Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues Technique

‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ Technique
by Marcel Baaijens

Rhythm is first experienced in the womb and one of the last memories to go. It is a non-verbal ‘language’ we can use to connect and interact with people with advanced dementia, especially at a time when verbal communication is diminishing. Applied as a simple dance the technique activates voice, body and soul.

Music and songs provide a structure and lifts spirits. Simple hand dances provide physical connection, a meaningful occupation of time and expression to music. ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ is beneficial to both giver and receiver. It will bring joy to family visits and caring situations.

The ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ technique combines principles of Base Stimulation, Holistic Pulsing, and Sitdance to effectively establish human interactions and meaningful connections. It is person-centred, intuitive, and easy to learn.

A 2-hour workshop with creator Marcel Baaijens will teach you the ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ principles and empower you to put the technique into practice. Workshops are available on request. To request a workshop or find out if one is held near you visit www.sitdance.com or the Sitdance Facebook page or contact Marcel through the contact form of this site.

Marcel is currently travelling through Australia and is available for ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ workshops and Sitdance sessions. His travel schedule is roughly as follows:


Jan-mid Feb: Greater Melbourne area

Late Feb: South of Sydney

March: North of Sydney + Central Coast + Tamworth + Gold Coast + Brisbane

April: New Zealand

May: The Netherlands

About the Workshop:

1. Workshop content:
• Arriving, intention setting, warming-up, loosening-up
• Appreciating a half full glass
• How to approach and connect with someone non-verbally
• Person centered approach: learning to ‘read’ body language
• The basics of rhythms
• The basics of music and songs
• Sensing limitations and possibilities
• Practice
• Questions
• Evaluation

2. Workshop objectives:
• The workshop will teach the basic skills from the various disciplines that make up ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ technique
• The workshop is experiential in nature, meaning you get to experience the technique first hand, so the learning experience will be stored in both brain and muscle memory
• The workshop will empower you to implement the technique using your own choice of music as deemed suitable for the person you will be engaging with.

3. Workshop outcomes:
• You will know how to approach a person with advanced dementia for the purpose of a ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ session
• You will know how to use non-verbally cues to determine what to do next as part of a person-centred approach
• You will know how music and songs can be used to establish a meaningful interaction and connection between yourself and somebody with advanced dementia
• You will know how to intuitively ascertain the limitations and possibilities of a session.

4. Workshop facilitator Marcel Baaijens

Marcel Baaijens is a multi-creative Dutch New Zealander. He is a certified dance tutor (LBV Cert. Netherlands), a qualified art educator (M.A.A.E. School of the Art Institute, Chicago) and architect (MSc in Architecture, University of Delft, Netherlands). He also trained in Holistic Pulsing, a New Zealand healing modality, Interactive Drawing Therapy (a New Zealand client centered art therapy modality) and Dementia Essentials, Dementia Training Australia.

Marcel has over 30 years experience as a dance and art educator. He is the Founder, Developer, and Director of Sitdance, (world-wide), Founder, Developer, and Coordinator of the world’s first inclusive tertiary art education programme, (New Zealand), and Founder, Developer, and Director of innovative art programmes in New Zealand, Slovakia, and U.S.A.

Marcel dedicates his life to provide access to dance and art to those with limited access with the aim to offer participants opportunities for self-expression and wellbeing. He works globally. He is a keen photographer. You can follow his journeys, stories and photography through the Nontropolis and Sitdance Facebook pages and websites.

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Posted in Activities resources, Sitdance, Sitdance Resources, Video.

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