of the ideas above.  

 

Chance Dance Egg

Draw a giant egg on an outside floor, divide it into segments and write dance moves in the segments. If you’re inside you could do this on a big piece or multiple pieces of paper too.

Throw a dice, ball, beanbag or other object and do the movement it lands on. You can put them together to make a motif (sequence of movement). 

 

Egg and Spoon

This idea was used by Active Armchairs Facilitator, Steph, to encourage partnerships and team work. Plastic eggs are essential unless you want to turn this into a very messy game! 

Whilst seated or standing still, pass the egg from spoon to spoon, person to person. See how many times you can make it around the circle or how many eggs you can have going around at once.

You could also try a traditional egg and spoon race or the not so traditional race of passing the eggs over the head and through the legs to get to the end of the line. You need a large household for that though! 

Make Egg Shakers

For anyone of course, but if you’re going to be holding one of our Remote Live Lessons over the coming weeks, these would be a great prop to have! You can get plastic egg shapes from Poundland, usually. There are places online too though. Try Baker Ross. Fill them with whatever dried things such as rice, lentils or beans you have available or include bells and other things that shake well. Tape them up with normal tape followed by pretty washie tape and, if needed at a bit of extra tape to cover the hole. An excellent prop to join your collection. Check out our Everybody Moving – Props Blog for ideas of props you probably already have at home. 

Dance Around The Kitchen 

Turn the music up loud whilst cooking something from the list…
Easter nests
Chocolate Eggs 
Slow cooker Easter fudge
Easter cupcakes with icing nests on top
Chocolate Bark

TRS Teacher Lou made some Chocolate eggs!

 

 

 

Bunny Feet

Make or buy some bunny footprints. Lay them in a pattern and jump or hop from foot to foot. This is a great way to teach young children how to jump. For older children you can set challenges such as do it on one foot or go backwards. You could also have a prize for the best bunny impression so think about those whiskered noses, paws and ears! 

 

 

Lots of Easter themed keep moving ideas there! If you would like to see more of our Everybody Moving Ideas you can read our other blogs. Perhaps you could adapt some of those ideas to make them Easter themed? Here are the links…

Everybody Moving

Mini Challenges

Dance The Tale

Magic Spells

Everybody Moving – In Care Homes

Everybody Moving – Families at Home

Everybody Moving – Props

Please keep in touch, we love to hear about what you’ve been up to. #EverybodyMoving 

 

 

 

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Everybody Moving – Props

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Props are very important in our lessons and the TRS Teachers have lots of different things they can use. We even have the TRS Library Service where we share props so that there’s always something new and our lessons are always interesting!

Props are a great addition or inspiration for dance and movement play and there are things you can use that aren’t specific to dance.

If you’re a family at home you might be lucky enough to have some sensory play things to use or have props such as scarves, pom poms or ribbon sticks, but not everyone has these things so here are some ideas for everyday objects you can dance with.

The picture is of Steph’s prop collection. Steph works with people of all ages so there’s something for everyone! 

Dusters

Colourful and cheap, but make sure they’re clean! You could dance to ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’ or songs about sunshine because they’re bright and colourful.

Hair ribbons

We use ribbons all the time for lots of different things. Orange and black for Halloween, Blues and silvers for a Frozen or sea theme, Multi coloured for flying kites with Mary Poppins. Hair ribbons work just as well, in fact, the ribbon we use could just have easily have ended up as hair ribbons. We also have ribbon sticks, large and small. Why not find some straight sticks in the garden or get some dowel from the shed if you can. Tie the ribbons on and you can do so much with them.

Socks

Odds, pairs or lots tied together, these could be an alternative to pom poms or even a fun prop on their own. 

Torches

Something for the evening when no natural light’s coming in. You can either give everyone a torch or take turns. Turn the lights out, put some inspiring music on and dance in the dark with the torches. You can also try shadow puppets, explained in the first Everybody Moving blog

Pom poms

Not the cheer dance pom poms we have, you can make these from cardboard and wool. There are lots of instructions online so find out how to make them, use whatever wool you have an dance with them. Leave a long length of string on to hold or use them like balls. TRS Teacher, Hayley has been making pom poms, her dog has been enjoying them too!

