Mother’s Day? In Tilburg they need a whole month!

Devotees have flocked to a tiny sanctuary during the month of May for centuries. They come to reflect, pray, pay respect, commemorate and celebrate Mary, the mother of Jesus, or maybe their own mother, all mothers, or just themselves. Join one mother on her annual pilgrimage to the ancient Hasseltse Chapel in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Please choose HD quality for best playback. Video 5:45 min, Dutch with English subtitles. Created and produced by Marcel Baaijens. With thanks to Henriëtte Peters.

 

 

 

 

3 Rhythm Beats (dementia) Blues Workshops confirmed for New Zealand.

Sitdance is pleased to announce that thus far 3 ‘Rhythm Beats (dementia) Blues’ workshops have been confirmed:

  • 27 March: for members of the North Shore Diversional Therapy Support Group only
  • 4 April:  1-3 pm. Moera Community Centre, Lower Hutt, Open to general public $30 p.p. Contact Marcel through the contact form on this website for bookings. Reservations essential.
  • 7 April: for members of the Wellington Diversional Therapy Support Group only.

There is still an opportunity for a workshop in Auckland or Hamilton on the 28 March.

If interested contact Marcel a.s.a.p.

For the Workshop trailer visit: https://youtu.be/Owl5o_EEiYM

3 ‘Rhythm Beats (dementia) Blues’ workshops scheduled for Melbourne.

Lifestyle Coordinators in Melbourne: 3 ‘Rhythm Beats (dementia) Blues’ workshops have been scheduled for the Melbourne area. They are held by aged care facilities in Hawthorn, Werribee, and Geelong. If you are interested in attending let me know and I will connect you to the organisers. If you want to organise a 2-hour workshop yourself, get in touch a.s.a.p. I will be in the Melbourne area till early February, after which I will travel to Canberra, Sydney, New Zealand, and back to New South Wales, before heading to Europe in May.
 
‘Rhythm Beats (Dementia) Blues’ enables family members and care volunteer/staff of those with advanced dementia to establish a non-verbal, meaningful, connection and interaction using rhythm. The technique is beneficial for both the receiver, the giver, and their relationship. See this short trailer for more. https://youtu.be/Owl5o_EEiYM

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:

2018

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.

Rhythm Beats (dementia) Blues

Most people travel from A to B, Tomorrow I will travel from A to A: Amsterdam to Adelaide. I will begin a 4 months tour of urban Australia (ADL,MEL,SYD, BNE) to promote Dance to Remember and offer short evening courses in the band new ‘Rhythm Beats (dementia) Blues’ methodology. In the video below you can see me in action during an improvised afternoon of music, singing and dancing in a Greek care home on the island of Syros, Greece. If you are interested in a demo session, or training or the Dance to remember DVD, get in touch. I would love to hear from you. https://youtu.be/4oNwsAhzZxs

50 Dutch cousins and a stray Romanian Sitdance in Amsterdam

Oh, my cousins do know how to throw a party, so I challenged them to do a Sitdance with me, and they did: in front of one of my cousin’s cafe in Amsterdam. They had a blast. This sitdance ‘ Tulips from Amsterdam’ was specially made for them as our parents, aunts and uncles are all from Amsterdam. A romanian guy watching us having fun could not resist to join us!

It all depends on the weather…

The weather has been just appalling since yesterday, but just as I was about to leave the location I had selected to shoot a video tutorial for the Welsh dance ‘Farewell Marian’, the very wet drizzle stopped (and started, then stopped, started and then stoped again), juuuuuust long enough to film the 2 tutorials, PHEW!

Luckily I was prepared with a sheet of plastic to protect my laptop that needs to play the music, and an umbrella to protect my camera. There was a walking track next to where I was doing the filming. I could hear passers crunching their brains trying to figure out what on earth this guy was doing when they saw an empty folding chair standing in the rain, and me huddled next to the tripod with camera shielding it from the drizzle with an umbrella. Gives them something to talk about tonight doesn’t it 🤣.

I was looking for a pond, as it features the story behind the dance. What I got was not just a pond but also a castle, and not just any castle, but the one where Henry the 8th was born (Pembroke, Wales).

This dance will feature in the ‘Sitdance with the Celts’ programme, a Sitdance journey through the six celtic nation on the edges of Europe. I Visited 5 nations thus far: Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, Cornwall and Wales, the last one is Brittany, the far west corner of France.

Dance to Remember is now available on DVD!

I am pleased to announce that the Dance to Remember Sitdance Programme is now available as a 2-DVD set. It can be purchased through the Nontropolis shop, or Sitdance shop. World-wide shipping is available at reasonable prices, allow 2 weeks for shipping. When shopping, please note that all prices are in Australia Dollars. A link to an online currency calculator can be found in the shop.

Dance to remember was already available as Download/streaming option. I trust that the DVD will suit many Activity Coordinators/ Lifestyle Coordinator.

Have a ball!!!

Marcel Baaijens

Creator of Sitdance.

