Dementia, Arts and Wellbeing Network (DAWN)

Dance and Dementia Workshop

DAWN NetworkDementia Arts and Wellbeing (DA&WN) Network held its first workshop on 3-4 October 2016 at the Institute of Mental Health, Nottingham. This first workshop was led by dance practitioners Richard Coaten and Fergus Early. Download Richard Coaten's slides.

People with dementia, family carers, creative practitioners and researchers met for two days of workshops. This provided direct experience of the benefits of dance for all. It was clear that there are benefits in bringing dance into the lives of people living with dementia - both within health and social care settings, and in people's own homes.

The network aims to inspire researchers and to advance and inform practice in the field of dance and dementia, to improve the lives of people with dementia. The team developed plans for increasing knowledge about dance and dementia.

Some anticipated activities include: a short animation about the transformative potential of dance for people living with dementia; training opportunities for dance practitioners; a Nottingham-based dance and dementia hub; and a realist synthesis involving national and international perspectives.

If you would like to know more about the participants or the dance and dementia DA&WN initiative, please contact or

Photo shows left to right: Arti Prashar, Christian Morgner, Fergus Early, Tanya Myers, Tom Dening, Maria Walsh, Joy Watson, Richard Coaten, Martina Schwartz, Claire Garrett, Anthea Innes, Paul Crawford, Claire Garabedian, Mandeep Bilan and Victoria Tischler.

Output 1: Professional connections

Output 2: Dance and dementia training

Andrea Haley led a two-day workshop to lead dance with older people and people with mobility problems or dementia at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), University of Nottingham, on 10 October and 4 November 2017. 20 people attended, from Yorkshire, London and Birmingham as well as from care homes in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. They included activity co-ordinators, dance artists, care home staff, and students of dance.

There was expert input on dementia from local Alzheimer's Society staff. Participants learned techniques to engage people with mobility problems in music-based movements and in using imagination.

Nora Marsh wrote: "I've had a fantastic day, our group is so friendly I didn't want it to end." It's clear that there is an appetite for future courses and we are exploring ways of making this a regular offering at the IMH.

Dance and Dementia Workshop   Dance and Dementia Workshop   Dance and Dementia Workshop

Dementia, Arts and Wellbeing Network (DAWN)

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

+44 (0)115 846 7307