Tea Towels

A great alternative to scarves. Check with the person in charge of the kitchen first though! 

Wooden spoons

You can use these as rhythm sticks, tapping them together like Morris Dancers. 

Poufe

An alternative to a Pilates/gym ball. It could also be a mini stage if you have a suitable poufe and a small dance!

Dining Room Chairs

An alternative to a ballet barre. Some of the TRS Teachers have been delivering online ballet lessons and dining room chairs have become essential equipment!

Thank you to TRS Teacher, Clare, for sharing her photo of an online Bridge Academy Ballet Lesson.

 

Tights

Any tights so long as you have permission from the owner! They will end up stretched and out of shape. They can have holes in them, that doesn’t matter. You can use them like you might use a giant elastic in a circle, stretch them across the room to create a web or each hold two different pairs, have someone tangle them a bit and do a dance. They look fantastic as they move! The photo is of the spider web at Little Court for Halloween!

Pillow Cases 

Pillow cases could be used like scarves or you could put your arms inside and experiment with how they move. You could also sit down and put your legs into the pillow case and see how you can move. If you’ve got a big, safe space, you could sit in the pillow case and slide around the room on your bottom or tummy being caterpillars, worms or cars! 

Brooms and Mops

Be careful with these, but they do make fun props! Pretend microphones or dance partners or as walking sticks or umbrellas to use like in old musicals. 

Mop heads

The top of your mop can be a pom pom! 

Sponges

They feel similar to our fake snowballs and could be used in the same way. They squish well and then bounce back. They could be stepping stones, balls or for balancing. 

Material

We use all sorts of different types of material in our lessons. From Liquid Gold to stretchy lycra, a bit of material makes a great prop. You can use whatever you have. Maybe blankets or the big scarves that open up wide. You could use them like parachutes, as props to wave as a group, for games like keep the balls on or for many other things depending on the material. Be inspired by it!

 

We’d love to hear about the props you’ve found. Please share them with us using #EverybodyMoving

For more ideas, see our other blogs…

Everybody Moving

Everybody Moving – Care Homes

Everybody Moving – Families at Home

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Everybody Moving – In Care Homes

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The second in our series of Everybody Moving blog posts is aimed at residents in care homes, but I’m sure there are ideas for everyone.
 

Some mood boosting ideas that can be used throughout the day! We really miss the care home residents we work with. Our Active Armchairs sessions are some of the most rewarding things we do.

 
Care homes were one of the first places to realise the danger of Covid-19 and they shut their doors to visitors a long time ago. Isolating the vulnerable people living in care homes was a really good idea, but it has meant a big reduction in activity specialists, such as ourselves, coming in for a visit. We hope that the ideas below will go some way to helping the fantastic Activity Co-ordinators, who are so important to residents, to keep everyone moving.
 

Name and Move

An adaption on the well loved Name and Shape… Take it in turns. Each person says their name and does a movement. Everyone else copies by saying the name and doing the movement. You can do this at the table waiting for food or in the living room. It could also be done from the room doorways if needed at the moment. It might be difficult to see each other, but some one could move along the corridor to help out.
 

A Dance a long

Some of the TRS Teachers have been filming their favourite dances. We’ve created a playlist called Everybody Moving and it contains both Active Armchairs exercises and dances as well as other ideas for people of various ages and abilities. You can have a flick through on our YouTube channel and we’ll share them on our Facebook page too. There are more to come so please keep checking back. The channel is therightstepdc and here’s the link to the Everybody Moving playlist
 

Torch dance

Something for the evening when no natural light’s coming in. Each person needs a torch. Turn the lights out, put some inspiring music on and dance in the dark. You can also try shadow puppets, explained in the first Everybody Moving blog
 

Magic Wands

Talk about books that include magic in them. Each person needs a magic wand. This could be a stick from the garden, a lolly stick, spoon held backwards or, if your lucky enough to have them rhythm sticks. You can put some magical music and improvise or learn some magic spells from Harry Potter. There are lots of ideas on our full blog post called Magic Spells.

