Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Scholarship to study the benefits of dance on dementia

Scholarship to study the benefits of dance on dementia

A desire to bridge the divide between science and the arts and help the community has won a student a $5,000 scholarship. Carlene Newall, from the University of Auckland, has been awarded the inaugural Gavin and Susan Walker Postgraduate Scholarship in Dance Studies, and will investigate the benefits of dance on people affected by dementia.

With an interdisciplinary background in both science and dance, the twenty nine year-old is embarking on a doctorate through the Dance Studies Programme where she will undertake a pilot study organised in collaboration with the Centre for Brain Research (CBR) at the University. As part of her PhD Carlene will establish a Brain Dance Group to trial the value of regular dance sessions for individuals with dementia.

“With the number of people in New Zealand living with dementia estimated to more than triple by 2050, there is a need for creative approaches in research to examine ways to delay the onset of the disease, slow the progression and improve the quality of life for those affected,” says Carlene.

The Mount Albert resident, who also teaches a dance paper at the University, has been testing ways dance can be used in different communities. As part of the course she has been facilitating dance sessions with elderly residents at local rest homes. Keeping it in the family, her 87 year-old Grandmother has presented a guest lecture talking to students about her own dance experience.

“There is already some evidence linking dance activities with a reduction in the risk of dementia, but it can be difficult to translate the benefits of a medium like dance into numbers to measure actual results. I hope my research will bridge this divide,” she says.

Carlene is heading off to the United Kingdom later this year for a short research trip to visit international practitioners involved in dance and dementia programmes. She also hopes to stage a performance of the Brain Dance Group alongside CBR’s CeleBRation choir, the acclaimed singing group for people with neurological conditions.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news