Manse on Marsh creates new program for its residents: ‘Learn from Me, Learn from You’

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Manse on MarchHighlighting the importance of Community, the Manse on Marsh, an independent and assisted living community in San Luis Obispo, CA, has created a program called “Learn from Me, Learn from You.” The purpose of the program is to connect the greater Community of the Central Coast with its own Senior Living Community on Marsh Street in San Luis Obispo.

Inviting outside groups from within our Central Coast Community the Manse hosts various groups to participate in activities and seminars as part of an exciting and engaging life-long learning program. The first and current group interacting with the “Learn from Me, Learn from You” program is Motions Academy of Dance from Atascadero.

This intergenerational experience between the two groups is all about dance, movement, and mentorship opportunities. The dance group is being led by instructor Kellie Adams and she has both the youth from Motions Academy of Dance as well as the Residents from the Manse following in-step with traditional ballet moves and techniques.

Learning from one another is the purpose of “Learn from Me, Learn from You.” So, while the Manse residents participated in a Ballet lesson and show in turn the seniors at the Manse are hosting consecutive weekends where they will teach three different games including dominoes, bridge and rumikub. In addition to these sharing experiences one of the most exciting things about this particular program is that after the teaching has concluded the sharing will continue, as the two groups will take in a performance at a local venue such as the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center.

According to Christopher Funke the Director of Network Development, “With this program,“Learn from Me, Learn from You,” we are creating an opportunity for our Residents to share their life experiences from the inside out… ultimately it’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

The Manse residents participated in a Ballet lesson and show. The program will feature dance instruction and dance review from Motions Academy of Dance. While the Seniors at the Manse will host an afternoon of teaching and mentoring at three different games tables. One of the most exciting things is that after the teaching aspect of the Program is done, the two groups will continue to interact as they aim to take in a show or dance performance at Cal Poly Performing Arts Center in the near future.

After doing a little research we found that if you were to try and fallow just a few rules in ballet that it could potentially help you in so many ways when getting older. Deanna Hope Berman, ND, CM is a Washington State-licensed Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and a New York State Certified Midwife states that It helps tremendously with increased flexibility and better posture. Ballet is an activity that can benefit both mind and body, as well as help people heal from specific medical conditions.

Ballet can help to improve balance and This benefit is evident in a study of a group of social dancers from the Bronx, who were an average age of 80 years old. These seniors danced an average of four days a month and had been dancing for an average of 30 years. When compared with a control group of non-dancing seniors, the dancers weren’t stronger than the non-dancers, but they had better balance and “longer steps and strides reflecting a better walking pattern.” This is what helps to prevent falls.

Dance is also linked to improved “balance confidence,” when seniors are less afraid of falling and more confident in their stability. It can also improve strength and gait. One study found that a group of senior citizens who participated twice a week, for ten weeks, in an Argentine tango class had increased lower body strength and a longer, stronger walking stride compared to a similar group who exercised by walking for the same amount of time. Studies have found that seniors who have previously fallen or who are afraid of falling can gain confidence and strength through dance.

Ballet can help with cognitive abilities. In a group of older dancers studied in Sweden in 2010, seniors who had danced on an amateur level for an average of 16 years were found to have better “reaction time, motor behavior and cognitive performance.” Dance often requires memorizing routines and movements. When done over and over, for many years, these movements can become second-nature and a part of our everyday movement, even when we’re not dancing.
With all of these great benefits, what better way to get involved.

With 15 kids and about 30 adults we were a successes! With class being tough by Miss Cricket of Motions Academy of Dance in Atascadero, the students were paired up with a few residents of The Manse on Marsh in San Luis Obispo to help teach them how to do the routine. We worked on our placement. Teaching everyone how important it is to “Never compromise you placement” stated Miss Cricket. Teaching how important it is to keep your tummy tight at all times in order to help your core muscles be strong for the rest of your body. Along with a tight tummy you always want to make sure your neck is on your shoulders at all times and even more important making sure your head is on top of your neck and not on top of your shoulders. And last but not least for placement we want to make sure and have a giraffe neck at all times. And trying to remember that a giraffe gets a long neck from the top of his head and not his chin.

We worked on our Ton-dues and Pleases just after going over first position in Ballet and how you get there.

It was a great day for the dancers and residents of The Manse on Marsh. The kids are very excited about next week…..

Next week they will come back and do a quick review of what everyone learned and then the kids have an opportunity to be taught something that the residents of The Manse on Marsh love most. They will learn 3 different classic games from the residents.

Our goal is to show our youth how important it is to do all we can to learn what we can from our respected seniors in our community while at the same time being able and willing to teach they something maybe they haven’t had the honer of learning.


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