Make Them Smile

The challenge is to make someone else in the room smile. Do a movement or a little dance just for them. It could be silly such as an octopus wiggle or it could be kind such as mining flowers growing and giving them away.

Superman

This song, by Black Lace, has lots of activities for daily living (ADLs) in it. It’s also a lot of fun to sing and dance to.
 
 
 
Just a few ideas to get you started. We will be sharing more ideas and videos so please keep an eye out. If there’s a theme you would like us to work around please let us know.  We are also writing little messages to our care homes so please keep an eye out in the post. 
 
Try out other blogs for more ideas too…
Everybody Moving
 
Everybody Moving – Props

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Magic Spells

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This is definitely ideal for those who love Harry Potter, but it can be for anyone interested in magic or who just wants to feel like a witch or wizard! 

This is an idea for people at any age, for any ability. Just adapt it to suit you and the people with you. 

Please make sure you have a safe space to do this in, warm yourself up appropriately and adapt everything to suit your needs.

You can begin by talking about Harry Potter or generally about books that include magic in them. This is a great idea for care homes due to the reminiscence and learning elements. It would also be fantastic for families who could have their own Harry Potter duel afterwards. There are also so many home schooling ideas that could be undertaken with Harry Potter as the theme. 

Cast Your Spells!

Each person needs a magic wand. This could be a stick from the garden, a lolly stick, spoon held backwards or, if your lucky enough to have them rhythm sticks. Some people may also have some really Harry Potter character wands at home if they’re big fans!

Next, learn some magic spells from Harry Potter. Think about the type of movements you would do for the result of each spell. Some people might know the real movements for the spells to. Swish and Flick!

Wingardium Leviosa – this spell levitates objects (or trolls) so swish and flick then hold your wand as you levitate the object.

Accio – the spell to bring things to you, you’ll have to hold onto this spell until the object arrives of course.

Alohamora – A little tap that unlocks doors.

Augmenta – Create water. Shake your wand as if water is coming out of the end.

Expecto Patronum – The Patronus charm to ward off Dementors. A big sweeping arm movement.

 

You can take this further by making up movements for how you might react to someone casting a spell.

Engorgio – make things larger

Reducio – make things smaller

Ridiculous – used for defeating a Bogart. This spell makes you look hilarious.

Expelliarmous – Disarming spell

Lumos – Turns the lights on, they might be quite bright!

 

If home schooling you could also think about your Patronus might be and why. You could draw it or make a model.

Reading is so important for all of us at the moment. Why not have a Harry Potter marathon and read them all!

 

For more ideas about how to keep moving at this time please read our other blogs designed to help people have fun and move throughout the day.

Everybody Moving

Everybody Moving – Care Homes

Everybody Moving – Families at Home

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Dance The Tale

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Anyone can do this, it’s good serious or silly fun at any age, for any ability.

All you need is a well loved story, (short or long), some music or if the book is short, someone to read the book and some dancers. For those who are home schooling at the moment this could be a fun English lesson. If you’re in a care home or retirement home you could do this with residents in the main room or just outside their doors. If you’re a family at home this is such a fun bonding activity.

Just adapt it for your needs.

Please make sure you have a safe space to do this in, warm yourself up appropriately and adapt everything to suit your needs.

Dance The Tale

We love to ‘Dance The Tale’. We celebrate World Book Day by making books come to life in our Educating Dance workshops and you can read more about it here: https://www.therightstepdc.co.uk/2020/03/29/book-week-2020/

Here are two examples. One that is a children’s book that could be danced as a family and the other one is aimed at older children, adults or care homes. The Snail and The Whale and The Chronicles of Narnia! You can do your own ones easily though and we’d love to hear about them. 

 

An example from The Right Step’s Director, Rebecca Ashton

The Snail and The Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

The easiest way to do this is to read the story and have the children improvise (find out what that means here) around the themes on each page. You’ll be amazed what they come up with.

