Dance for Wellbeing: With Dementia

A dance class holds hands in a circle as they dance

Dance for Wellbeing: With Dementia
With Jacqui Simmonds and Debora di Centa

Wednesdays 2pm – 3pm

COVID-19 UPDATE: All Dance for Wellbeing Classes Now Online

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we have moved all Dance for Wellbeing classes online. These classes are free and will be made available each week through Facebook and our Youtube channel

To remain connected during this time, please feel welcome to join our new private Facebook group, Dance for Wellbeing: Community where you can stay in contact with classmates and tutors.

If you have any questions or concerns about the new online classes and Facebook group, please feel free to contact Dance for Wellbeing Program Officer, Philip Piggin, via email or phone (02) 6173 3300.

Belco Arts is providing the first regular dance program in the ACT for people living with dementia. Classes include a variety of different dance and movement activities that can be seated, standing beside a chair, or moving independently if appropriate, always to fabulous music. Classes are aimed at providing a dance class that offers a gentle workout for the brain and the body, resulting in positive emotional responses, increased mobility, elevated quality of life and opportunities for relaxation for people living with dementia and their supporters. Scientists have discovered the neurological benefits of dance and movement, and it has been found that the mental coordination that dance requires activates several brain regions which can strengthen neural connections and can improve memory.

About the tutors

Jacqui Simmonds (BA, MFA) has been involved in dance education for over three decades, developing, directing and delivering tertiary dance degrees, and in senior management, overseeing student engagement. Jacqui’s approach to teaching dance is underpinned by a comprehensive understanding of the body in movement and of the elements of dance, and ongoing exploration of making dance accessible to everyone. She is currently working with Ausdance Victoria to develop a Creative Ageing Skill Set, teaching dance to older people. Jacqui is Artistic Coordinator for Canberra Dance Theatre and Co-Artistic Director for CDT’s GOLD Company. A qualified Iyengar yoga teacher, she also teaches at Canberra Yoga Space.

Debora di Centa is a Canberra-based independent dance artist and choreographer. Debora grew up in Italy and started dancing at a young age. She has extensive training in ballet, jazz, contemporary dance and she is an expert in Laban Movement Analysis. Debora has studied and collaborated in dance works, research and performances with various artists and dance specialists around Europe, US and Asia. She teaches, performs, choreographs, and directs dance events and, since 2016, is leading the Canberra Contact Improvisation community, as well as training pre-professional contemporary dancers at Dance Development Centre Canberra. As an independent artist, she works through her label ISEMS PROJECTS. Her motto is ‘Dance for All!’.


Free for online classes

What you need

Please wear clothing suitable to move in and light shoes, and have a water bottle near-by.

More info

Please contact Dance for Wellbeing Program Officer, Philip Piggin, via email or phone (02) 6173 3300.

Part of the Dance for Wellbeing program, an initiative of Belco Arts, supported by Parkinson’s ACT. Thanks also to Musica Viva AustraliaCanberra Theatre CentreLorna Sim PhotographyAusdance ACT and the National Health Co-op.