Dance mobility: A somatic and dance programme for older adults in New Zealand

Felicity Molloy, Justin Keogh, Jean Krampe, Azucena Guzman

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This article describes the significance of Dance Mobility™, a new community dance programme that follows a New Zealand partnership research project, designed for older adults with diverse motor skill levels and dance experiences. The programme includes high-functioning older adults, some with sensory or balance impairments and others with Parkinson's disease. We discuss the benefits and challenges of facilitating a once-weekly dance practice model and the ways the programme affects individuals’ sensorial states of well-being and awareness. Somatic practices are introduced as integral to Dance Mobility™ teaching methods and dance activities. We include observations and comparisons with dance embodiment theories, cross-disciplinary goals of gerontology and exercise science/rehabilitation research to debate benefits and limitations of dance for older adults, and adaptive methods of the Dance Mobility™ approach. Somatic research is needed to build evidence-based conclusions that advance older adults’ feelings of well-being and safeguard their motivations to continue moving freely.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-180
JournalBody, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy
Issue number3
Early online date4 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • dance
  • older adults
  • well-being


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