Here’s a list of words and themes you could pick up on for each page, just take it as it comes though. Let them be free with their moving story telling!

Pg 1 – “Tiny snail”, “great big blue humpback whale”, “the sea is deep”, “the world is wide”
Pg 3 – “The silvery tail looped and curled”, how does the snail move?
Pg 6 – “This is the whale”, how ford the whale move?
Pg 7 – “This is the sea”, how does the sea move?
Pg 9 – “Firey mountains”, explode and jump like a volcano
Pg 11 – “These are the waves that arched and crashed”, how do the waves move?
Pg 12 – Fish and sharks swimming
Pg 13 – “Thunderstorm”, “Lightening”, “Flashing”
Pg 16 – “I feel so small”
Pg 17 – “Zigging and zooming all over the place”
Pg 20 – “I can’t move on land! I’m too big!”
Pg 21 – “Sit straight! Don’t talk!”
Pg 22 – “This is the trail”, write your name as a snail
Pg 23 – “running” , “digging”
Pg 25 – “Travel safely away”
Pg 28 – All the words about the journey coming back excitedly!
Pg 30 – “On the tail” looking around ready for the next adventure

You could take this further with some of these ideas. I’d love to plan a workshop or medium term plan about this book. There are so many options!!

The snail loves to write with his body. You could do other things to do with writing with your body such as writing in huge letters with your arms or feet. You could link this to art and use crayons on their sides to write like the snail, great for fine motor skills!

Saving whales and the ocean in general is a really important current theme. Whilst home schooling children could use persuasive writing to discuss conservation, draw posters about whales or play more dance games around the theme. We also have a blog about conservation in the pipeline so keep an eye out. 

 

An example from TRS South Kent’s Director, Georgie Tedora

For another story that’s well known, you could use The Chronicles of Narnia. As these are novels, they are a lot longer to look at page by page and there are also 7 of them, that’s right 7! So I’ve chosen, not only my favourite, but probably the most well known one: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. This is a wonderful story set in war times and really uses the imagination from not only the writer, but allows the reader to interpret it too.

Like I said, this is more of a novel so I have chosen some key parts to give you some ideas, but feel free to add more!

Starting off with the setting of war time and when children became evacuee’s. There are 4 siblings who are moved away together. For this you could use the simple idea of packing your things, or even the train the children travel on. Remember, it was wartime so the train would have been a steam train, lots of mechanisms and noises. You can really experiment with that.

When the children are in their temporary home, which is quite a large country home, they are playing and exploring the house when Lucy – the youngest sibling – stumbles across a wardrobe. She hides inside and discovers something amazing. The wardrobe is a magical door that leads to a new world called Narnia. You could use lots of ideas here, creating magical worlds to your liking. You may create a world entirely under water, something in out of space, or a snowy kingdom (like Narnia itself).

As I mentioned, Narnia is covered in snow. The White Witch has put the land under a permanent spell to always make it winter. Lots of ‘cold’ movements here. Perhaps even winter games like snowball fights!

The children, unbeknownst to them, are in danger in Narnia. The White Witch has ordered any humans to be captured, anyone who breaks these rules will be turned to stone by the Witch. You can really break down this part, by getting participants to imagine each singular part of the body becoming stone and unable to move. You can also reverse this (which is what happens later in the story! It is a happy ending I promise).

The children meet some more animals in Narnia, but they end up getting chased by a pack of wolves. You can use the idea of a chase, or hunting even searching for this. Or you could use the idea of the wolves fur. Imagining what they feel like, soft? Coarse?

After they have run for a while, they bump into…. Father Christmas! Yep, that’s right. Lots of ways to interpret this part of the story. You could pretend to be Father Christmas. You could use your favourite part of Christmas to move, like decorating the tree or cooking Christmas dinner?

From Father Christmas, the children each receive a special gift to defeat the White Witch. A Magical horn, a bow and arrow, a healing potion, a dagger, a sword and a shield. Lots of images to use here. Stretching the arms to pull the bow and arrow. Swiping motions for the sword and lots more. Really use your imagination to create different moves for the story.

