“Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.”
The annual Dine and Dance is a fun and elegant event hosted by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto. Held at the St. Lawrence Hall, this social event provides a space for people in the early stages of dementia and their family caregivers to dance and enjoy an afternoon together.
Amanda Schmukler, Senior Social Worker at the Alzheimer Society of Toronto is the organizer of the Dine and Dance. “This is a wonderful event for families to enjoy an afternoon of live music, dancing and lunch in a safe space” says Schmukler.
Watch a clip from the 2013 Dine and Dance here!
“This event sums up, in a nutshell, everything we do at the Alzheimer’s Society of Toronto,” says Cathy Barrick, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Toronto.
On Cathy’s third day at the Society, she attended her first Dine and Dance event. “The event is for those who have dementia. It is a testament to our commitment that they are not forgotten, and to be sure there are events that help them remain connected, active and engaged – all key aspects to slowing the progression of dementia.”
Through various programs and services, such as the Music and Memory: iPod Project, we have been able to see the impact music has on a person living with dementia. Cathy recalls her interactions with the attendees at the event as eye opening. “[There] was the sometimes brief glimpse of the person inside – brought to life by the music and interactions with others. The person is in there – and our commitment to supporting research will help find them.” This is why events and services like this matter so much to the community. They give people the freedom to feel and live things they may not experience on a daily basis.
What is the best part of the Dine and Dance?
“The smiles. Hands down”, says Kim Waymann, Stewardship and Engagement Coordinator at the Alzheimer Society of Toronto. Attending her first Dine and Dance event in 2013, Kim did not realize the impact it would have on her. “It was the best day of my life” she gushes, when describing how much she was looking forward to the upcoming event on May 7th, 2014. “I’m always looking for a good dance partner, so I can’t wait!”