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Donna Newman-Bluestein
Dance for Connection
My passions are twofold: (1) the power of dance to inspire, uplift and heal; and (2) transforming the culture of care for people with dementia through dance and embodied caregiving.
Interests: dance, dance/movement therapy, older adults, people with dementia
Recent Activity
Now that I think of it, dementia doesn't affect one's ability to dance, unless or until there are physical limitations. And even if one is affected physically, one can still express oneself, one's ideas, and rhythm through dance. I imagine... Continue reading
An excerpt of a virtual dance group for JF&CS Boston, August 2020 I am excited to share that I am now co-chair of the Arts Work Group of the Dementia Action Alliance US. I am working on a group FB... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2020 at Musings of a Dance/Movement Therapist
92Y HARKNESS DANCE CENTER Presents Dance Therapy Alternate Route Course ONLINE -15 hours BRINGING DANCE TO OLDER ADULTS AND PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA 5 days: Thursday Nov.12 thru Monday Nov. 16. 10am to 1pm daily Taught by Donna Newman-Bluestein, MEd, BC-DMT,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2020 at Musings of a Dance/Movement Therapist
After an extended bout of pneumonia which resulted in atrophy and debilitating back pain, I know how important it is that we move, whether in isolation or not. I am going to post links to my favorite videos to get... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2020 at Musings of a Dance/Movement Therapist
In our society, the kinesthetic sense has been sadly ignored. Our bodies have long been a source of shame. We are taught at a very young age to stop moving, sit still, listen to others, and to learn. For those of us more strongly anchored in the kinesthetic sense, we are handicapped by not using our natural strengths. Additionally, we all learn from this that truth is an external reality. We learn not to value what we learn from our own senses, but rather what others tell us. And gradually our self-esteem is eroded. Continue reading
Energized by the light in the eyes of each person with dementia. That is how I feel when I lead dance, expressive movement groups for frail elders and people with dementia. DMT group at Avita of Newburyport That's what those... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2019 at Musings of a Dance/Movement Therapist
One more octopus dance for young children with the Octaband® to offer to celebrate octopuses on this National Cephalopod Week. Francesca Nicassio​ of in Italy has the children draw their favorite music/movement activity for the day. This child's favorite... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2019 at Musings of a Dance/Movement Therapist
Did you know that it is National Cephalopod week? Apparently, it is June 21 to 29th, or thereabouts. Octopuses are my favorite cephalopod. Ollie the Octopus is a story I wrote, illustrated by Bethany Beers-Mullen. Ollie can be used as... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2019 at Musings of a Dance/Movement Therapist
I'm sorting through old papers, memories that I keep, but never feel like looking at. Taking a firm stand with myself, I went through one of many boxes. What a treasure trove it turned out to be! Here is a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2019 at Musings of a Dance/Movement Therapist
Learn the skills to engage, inspire and uplift older adults and people with dementia through dance and expressive movement. I will teach you how to customize your groups to motivate even heterogeneous groups of older adults to express themselves so that each feels seen, heard, and appreciated for who they are. Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2019 at Musings of a Dance/Movement Therapist
Excited about today's midterm elections playlist for my group with frail elders. Included in the playlist are: Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, Ethel Merman's Anything You Can Do, Ella Fitzgerald singing Vote For Mister Rhythm, my all time favorite for... Continue reading
The Octaband is a device to bring people together. Continue reading
All of our products to get people moving, including the newest, are on sale, but only til October 20. If you haven’t already seen it, we now have a 24-leg Octaband® with a beautiful purple center. Second, Ollie the Octopus... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2018 at Musings of a Dance/Movement Therapist
It's hard to believe. Twelve years passes so quickly, but not without the Octaband® bringing a lot of joy and connection to people around the world. From Australia, where Social Shindig used the new 24-leg Octaband to Forest Springs in... Continue reading
This blog has lain dormant for the past few years, since I had a new blog on my old website. I will be reviving this blog as I now have a new website once again. You can subscribe to get... Continue reading
In a world where our reach is global, how can we each own up more responsibly to our part in others' disenfranchisement? Read more on Dance for Connection's new blog site here. Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2015 at Musings of a Dance/Movement Therapist
If you happened to be watching the season finale of Blunt Talk on StarZ on October 24 and wondered what that colorful stretchy dance prop with arms was that the nurses were using with the patients in a seated “dance... Continue reading
Dance for Connection is my new website which went live earlier this summer. As with all things technical, I am experiencing a steep learning curve as far as how to post new blog articles, but from now on that is... Continue reading
Friday, August 7 from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact Beth Soltzberg at or 781-693-5628. 1430 Main St., Waltham, MA I'm looking forward to leading this uplifting group tomorrow. Continue reading
The New Mexican mountains are vast and beautiful, far beyond my capacity to capture adequately with my iPhone camera. Traveling in the Southwest desert reminds me of a summer many years ago when I was studying Creative Dance with Barbara... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2015 at Musings of a Dance/Movement Therapist
I've heard it said that the devil is in the detail and also God is in the detail. Thus it behooves us to make our choices wisely. Dance is a moment by moment choice in details brought from the choreographer's... Continue reading
I particularly enjoyed this issue of Goddard House February Newsletter. Here's the cover article. Goddard House offers terrific programming for the reesidents and for members of the community. That Certain Something By Ginny Mazur and Lance Chapman with Cindy Allard... Continue reading
I was inspired to write this poem as I prepared to present with Dr. Richard Coaten in London this past Monday. To Dance in an Imaginal World: An Ode to Containment I see you, imaginary person with dementia I can... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2015 at Musings of a Dance/Movement Therapist
John Zeisel interviewed me for his show on Hopeful Aging for Bedford TV. The video is posted to youtube. Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2015 at Musings of a Dance/Movement Therapist
I heard from Magdalena Schamberger, Chief Executive & Artistic Director of Hearts & Minds of the new documentary style film called Hearts & Minds : Behind the Nose. You can see the film here. The film offers insight into the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2014 at Musings of a Dance/Movement Therapist