The next part is where the ‘hero’ of the story comes in. Aslan, a beautiful, brave lion who has set up an army to defeat the queen. Each participant could become the lion. Show of their manes. Big strong powerful movements, but graceful at the same time. After all, Aslan should be king.

The Battle! The army takes on the White witch and her army. You can use some army moves (some of the participants may remember the movements). Again, using strong powerful moves. Different ‘weapons’ in battle. Really get involved in the movements here.

Finally, the happy ending! The children and Aslan defeat the witch and in doing so, Aslan undoes the spell the White Witch put on a lot of animals by using his breath so they are no longer stone. As well as this, the seasons go back to normal and the sun comes out with lots of flowers and trees growing. You can imagine yourself being a plant and growing from a seed to enjoy the sunshine.

Those are just a few key parts you can use from the book. But, like I said, there are more and there are also 6 other books! Enjoy dancing the story and let us know how you get on.

 

If you would like us to do more examples for Dance The Tale please let us know and we’ll see what we can do! 

If you would like some more ideas about how to keep moving throughout the day please see our other blog posts.

Everybody Moving

Everybody Moving – Care Homes

Everybody Moving – Families at Home

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Mini Challenges

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The first of our big ideas for passing the time in an active way during Social Distancing… Mini Challenges! 

The big ideas are designed for people at any age, for any ability, but they will need adapting for the people you’re with. So make your space safe, decide what you want to do and enjoy yourself!

Mini Challenges 

Have a competition between residents or family members or do a challenge just for fun! If you want to compete, choose a few of the following, make a points table, carry out the tasks and find your winner!

Wheel Barrows

Who can do the most arm lifts in the wheel barrow? One arm at a time. See our Facebook post for examples and don’t forget to add your own photos, we love to see them.
Wheel Barrows on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/therightstepdc
 
 

Describe your day

Think of a word to describe your day and make a gesture (arm movement) to go with it. One person chooses the winner or vote for the winner or placements.
 

Balance Dance

Have one person in the group choreograph a simple motif (short sequence of movement) or use one from on of our videos. Find something for each person to balance on their heads. You could try teaspoons, light books, washing up sponges etc. Everyone repeats the motif whilst attempting to balance the item on their head. The last person with their item balances wins.
 

Animal Races

You need a bit of space for this. Set a start and finish line and race with a different! Do some animal movements instead of running! Here are some ideas from Halling Primary’s Fun Fitness Club and TRS Teacher, Lou. Usually used as part of her warm up they’d be great for this challenge.
 
 
 

Limbo

How low can you go? Can you dance your way under? If you have some lei (flower necklaces) you could put them on too. 
 

Emoji Dance

A partner challenge. One person secretly picks an emoji either randomly or by choice. Do a dance to represent the emoji, but you can’t face your partner. You have to be looking the other way so they can’t see your facial expressions! The other person has to guess which emoji it is and if they’re right, each team member gets a point.

Plank

Who can hold their plank for the longest? The last to fall, wins!
 

Guess the movie 

A partner challenge, so both members will get points if you’re playing in that way. Dance the key moments or themes from a film so that your partner can guess the movie. A bit like Dance The Tale, but for films.
 

Name and Shape

Take it in turns to say your name and strike a pose. Vote for the best or top three and they get the points. We love doing name and shape in dance lessons. It’s totally adaptable to any person and any theme.
 
 
There are a few to get you going. We will add some more so please keep checking back! If you would like some more ideas for how to keep moving whilst your indoors, try our other blogs…
 

Everybody Moving

Everybody Moving – Care Homes

Everybody Moving – Families at Home
 
 
 

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Enhance Project Report

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The full Enhance Project Report is ready to read! 

The Enhance Project was undertaken as a way to find out what it is that Active Armchairs does for participants, but it became much more than that. 

