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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the Five Dimensions of WELLNESS?
    Physical—This refers to the actual body and what might be considered more "traditional" aspects of health and well-being, as in being disease- and injury-free. Emotional—This refers to mood, self-esteem, how a person processes situations, and general emotional state. Mental—This refers to the cognitive side of well-being, including problem-solving, memory, and learning new things. Social—This refers to our relationships with others, how we make and maintain those relationships, and how we behave within them. Spiritual—Spiritual well-being, just like spirituality itself, is harder to define and can mean different things to different people. Simply put, spiritual well-being relates to our overall sense of purpose in life.
  • How does MUSIC affect WELLNESS?
    Physically: Music can help people exercise harder, longer, and more effectively (1); Relieves pain, helps in the production of cortisol, a stress-related hormone which increases the availability of substances needed to repair damaged tissues; enhances brain’s use of glucose, its main energy source; helps with blood pressure, sleep, and concentration (2). Emotionally: Music releases dopamine, which improves mood and reduces anxiety and induces pleasure, joy, and motivation; can create positive emotional experiences which results in the secretion of immune boosting hormones (2). Mentally: Music memory is the last part of the brain to go, and even people in late stage Alzheimer’s could be brought back for periods of time after listening to music they had previously enjoyed (3); “The brain is able to compensate for other deficits sometimes by using music to communicate”; Stroke survivors who can’t speak sometimes can sing; Parkinson’s patients sometime walk better to the right beat (4); Music activates certain regions in your brain which are involved in movement, planning, attention, learning, and memory (2). Socially: Music increases contact, coordination, and cooperation with others; Music gives us an oxytocin boost, which increases bonding and trust between people; Music strengthens our ability to empathize; Music increases cultural cohesion (5). Spiritually: Since spiritual wellness can differ from person to person, I will not go into detail on how music can affect spiritual wellness. However, most people will agree—music can touch your spirit, or your soul, in a way that few other things can! "20 surprising, science-backed health benefits of music" -USA Today "Here is what music does to your body" -The Science Nature Page "Capturing Grace" -David Iverson "Scientists tune into the brain to uncover music’s healing power" -Associated Press "Four Ways Music Strengthens Social Bonds" -Jill Suttie
  • How does MOVEMENT affect WELLNESS?
    Physically: Movement, whether through physical fitness, dance, or both, has some obvious (and some not-so-obvious) physical benefits, including positive changes to the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and endocrine systems; reduced risk of coronary heart disease, hypertension, colon cancer, and diabetes; enhanced ability to perform activities of daily living. Dance has been shown to have a greater impact on improving balance than other forms of physical activity (1). Emotionally: Movement increases levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline, which can improve mood; it can reduce depression and anxiety; it can improve self-esteem; it can help you cope with emotional challenges; it increases the size of the hippocampus which helps with emotional regulation (2). Mentally: Movement, particularly dance, can increase neuroplasticity, improve muscle memory, and boost memory; movement improves attention and reaction times; it causes an increase in size of the hippocampus (especially prominent with dance over other forms of exercise) which helps with memory and learning in addition to balance and emotion. Learning new things as we age helps the brain to continue to make new neural connections and improve our memory (3). Socially: Moving and dancing in a group fitness setting will help some of the other mental and emotional benefits present themselves, such as increased mood, decreased anxiety, and heightened self-esteem. Spiritually: Since spiritual wellness can differ from person to person, I will not go into detail on how movement can affect spiritual wellness. But, just like music, dancing is definitely good for the soul! "This Is the Best Way to Improve Your Balance and Feel YEARS Younger, According to Science" -Claire Gillespie "The brain changing benefits of exercise" -Wendy Suzuki "Dancing may help to combat brain aging" -Honor Whiteman
  • How is this program unique?
    First and foremost, 2MW is designed FOR SENIORS! Aside from the physically elite older adult, seniors simply have different needs when it comes to Fitness than younger adults, and we should embrace that need rather than tip-toe around it. 2MW was designed by a certified Group Fitness Instructor who specializes in both Senior Fitness and Functional Aging Group Fitness. Adding to that, each and every routine that is presented in 2MW has been carefully choreographed by the founder/director of the program, who also has an extensive background in dance. This helps ensure that each routine is SAFE, EFFECTIVE, and FUN, all while enhancing overall WELLNESS. The focus on the COGNITIVE side of dance and fitness is also an important element of 2MW, with each class working on COORDINATION, BALANCE, AGILITY, and MEMORY.
  • I would like to know more about the different FORMATS and intensities offered.
    Standing: Standing classes are recommended for any students who feel steady on their feet! Weight-bearing is important to bone health. Standing behind a chair or near a wall is a great option for people who need extra assistance with balance, although some modifications may need to be done as this class does move--forward, backward, side-to-side, and sometimes around the room! ​Seated: Seated classes are best for those who rely on a wheelchair or walker in their everyday life. This class still moves the whole body and works arms, legs, and the core (which helps with balance!) from the safety of a chair. ​Blended: A blended class is great for the more diverse classes--some people prefer standing while others prefer sitting! The routines done in this class are perfect for both, and also ideal for those who want to stand but need some extra assistance with balance. We will not use traveling movements like the Standing class, so students can stay behind a chair or near a wall without needing to make modifications.
  • How do you approach COORDINATION, BALANCE, AGILITY, and MEMORY?"
    While there are glimpses of these elements throughout each routine, they will also each have a moment in the spotlight! Some examples: Coordination—after learning a pattern with the legs, and a different pattern with the arms, the 2 will be combined, moving different things in different directions at the same time (have I mentioned that laughter is a big part of this class too??) Balance—when it’s time for a slower song, we’ll incorporate tandem walks, single-leg stands, and toe raises into our routine. Seated classes will use movements that work the muscles that are important for balance. Agility—moving forward and back, side to side, and across our midline (when appropriate) using different tempos, timings, and patterns will help improve agility, which of course continues to help with balance! Memory—we have a memory game that changes every class, challenging the students (and instructor!) to learn a new routine on the spot.
  • Where are 2MW classes offered?
    Classes can be offered at Retirement Communities, Continuing Care Communities, Assisted Living Facilities, Memory Care Facilities, Adult Day Care Centers, Senior Community Centers, as well as gyms, dance studios, community centers, churches, etc. If you would like a class at your facility or community, please CONTACT ME!
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