dance therapy

For residents in care homes, engaging in activities that promote overall well-being is essential to ensure a high quality of life. One such activity that has been gaining popularity among care home residents is dancing. This comfortable approach combines the benefits of movement and artistic expression to help improve physical fitness, cognitive function, and emotional well-being.

Simon Guntrip, a professional dance instructor, has been sharing his passion for dance by teaching it in Signature care homes. He believes that dance can greatly benefit the elderly residents in terms of physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Here’s some answers when asked about time at care homes.

How long have you been teaching dance?

I have been teaching dancing for nearly 15 years

How often do you visit our (and other) care homes?

I visit care homes, to do dancing with the residents at least twice a day, five or six days a week. This includes a number of the Signature homes. And in fact, the first care home I ever did any dancing in, was Coombe Hill Manor, one of the Signature homes.

What’s the general response or reaction when residents dance with you?

The response when I go into a home is always positive. Some residents are very keen to dance and some needed a little bit of gentle encouragement. Also, because I have been going to some of the homes for quite a few years, I get to know the residents quite well and know which ones are more keen to dance and have more mobility for faster dancing, for example rock ‘n’ roll, than some of the other residents. Some people come along, because they just like to watch and sing along.

What genre(s) of music do you play?

The music that we generally dance to is from the 1930s/40s/50s and 60s. A lot of the dancing focuses on foxtrot, waltz and rock ‘n’ roll, as these are the dances that a lot of residents used to dance to, and it is the music from the era.

Do residents tell you when/if they’ve had fun?

Yes, quite often the residents will tell me if they are having fun and enjoy a particular song. But also, as I am dancing around the room, I am always looking at the other residents, smiling and making eye contact with them, so I can gauge how much they are enjoying themselves.

Is your choreography inclusive of all abilities and disabilities?

We tend to dance to the same type of routines each time. For those residents that are in a wheelchair, I will do a rock ‘n’ roll with them, or ask a member of staff to hold onto the chair and sway with me to a foxtrot in time with the music. I also do some hand jive, so that everybody can get a go and join in. Also, I like to do some dancing with the staff and teach them a few moves, so that the residents can watch and have a bit of a laugh at the same time.


To find out more about Signature’s activity programs, click here.