Smile, its free therapy

It’s a cold January morning and Faye is working at a residential care home in Hereford. Faye has walked into the activity room carrying props and her music station. Most of the residents are sat quietly, some asleep. It is the first dance session today so no one is sure what will happen.

The music starts to play and it is a lively piece of French Folk music. A few residents start to smile, tap their feet and clap their hands. Others are still sat still. Until the moment when Faye starts to dance the Veletta with colourful scarves in the middle of the space, one gentleman sits up tall in his chair, looks and smiles acknowledging the dancing. Others start to initiate their own scarf dances, some even holding onto others scarves, connecting the group together.

This is followed by a piece of jive music and the other gentleman who was absolutely reluctant to join in, arms crossed in front his chest and looking down to the floor takes Faye’s hand and starts to move. He is not just swinging his arm but his shoulders are moving, his waist is twisting and his foot tapping and most importantly he is looking into Faye’s eyes with a smile on his face.

The session goes by so quickly but some many wonderful moments have occurred spontaneously even the grumpy residents are now smiling. At the end of the session the activity coordinator comments that he has never seen these two residents join in an activity like they just did and he is really pleased.

Faye leaves a room full of smiling residents and leaves smiling herself.

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