Regular dance sessions undertaken by adult grandchildren with their grandparents appears to create a change in the grandparents’ state of mind, bringing about good memories and uplifted spirits, whilst for the grandchild it alters their perspective of old age

In April 2020 researchers from Israel published the results of their study to assess the benefits of free-form dance undertaken by adult grandchildren with their grandparents. The researchers stated that shared leisure activities help strengthen the relationship between adult grandchildren and grandparents and provide a vehicle for transmission of values. A total of 16 dance-movement therapists and their grandmothers took part in three dance sessions in their grandmothers’ homes. Filmed videos of the sessions were taken, personal diaries kept, and semi-structured interviews undertaken. Results showed that the granddaughters had concerns about their lack of skill to create a meaningful session and also felt a need to protect their grandmothers. It was also found that regular free-form dance sessions in which the granddaughter mirrored her grandmother’s movements while suggesting additional movements, encouraging eye contact, touch, and playfulness, and praising her ability, while also giving her a reason to rest, created a change in the grandmother’s state of mind. It brought about good memories and feelings appeared, as well as uplifted spirits. For the granddaughters, the sessions altered their perspective on old age and provided a space for processes of parting.

Engelhard ES. Free-Form Dance as an Alternative Interaction for Adult Grandchildren and Their Grandparents. Front Psychol. 2020 Apr 17;11:542.

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