Circle Dance in Dementia

Course Date Course Time    Location To book online  
29th April 2020 10.00 - 16.30 London Click here
11th June 2020 10.00 - 16.30 London Click Here
15th October 2020 10.00 - 16.30 Oldbury Click Here
5th November 2020 10.00 - 16.30 London Click Here


The cost per delegate is £75. To book and pay on-line please click on the link above. If you would like to receive an invoice please complete our booking form and email it back to​ 

We offer discount for family carers, to take advantage of this special offer, please contact or call 0845 257 2250


Circle Dancing developed during the 1970s from traditional folk dance from around the world; there is a network of groups in the UK. The wide range of music links to celebrations, life events, and enables the exploration of the social and cultural aspects of connecting lives. Music has been selected from the repertoire and simplified standing and seated dances have been devised which allows for touch, holding, swaying, and easy repetitive movements, allowing the participant to feel safe within the circle. During the dance session comments and thoughts are often evoked and expressed. With the release of feelings people with dementia may be helped to communicate and be expressive.

‘Uplifting and motivating – the dance is an inclusive activity and will help feelings of togetherness’

‘Simple to learn and achievable and versatile for our users’

‘I felt inspired and refreshed by your course’

‘I have found something which is very valuable for our users with potential for involving relatives’

The aim and scope of the Circle Dance in Dementia Project

Circle Dance training aims to enable and skill up staff to provide their own movement and music sessions with their service users. The dance provides an enjoyable form of exercise and movement. Staff have welcomed an activity in which people with moderate/medium stage dementia can engage. It offers the opportunity for a shared activity with partners, relatives and carers. It can be used in residential and day settings, assessment units, NHS and voluntary organisation groups with older people, people with learning disability, mental health conditions, and physical disabilities. It can be offered at care home social events, and Alzheimer's Cafes.

The delegate rate includes 20 tracks of specially selected Circle Dance music suitable for standing and seated dance. Also included is a full handout pack containing dance notes and choreography, to accompany the music. We are able to provide the music on a CD, if required, at a cost of £10, which includes postage and packing.


This one-day course will introduce participants to the use of Circle Dance in Dementia, and provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver circle dance sessions in their own settings.

The course is suitable for practitioners who work with people with dementia in group settings, such as care staff, activity coordinators, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, community dance practitioners, community musicians, exercise instructors, day centre workers and volunteers who are based in settings with people with dementia.

Course Objectives

  • To introduce learners to the history of circle dance and its contemporary use in the field of dementia
  • For learners to experience a variety of the circle dances
  • To give a basic understanding of how dementia may affect physical and cognitive skills with respect to dance
  • To equip learners with skills in devising basic choreography for circle dance in dementia
  • To explore links with other activities, such as reminiscence, exercise and music
  • To encourage learners to consider the planning, delivery, observation and monitoring of their circle dance sessions

Learning Outcomes    

At the end of the course learners will be able to:

  • State the benefits of dance and specifically circle dance, for people with dementia
  • Describe best practice in group facilitation skills for people with dementia
  • Plan and deliver circle dance sessions in their work settings for people with dementia 
  • Create new dance steps to music for use in their settings
  • Devise effective ways of using observation and monitoring of their circle dance sessions

Circle Dance session - Photograph courtesy of Blind Veterans UK.

Training Style/Approach

The day is a mixture of taught content, experiential and creative learning, delivered in a relaxed way.


Liv McLennan
Liv has had a passion for working for people with dementia since her teens, when her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s-type dementia. After a music degree and time as an army musician, Liv worked for various charities, including the Alzheimer’s Society, developing projects mainly based around peer support and groupwork. 
Liv then completed the renowned Certificate in Music Workshop Skills at Goldsmith’s College, and has been self-employed as a community musician, working with different groups. The main areas she specialises in are Early Years, Community Choirs and people with dementia. She works with various organisations, including Westminster Arts, Age Exchange and Alzheimer’s Society delivering music, movement, reminiscence and cross-arts projects. She is also a trainer in these areas and has run training sessions for community musicians and care workers in how to incorporate these techniques into their work. 
Liv plays the cello, highland bagpipes and saxophone, and dabbles in ukulele and kantele! In her spare time, she enjoys Circle Dancing and learning Appalachian Clog Dancing. She is also on the board of trustees for Sound Sense, the Professional Association for Community Musicians.

Kelly Brown 
Kelly is a trained dancer, obtaining her degree at Middlesex University in Dance Science. Since the age of 16 Kelly always knew that she wanted to enhance the health and well-being of older people through dance movement. Alongside her degree she volunteered for over 4 years for the 
South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust with a leading Dance Psychotherapists in dementia care. Kelly now is the leading dance development officer for Kirklees council developing and delivering a range of dance based training courses to professionals and volunteers working within older peoples’ organisations and settings, including dementia care. Kelly is also responsible for initiatives that include chair based activity, Ballroom & Latin dancing, Circle Dancing, Creative Dance and many more activity based provision, in a range of settings from the community to residential care and hospitals. Kelly is passionate about using dance as a vehicle to enhance the journey of those who are living with dementia and their carers.   


To commission Circle Dance in Dementia training for your service or for more information about open training days, please contact or phone 0845 257 2250.

Follow Circle Dance on Twitter @CircleDementia