Dance Well | Digital Resources

Skill acquisition

A series of balance, co-ordination, creativity and joint articulation exercises.

Telling stories with mudras

Co-ordination and expression

This is a storytelling exercise utilising Bharatanatyam hand gestures. This is a good exercise for the 2nd half of the class when beginning to bring the level of intensity back down towards the cool-down. This exercise is good for coordination, proprioception and body-mind connection. Some gestures may be harder for those with arthritis, moving the gestures around in a narrative example can be useful to include all participants even if they are not able to fully form the gesture. Suitable for people living with dementia.

Artist | Archana Ballal

Scarf improvisation

Co-ordination, expression and balance

This exercise is a chance for participants to access their own creativity and is also a chance for participants to further connect with each other. For those with limited mobility this can also be done sitting and a facilitator or more active group member can pair up. When used following a warm up this keeps heart rates raised and continues some cardio work. Suitable for people living with dementia.

Artist | Archana Ballal

Bharatanatyam sequence

Co-ordination and joint articulation

This is a basic Bharatanatyam sequence, suitable for teaching a group over the course of several weeks. This exercise is good for coordination, proprioception, rhythm work, cardio and increased mobility in joints. You may wish to introduce just the arms or just the legs before combining the movement. This is a great challenge for co-ordination and may be best taught facing in one direction to avoid confusion to directions. Suitable for people living with dementia.

Artist | Archana Ballal

Arches & Openings

Joint articulation of upper body

This is a sequence that will work the upper spine, shoulders & arms. It is best to do this exercise after the initial warm up & some gentle stretching. Can be done seated or standing. It’s recommended to start by doing the sequence once then having a rest before repeating as it involves lifting the arms above the head & opening the chest. Please be aware of participant’s shoulder range of motion and holding the arms above chest height for too long for those with heart conditions. Suitable for people living with dementia.

Artist | Rachel Waterman

Classical walk and chakras


This is an excellent exercise to develop balance. Best done after the initial warm up around the mid point in the class when participants are feeling more relaxed. Have fun with the turns & allow participants to figure out the easiest way to get round. Once they’ve figured out the feet remind them that they are turning with the whole body & not just the feet & to keep the head up. Note: Be aware of balance, particularly when turning. If this becomes difficult or unstable keep the walking to one spot.

Artist | Rachel Waterman

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