Awareness – The Unlikely Dancer

Unlikely Dancer

Today a very special book arrived from my friend Hazel Minnick in Tennessee. This is a subject very close to my heart (mental health) and i’m honourer that she has dedicated 3 1/2 pages to me and JLC. Thank you Hazel from the bottom of my heart. You are an inspiration to all who have Alzheimer’s and may everyone have your courage in the face of adversity. Love always JAN xxx

A few years ago I  was inspired by an American lady Hazel Minnick, who is suffering from dementia and who uses Ballroom dance to help her get through this terrible disease. Since getting to know Hazel she has become an author  “Living in My Shadow ~ My Journey with Alzheimer’s” ~ Alzheimer’s Awareness and “Unlikely Dancer.
I was honoured when in 2016  Hazel asked me to contribute to one of her books and thought you would like to see what I wrote.

” As a Ballroom dancer, I find that when I am stressed or mentally tired I just need to get onto the floor and start dancing and I feel so much better, I’m sure we have all had friends that say “dancing, lets them forget their worries” well it certainly does for me.

As a disabled dancer “I’m profoundly deaf” the act of movement is more important than the sound and rhythms but they play apart. Sometimes I dance with, and sometimes without my aids, as the mood takes me.
Over the years I have worked with many disable dancers from, deaf, blind to those with dementia and I find dance is a great leveller, something we can all enjoy in our own way.
Recently I was at a dementia awareness day at the Tower Ballroom Blackpool, I had been asked to dance with some of the visitors, it was wonderful to see the way the music and steps brought back memories and how people of all abilities were able to join in, in their own way.
Through the school, I help run we visit nursing homes and run dancers mixing old familiar rhythms and song to provoke memories with new exciting rhythms to engage the mind.
I think most people know that dancing offers a great workout and many health benefits, it works, all major muscle groups and requires co-ordination, flexibility and strength. But we often forget that it is an act of methodically repeating what you just saw or you’ve committed to memory which is good for the brain and that it is an enjoyment a release of personal expression, and for many an act of pure joy”.
Janet Lee Chapman (FUKA FIDTA)”