“When I was developing Active Armchairs, a gentleman in the session, told me that, before doing the classes, he couldn’t brush his hair. He proudly stated that now he could. From this day I wanted to find out what it is that dance can do for it’s participants. Almost 10 years later, it’s finally time to scientifically prove what it is that our classes do for the dancers, and that is why we want to hold a research project.” Rebecca Ashton, Director at The Right Step Dance Company.

The Enhance Project Report explains what Active Armchairs is, including a quick history, outlines what was included in the project and explains the results. University of Kent PhD Student, Ian Farr’s short report is also included. This is a short version of the full report that will be written for his PhD. 

“The current study shows an increase in physical activity and associated benefits to physical and mental health when care home residents take part in Active Armchairs dance workshops.” Ian Farr, PhD Student, University of Kent.

If you would like a copy of the report please email us or read below. 

For more information about Active Armchairs please click HERE.

For more blog posts about the Enhance Project, please click HERE.

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Enhance Training Day

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The final testing as part of the Enhance, our Active Armchairs research project, is complete and I’ve received first drafts and many questionnaires and reports from various people. We are now awaiting the final results and I will also be writing a full project report, it is an exciting time for me as I can’t wait to share all the positive things that have come from it! 

Over half term the Active Armchairs Facilitators and I met for a training day. This is probably the first time that all facilitators have been in the same room at the same time. This unprecedented training day was exciting for all of us, but it also sent a clear message… your Active Armchairs sessions are doing fantastic things. A confidence boost like this is always good and we had a whole day to explore the many positives, how we can replicate them and what we can do to improve further. 

Bring on the Continued Professional Development (CPD) that the TRS Teachers crave! 

I asked some of the teachers to comment on the day…

“I thoroughly enjoyed the Enhance training session. I was looking forward to hearing the results. As a facilitator I know and can see the benefits in each one of my classes, but to get the scientific proof to back this, is fantastic! The CPD session allowed us all to be caught up and expand our knowledge further to enable us to really help the participants in each one. I learnt a lot of new ideas and ways to make my Active Armchairs sessions even better, for both myself and participants to enjoy!” Georgie, Owner of TRS South Kent, Level Three TRS Teacher and Level Two Active Armchairs Facilitator

“I think the training was important as it was an opportunity for the teachers to come together and talk about the Active Armchairs sessions and how they will implement the result of Enhance in their classes. It was great to have evidence to back up what we actually already knew, that Active Armchairs is good for us! I thought the confidence increase was really interesting and it was fascinating to hear about how this can affect our ability to do something when we previously thought that we couldn’t. I think the results will influence my choreography as I will now think about what impact I what the moment to have and how this can be adapted and achieved.” Georgia Smith, Level Three TRS Teacher and Active Armchairs Facilitator

“I was really interested to understand what kind of tests was carried out and the results of them. I was extremely interested in the results about the hand grip. Understanding that it wasn’t dance that helped improve movement. but the dance increased wellbeing and self belief. Aiding them to push further and accomplish more movement. 
I really enjoyed the training and understanding how psychological it can be in boosting your mood and well being.” Hayley, Level Two TRS Teacher and Level One Active Armchairs Facilitator
 
“Being a part of, and subsequently hearing the results from the Enhance Project will play an integral part to how I approach the planning and delivery of my Active Armchairs classes. I was elated to hear about the importance of instilling confidence to participants during classes and look forward to ensuring this is a given going forward.” Steph, Facilitator for the Enhance Project, Level Three TRS Teacher and Level Two Active Armchairs Facilitator
I began the day by telling the facilitators all about the project, although they all knew some of what was going on, it was great to share everything from the question we asked (above) to the logistics of the day to day. We then did lots of exercises, brain break games (left), a Q and A session with facilitators and, of course, some choreography, to explore the various outcomes and experiences from all aspects of the project. 
 
The full results will be published soon along with a project report in January, but for now we can share some of the conclusions we drew during the Enhance Training. 
 
We talked a lot about how Active Armchairs affects the various people involved and this includes care home staff and family members. We looked at their perspectives and drew conclusions from the questionnaires and feedback we’d received throughout. One comment particularly stood out because it mentioned lots of the things we consider for our sessions such as CHOICE.

