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March 26, 2020

Dancing the Small Moments

Time to Shine delivery partner, Yorkshire Dance, is delighted to share a series of five animations inspired by their recent work in Leeds care homes. The films can be watched online and across Yorkshire Dance’s social media channels @yorkshiredance.

These short animations, created by Hungry Sandwich Club, present personal stories about working with people living with dementia. Dancing the Small Moments is inspired by Yorkshire Dance’s pioneering In Mature Company research project which is using dance to alleviate loneliness and isolation and bring joy to care home residents.

Each film focuses on the story of a different resident, offering an insight into what it is like to live with dementia and the variety of different symptoms people experience, from visual hallucinations to mood changes. Residents with dementia are more likely to experience loneliness, even in a busy care home environment, because their symptoms make communication a challenge. Dance allows non-verbal communication and so is an incredibly effective way of alleviating loneliness for people living with dementia.

The animations were inspired by reflections written by In Mature Company Dance artist, Kirsty Arnold who explains ‘When we talk about care homes, we might not see the people that are living there, the lives they have lived and the experiences that they’ve had. Maybe there’s a certain image that we have of the care home environment. So with the films we thought it was important to represent the people that we’ve met and what they bring to the dance sessions’.

Wieke Eringa, Artistic Director of Yorkshire Dance explains “Our In Mature Company research project is changing how we think about dance in care homes and what it’s really like for residents living with dementia. Dance can be so much more than a one-off performance or an exercise class. We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to work with the fantastic team of animators at Hungry Sandwich, to bring Kirsty’s reflections on the project to life. Dancing the Small Moments offers a real insight into dementia symptoms and how dance can bridge the communication gap to help people with the condition to feel less alone.”

Dancing the Small Moments is funded by The Space Arts with support from Time to Shine.

Rachel Kingdom
Development Manager, Yorkshire Dance