Tango pro­gram vis­its Horsham

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

A gen­tle danc­ing pro­gram at Horsham’s Mem­ory Lane Café has pro­vided peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing mem­ory loss a chance to en­gage in men­tal and phys­i­cal ex­er­cise.

South­ern Cross Tango teach­ers Pam and Richard Jarvis vis­ited the café at Horsham Cy­cling Club as part of na­tional De­men­tia Ac­tion Week from Septem­ber 16 to 22.

The Gen­tle Tango pro­gram was de­vel­oped for peo­ple with a de­men­tia di­ag­no­sis as a way to fight off age-re­lated mem­ory loss and pro­vide so­cial en­gage­ment and con­nec­tion.

De­men­tia Aus­tralia’s Kay Miller said the pro­gram of­fered a great form of ex­er­cise that had many pos­i­tive ef­fects for par­tic­i­pants.

“Gen­tle tango started over­seas, but they have adapted it here for peo­ple with de­men­tia and older peo­ple,” she said.

“Peo­ple gain the abil­ity to move to mu­sic. So, mu­sic evokes some re­ally strong emo­tions in peo­ple and usu­ally pos­i­tive emo­tions. Peo­ple who maybe haven’t moved much at all will get up and just sway or sway in their chairs.

“Some­one who had been a yoga teacher who doesn’t move much, sud­denly her body straight­ened up, she was out on the floor and loved it.

“That feel­ing of be­ing part of a group as well is great.”

Ms Miller said the slo­gan for De­men­tia Ac­tion Week was, ‘De­men­tia doesn’t dis­crim­i­nate. Do you?’

She said peo­ple could com­plete a sur­vey on­line at www.de­men­tia.org.au/sur­vey, which would help cre­ate a ‘na­tional pic­ture to bet­ter un­der­stand how dis­crim­i­na­tion for peo­ple liv­ing with de­men­tia oc­curs and what it would take to shift dis­crim­i­na­tion’.

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