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Tower Seminar- Dance for Health: The Multidimensional Benefits of Social Dance for Older Adults

February 21, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Presenters: Dr Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain, Dr Amanda Clifford, Dr Joanne Shanahan, Dr Helen O Leary, Dr Mats Melin

Chair: Dr Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain

Social dancing offers exercise, socialisation and meaningful engagement in community life. Social dancing is fun and regular older social dancers have better balance, gait, cognition and quality of life compared to age-matched controls. The study is investigating if participation in social dancing can improve physical activity levels and wellbeing in older adults.

The second presentation is a collaboration between Mats Melin and Canadian dancer, tai chi and touch for health expert Michelle Greenwell on exploring self-empowerment in health and injury recovery, which would work alongside established physiotherapy diagnosis and treatment. They are currently working on a Flow State Photographic project which initiates their exploration of the marriage of performance, energy flow and directed intention, using images and accompanying texts to illustrate some of these ideas.

Dr Amanda Clifford is a senior lecturer in physiotherapy at the Department of Clinical Therapies, University of Limerick.

Dr Joanne Shanahan completed her PhD on the benefits of set dancing for people with Parkinson’s. Dr Shanahan and Dr Helen O Leary are active members of the Arts in Health Research Cluster and are currently doing post doctoral research.

Dr Mats Melin has worked professionally with dance in Scotland since 1995 and in Ireland since 2005. He authored “One with the Music: Cape Breton step dancing tradition and transmission” published by CBUP in 2015.


February 21, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Theatre 2, Irish World Academy
Ireland + Google Map