Playful Movement Creative Practice 1

For my creative practice, I have chosen the art form of dance. So, for this week’s assignment, there was a bit of a challenge for me to create a practice that would not exhaust the patients too quickly. When researching a few different ways dance can help patients, I found some interesting information about the element of play. Implementing play into our lives is important our emotional and mental well-being.

“Play does not have a particular purpose. Play simply seeks out joy for the sake of joy. While play is gratifying, it is also vital to mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Engaging in play has been found to enhance learning and cognition, improves the ability to handle stress, elevates mood, and promotes social skills, emotional intelligence, and conflict resolution ability.” (Sanchez, Valdez, Johnson, 2014).

Who could better benefit from this aspect of play than someone going through chemotherapy? In the practice, the patient and I would play a few different movement-based games. The first game, the patient and I will take turns naming words that describe or make us think of play. Words like jump, jiggle, laugh, kick, skip, hop-scotch (which are the words I used to inspire movement in the first video). Then we will put music on and dance, using these words, as seen in the first video.

Then we will play a game called freeze dance. All we have to do is put music on and when the music is paused, the movement ceases. Someone not playing the game must push play and pause in order to make the game fair. In the second video, I recruited my boyfriend to assist with this game.

Finally, we will take a bit more of a serious tone to complete the last exercise. We will conduct a short series of stretches to help our bodies feel good, which I have not recorded because it will be different for each patient. The stretches will be based off what the patient expresses to me about how they are feeling that day, what they feel needs a bit of attention, and what will make them feel better throughout the day.

The tricky part about implementing this practice with a patient will be the exhaustion aspect of the assignment. I would not want the patient to feel too exhausted to finish the practice and not convey this need to stop with me. This will be solved through very, very open lines of communication. I will constantly check in with the patient to see how they are feeling, and the patient will have the freedom to stop at any point necessary.

Resource

Sanchez C., Valdez, A., Johnson, L. (2014). Hoop Dancing to Prevent and Decrease Burnout and Compassion Fatigue. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 4(40). Retrieved from http://www.jenonline.org/article/S0099-1767(14)00180-9/abstract

Credits:

Created with images by Yixler - "P0050350" • Jim Sneddon - "Peace" • MichelleHaswell - "ballet shoes pointe shoes ballet"

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