Source: Brightvibes

The Dance Palace proves that you’re never too old to dance

The Dance Palace hosts dance parties for the elderly, travelling from city to city to give the elderly the time of their life.

Lust for Life

The Dance Palace is a Dutch initiative that travels across the country to organise dance parties for the elderly. With music and the setting they create the feel of yesteryear.

The Dance Palace is a disco or dance party for the elderly to reignite their lust for life and provide them with a fun day out. Source: Facebook Brightvibes

The Power of Music

Your world gets smaller and smaller as you get older. With records of the past I try to open their world up again. The elderly dance with each other, with family, with dancing volunteers, with neighbours and staff; they have fun. It creates an atmosphere in which you can befriend people and find comfort in each other. That is the power of music 

-Record Player and founder Suna Duif.

DJ Suna was asked to play music at the 75th birthday party of a friend’s mom. The crowd would consist mostly out of elderly people and thus it seemed a good idea to play music from the birthday girl’s youth. When she played the first record, something incredible happened: the crowd literally jumped up, chairs were moved to the side of the floor and an energic sing- and danceparty started. The infectious fun of the elderly made it a party for all generations. Everybody danced with each other, young and old. The fact that music could have this effect made a great impression on Suna. Soon after she came up with the idea of the Dance Palace: a disco for the elderly.

Volunteers gather around with musical instruments and masks and feather boa's to festively celebrate the guests
Special attention for the most special guests of the day Volunteers gather around with musical instruments and masks and feather boa’s to festively celebrate the guests Source: Brightvibes

Music, atmosphere and fun

The staff transforms the room they’re in into a dance hall of the past. Then the volunteers arrive and get dressed in fourties and fifties style clothing. Then the elederly arrive, often escorted by volunteers, and the music starts.

Two hours of music, fun, snacks and dancing. The volunteers ask people to dance and more often than not, the dance floor is completely full. From jazz to rock to ballads to the twist; jusy about any style is played, whatever brings the people most joy.

The second hour of the fest, one of the volunteers goes around the room to ask the people if they have any musci requests that can be played and halfway through the afternoon, two people get a bit of extra attention for various reasons: whether it’s been their birthday, they’re the oldest one there or they have a remarkable positive energy.

At the end of the session, the visitors can write their name and contactinfo in a notebook in order to be notified of a next session in their vicinity.

The benefits of dancing

Apart from the fun and connection with fellow humans, there are many health benefits to dancing.

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