Circle dance in occupational therapy: practice and research

Borges da Costa, Ana ORCID logo ORCID: (2019) Circle dance in occupational therapy: practice and research. Occupational Therapy News (OTnews) .

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Dr Ana Lucia Borges da Costa, lecturer in occupational therapy and circle dance teacher, shares her experience of using circle dance in practice and research.

Dance has always been part of my life. My experience with dance started in my childhood, when I was 6 years old, joining a local ballet dance school. This was the beginning of a long and rewarding journey, experiencing different styles of dance and taking part in performances, from classical ballet, jazz, modern dance, dance influenced by the Laban Movement (Fernandes, 2015) and, of course, circle dance! I was introduced specifically to circle dance in 1992 during a work experience placement (as a qualified occupational therapist) in the mental health service of Trieste and Imola (Northern Italy) where I was invited to take part in the inauguration of a sheltered accommodation unit in Imola for adults with mental health problems. A community circle dance group was invited to entertain the clients, their families, visitors and health professionals in the first instance. They came because they had discovered that circle dance contributed to creating a sense of community, a relaxing environment, and was an invitation for everybody to join in dances from different countries and cultures. I was fascinated and enchanted by the experience: it represented a turning point in the sense that I saw the potential link between this form of dance and my practice as an occupational therapist (Borges da Costa, 2014). So, what is circle dance? Circle dance is a revival of a very ancient art form, which for thousands of years allowed people from different cultures to express themselves through movement and dance. Characterised by being vast and diverse, the circle dance repertoire includes traditional dances from different countries and cultures in addition to contemporary choreographies. As a shared occupation, the integration and inclusion of the participants is a fundamental aspect of circle dance (Borges da Costa & Cox 2016, p.198). In the U.K., the Circle Dance movement was started after a former German ballet master, choreographer and researcher into folk dance, Bernhard Wosien, led a dancing event in October 1976, at the Findhorn Community, in Scotland. Currently, the Circle Dance network includes active groups in Africa, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. In the U.K. there are around 270 circle dance teachers (Borges da Costa, 2014).

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Occupational Therapy News (OTnews)
Publisher: Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT)
Departments: Academic Departments > Health, Psychology & Social Studies (HPSS) > Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2019 10:56
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 09:18


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