 

Meaningful, non-verbal, dementia friendly interaction.

As dementia progresses, it may become harder to have meaningful interactions. I combine principles of Base Stimulation, Holistic Pulsing, and Sitdance to establish a non-verbal interaction that is enjoyable and meaningful for all.

In this video I still used linguistic communication as Anne did comprehend, and also because it was a demonstration, but it can totally be done without words.

Music and songs provide a time frame, songs activate the voice and soul, simple pulsing/handdances activate the body and establish non-verbal contact. It can be subtle, but that does not mean its less effective or less meaningful.

Once words fall away, we have an opportunity to intuit, to ‘tune-in’ to the person. It is an opportunity to connect at a different level, a heart level, an opportunity to be truly present, resulting in quality time spent with a loved one.

Care staff may not have much time available for one-on-one interaction. For family members this may be a valuable tool to make visits enjoyable and meaningful. Training sessions for groups available on request.

Dingle Dazzle

‘Going with the flow’ is my favourite thing. Sometimes it is easy, other times life events can get in the way. However today was a great flow day. It did not start out that way though. I sprained by lower back a few days ago making moving about in a small campervan a bit of a challenge. Sitting, standing, lying down, there was not a single position that was comfortable, making it hard to tune in to a sense of adventure.

After visiting a nursing home I gave up work and choose to nurture my body instead. The nearest swimming pool was some 70km away. The pain was exhausting.  I needed a nana nap a few kilometres before I reached the pool. It rained heavily as I crawled under my blanket and before I knew it I fell into a deep sleep. The thunder of a passing truck woke me. Like an old man I crawled out of bed and back behind the steering wheel. The visit to the pool and the hot steam room relaxed my tense muscles and eased the pain a bit. I could start tuning in to the road ahead.

I looked at the map and the west coast of Ireland was calling with a promise of dramatic interactions between light, sky, sea and landscapes. As I got closer to town of Tralee, the skies cleared, the showers lessened. Dingle peninsula was not much further and with enough daylight left it became the destination for the day. Reaching the coast was immediately rewarded with a stunning view of Dingle peninsula across the bay. A conveniently placed parking lot made stopping possible. By this time I was very hungry, but that had to wait, a little snack had to do for the best light of the day would not wait.

The further I drove, the better the scenery got, but also the hungrier I got. I stopped near a beach to make a quick omelet. I managed to not feel guilty about eating. It proved to be the necessary delay that allowed inspiration for the last leg of the day to materialise.

I looked on the map and discovered a tiny road crossing the mountain ridge of the peninsula. I punched in a destination into my phone and turned on the navigation, allowing me to focus on the journey rather than the route. As I turned off the main road there was a sign warning drivers that there is a steep road ahead. The Irish sign shows a vehicle on an almost 45 degree slope. A bit exaggerated I thought, but the sign was not kidding.

The road narrowed to a single lane, bopped up and down and wobbled left to right as it climbed higher and higher. The van I am driving has a powerful engine and had no problem navigating the tricky terrain. Luckily I encountered no other traffic.

Choosing a road less travelled is always rewarding, and this one was no exception. The stunning views, the electrifying light, the dazzling colours, and the wild spiritual landscape made my soul sing.

But nothing is permanent and as the daylight faded, the spectacle was over. Time to head back to civilization, find a warm cozy pub, and edit the photos for an encore.

 

Filming “My Bonnie lies over the Ocean”.

Take one:

I found a beautiful location to film the tutorial for “My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean”. There are many cute little harbours on the Isle of Man, but Port St. Mary proofed to be the right location with great scenery, the sun at the right angle, and very little chance of people getting in the way, or so I thought.

I was halfway through the first take when a woman decided to take photos of the boats on the water behind me. Oblivious to the film shoot in progress she wandered right on to the set. There was little I could do but wait patiently till she was gone.

Take two:

I cued the music, prepped the camera, ready for action. Nobody to be seen. I press the buttons and set on the folding chair. Just as I was about to start the pebbles supporting one leg of the folding chair gave way and I sank backwards. My arms tried to stop me from falling with the most peculiar balancing moves in all sort of directions. Luckily I did not keel over. I stopped the camera,  found some flat stones to support the leg, levelled the chair, and started all over again.

Take three:

Off with a good start I became hopeful that this would be the final take till, almost at the end, a few infamous midges (very tiny flies that inhabit this part of the world) arrived and started biting me. I managed to keep a straight face and finished the recording before the sun moved into a blinding position. Phew! I was a few bites richer, but also a tutorial. Job done!

Depending on the time of year there are two times lots each day that are suitable for filming. One a few hours after sunrise and one a few hours before sunset. Being able to figure out where the sun will be at the time of filming is essential. By now I am pretty good at making an estimated guess, but it is a guess nevertheless until I return the next day for the shoot. A short little video can sometimes take a few days to film and that does not include the editing. So it is very satisfying when in the end the music, the footage and the voice-overs all come together in a tutorial that works.