“Enabling our residents to have varied meaningful activities is a must. Our activities coordinator is really motivated and arranges a wide range of activities. As with any activity only certain residents will participate depending on their ability, physically and whether they are actually interested and willing to take part in specific activities.” Pat Rossouw, Home Manager at Barton Court

We talked about how Active Armchairs is a meaningful activity, outlined in NICE Quality Statement 1: Participation in Meaningful Activity and we thought of lots of ways we support this fact as well as how we can develop further.
 
The biggest thing to come from the results so far… in brief, and as alluded to by the facilitators above, increased confidence led to improved hand grip in the non dominant hand. This is something we are all extremely pleased with because, with the group of people we work with, physical maintenance at the most is expected, we made an improvement and, not only that, the improvements come from all the things we do that surround the physical activity, not just the physical activity itself. This is very affirming. 
 
Towards the end of the day we created a list of the main things Active Armchairs is adding to the lives of our participants. The findings behind this list will all be in the project report. 
 
  • Meaningful Activity
  • Confidence
  • Motivation
  • Inclusion
  • Maintenance
  • Positive Relationships
  • Variety
  • Physical Maintenance / Development

All the facilitators, including myself, left with a practical, personal to do list, of the things we wanted to do next for our classes. These were things like set myself a mini challenge (so that we would choreograph in a new way), learn more participant names (because sometimes participants can’t tell us themselves), research meaningful activity further and check the care homes have our poster on their notice board (this helps participants/residents know when we’re coming, gives them opportunity to get excited and integrates us into care home life).
 
The main aim of the day was for it to be useful and inspiring and it really was. It was also very confidence boosting for everyone and it really was very therapeutic! The dance teachers did a great job and I can’t wait to see what happens next. 

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Guest Post – The Parent Dance

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Why Every Parent Should Learn To Dance

Author Bio: Ryan Howard runs SmartParentAdvice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.

 

Parenthood is all about new experiences. Once your baby arrives, you are thrown right into the deep end and have to learn to take care of a new human being. As soon as you figure out how to a care for a baby, toddlerdom arrives with a whole new set of challenges. Then, before you know it, they are off to preschool, elementary school and beyond.

While you’re learning all of the new things that come along with parenthood, I would encourage you to learn to dance as well. Why do I say this? Read on to find out.

Dancing Is A Good Skill To Have In Life

There are all sorts of occasions that are a lot more fun if you know how to dance. Taking your kids to see a musician? Breaking out a few patented steps would be a blast.

Heading to a wedding? It would be fun to hit the dance floor with the family.

Dancing is just one of those things that’s a lot of fun if you can do it, and really awkward if you can’t. So, it pays to take a little time to learn at some point in your life.

Good Role Model For Kids

Kids learn so much by watching their parents. You can always tell them what you think they should do, but they will often do what you do rather than what you say.

If your kids see you dancing and having fun, they’ll want to get in on the action. On the other hand, if they see you start shifting uncomfortably once the music starts and other people start showing their stuff, they just might do the same.

Get Your Kids Into Music

Music is something that your kids might be able to enjoy over a lifetime, and dancing is a great way to help them cultivate an appreciation for music. If you know how to dance, you might just throw on Spotify and have a family dance party at home.

Once they start to enjoy music, you never know where it might lead. Maybe they will decide they want to take up piano or some other instrument. Once they can carry a tune, you might even have fun dancing while they make some music.

It’s Great Exercise

Being active is good for people of all ages. What could be more fun than getting a little exercise with your spouse on the dance floor?

It’s great exercise for your kids as well. Maybe one day, they go for a bike ride, another day they go for a swim, and then another day they do a little dancing. All of these things can be a lot of fun in their own right, but also offer huge benefits as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Final Thoughts

Some people are naturals when it comes to dancing. For others, it takes a little more effort. If you’re in the latter camp, I think it’s definitely worth taking the time to learn a few basic steps. You might even find that it’s more fun than you realized or that you have a hidden talent that you didn’t know about.

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